Tuesday’s ride took me down the hill to meet R. for lunch and tips on grieving–it looks like rollercoasting is ahead, and time is my friend. R. left, I joined N. and B. for a bit, and then I was itching to go on a ride without a destination. Blue skies emerged, it was 60 degrees out, and I needed to let my legs spin. Continue reading
Monday was my first bike ride since my dad was killed by a driver, and I was pretty nervous about it. Would I be extra skittish around cars? Would a giant hole of sadness open up inside me as I did the thing we both loved to do on the bicycle that he bought me and he knew was my home? Would the bent stem on my front wheel’s tube make it so hard to pump up that I’d just start crying frustration tears and not make it out the door? I gathered my things, pumped up my tires–the stem miraculously working fine for the first time since July (thanks, pops)–and headed out, layers and hats and gloves for protection. And it was fine.
I haven’t been on my bike since last Saturday when I got a call from my little sister. She told me my dad was out for a walk with my aunt in Los Angeles, and he’d been hit by a truck while crossing in a crosswalk. He’d didn’t make it.
Last Thursday’s ride took me down to the Inner Harbor to meet A. and her sweet baby girl for a tour of the Christmas Village. It was empty, which I suppose is to be expected on a Thursday afternoon. That worked for the 19 month old kiddo I was with who mostly wanted to oh-so-carefully step her way down stairs and then run up them to slowly sneak down them again. And then she wanted to run as fast as she could, which wasn’t very fast if we’re being honest, and everyone who saw her could help but smile. Continue reading
Today’s ride took me down the hill for my last shuttle ride to campus for the fall semester. I love the last day of classes almost as much as the first, but I’m a little bit distracted right now, so I wasn’t totally on my game. The thing about teaching, though, is that just a few minutes with students and the distraction was gone, replaced by a sweet recognition that I’m pretty flipping lucky to have a job that lets me take the long way to work, and that the work is largely me having interesting conversations with other people about interesting things. And then class ended early, because it’s the last day, and I was back on the shuttle bus to fetch my bike to head up to meet N. for a celebratory beer and cheese plate. I took a lazy route home, mostly walking, because in my distraction I’d left my safety lights at home. I snapped this picture of Catherine Pugh’s Mount Vernon campaign headquarters, lots of those popping up these days. I wonder what sort of person wants to be mayor, given how much cash you have to throw down to make it happen and how many favors you end up owing. I saw Nick Mosby, another guy running for mayor, at the Monument Lighting last week. We were both shoving ourselves through the narrow peoplechute going south from the east side of the park, and I said, “Hey, you’re going to be our next mayor!” He chuckled, “I will if you vote for me,” and then he lamented that he was going to be late for a meeting. I suggested that was pretty bad scheduling, and he nodded firmly, “But it was important for me to be here.” I could practically see the gears turning, don’t act like a meeting’s more important than this community event, this was the right choice, grind grind grind, and I thought wow, he’s going to be on display and calculating his every move for a very, very long time. I bet that just becomes normal at a certain point for those politicians. And then I ran into J., had a quick drink with him and R., and got back on my bike to home. I love that I live in a town small enough to run into everyone like that.
Yesterday’s ride got me up earlier than I’m used to on a Saturday to meet up with folks for Baltimore Heritage’s walking tour of Confederate monuments, led by Eli Pousson. I thought about walking with my bike but thought better of it, locking up to a sign post because there aren’t any bike racks at this park entrance which is all I’m going to say about that.
Today’s ride took me down the hill to work, as per usual, and then back up the hill to home. I took this picture of signs outside the University of Maryland parking garage at Eutaw and West Fayette. No Trespassing Violator Prosecuted, but also, bicycle air is in there. I had a couple of thoughts: first, what a great thing to know, that there’s air here, in case I ever need some. Continue reading
The sun came out for today’s ride up to Roland Park, and it brought the wind with it. I pedaled up and down the hills– it was the kind of wind that won’t let you coast– and felt the difference sunshine makes. I rode through Waverly’s hot spots of violence, through Oakenshaw and Roland Park’s different shirts of violences, and it felt like I was the only one alive out there. And then I was home in my neighborhood, where I snapped this picture if how pretty it looks when you look up. I went to my neighborhood association meeting a couple nights ago. Three was lots of talk about how to get kids of the street, how up break up the gambling rings on the alleys, how to move the loiterers from the stoops and storefronts. I wondered how everyone decided who belongs outside under this sky. It was a short ride, but I saw so many ways people are living under it. We best figure out how to make some peace with don’t of it.
Today’s ride was a walk, the long way to the free bus where I waited for 20 minutes for a bus that’s supposed to come every 15 for a 35 minute ride that’s supposed to take 20. I don’t like to start a ride in the rain, though, so that was my choice. And oh my goodness, it doesn’t take much bus riding to become enraged at what passes for public transit in this city. The self righteous rage is a bit of compensation for it, I suppose. At least I don’t have to own a car. Here’s to the sun coming out tomorrow!
Monday found me back on my bike after a long, restful Thanksgiving break. For four days I didn’t get on my bike or in a car, relying on my feets to move me from my couch to the movies to lunch out and about. It is rare for me to take that many days off the bike, and getting back on was like getting back to myself. I sped down the hill and up the hill, a right and a left and a right and a left, and I was on my way to work again. Continue reading