Fences and Barbed Wire at Fallsway and Madison

20170712_151039-1 Wednesday’s ride took me down the hill really early so I could hop the 7am bus out to campus. It was my turn to send Greetings From the Faculty at new student orientation, and when you don’t have a car, that means you’ve got to leave your house at 6:45 am to get there on time. That early it’s still a little bit cool out, and it was a pleasant roll down Guilford with the early bird cars and buses, until I got downtown. There’s just no way around the unpleasantness that is gridlock in a downtown core, but until we agree to move work all over so we don’t all have to pass through here to get where we’re going, we’re stuck with it.

I took the tiny bike lane up to Pratt Street and locked up outside the hotel on the corner instead of heading west. I was tired, so knocking those few blocks off my commute was a treat. I went to work, did my rounds, and then it was back to the bike for a ride up to Federal Hill to meet A. for lunch. At this point it was wickedly afternoon-hot, and I felt a bit gaspy as I went uphill for maybe two blocks. It was even hotter when I headed home, and uphill the whole way, but the reward was not having to work anymore, so that was a serious motivator.

I took the same route I always do, ding-dinging slowly around the harbor, a left through Power Plant, and up President Street to Fallsway. I’ve ridden this route hundreds of times, and today I noticed the barbed wire around the building behind the other building in this picture. You can’t see it here, but it was a reminder that the services for people who are unemployed or in poverty are right next to the cages for those same people. Incarceration is the individualization of social disorder, and that this is true is written all over the landscapes of my daily rides to and from through this city. That stayed on my mind as I huffed and puffed and sweated the rest of my way home, so much to do, so much to learn, so much, so much. And then I was home and collapsed on the couch and sucked down a whole bunch of water. It’s deadly out there, in so many ways.

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