I was on a beach vacation in Florida all last week, so no bike riding–just beach sitting and wave bobbing for me. It was a glorious treat, but I was happy to get back to Baltimore, too. I’ve ridden my bike every day this week, because that’s what I do when I’m going places, and it’s too hot to wait for the bus.
Today’s ride took me up to Roland Park for a much-needed therapy appointment. My goodness, I am grateful for my therapist, the resources to pay her, and the complete lack of shame about my mental health and my need for support. I really needed today’s appointment. And it’s the only thing that would get me riding up that hill today. I spent most of my ride being grateful that I have enough space from cancer that I had other things I wanted to talk about today. It’s pretty great to go from “I’m anxious I might die” to “I’m anxious about things that don’t deserve my anxiety, could you help me out with that?”
The rest of the ride I spent thinking about how the cars get to be all snuggled up against the curb while the bike lane–and my body and bicycle–serve as a buffer zone for them. This bike lane has been redesigned multiple times, and so much money has been poured into it because of the angry voices of some of the super rich people who live in this neighborhood. I can’t imagine, say, Monument Street getting paved and repaved and paved again because people don’t like the bike lane putting their parked cars closer to traffic.
Oh wait. The new Center/Monument cycletrack got a quick redesign, pushing bikes onto the sidewalk for a few blocks to free up street parking in front of a church for a few hours on Sundays. The lack of leadership in this town is wild.
But today I used my body to protect some cars, had a good therapy session, and then rode back down the hill and over to Remington for a work date with a friend. I’m frustrated at the fits and starts of infrastructure that makes us all safer (I mean, is there a time of day that Roland Avenue actually needs two lanes in each direction?), and I’m grateful for what we’ve got and my own ability and confidence to take the lane and ride wherever I want to ride. I know on a cellular level how quickly any ride can go from safe to tragic, but I don’t let that fear keep me from doing what I love–riding my bike around town to see what’s happening.
And fall is just around the corner–my favorite riding season. Yes, it’s good, good to be home.