Baltimore has been “enjoying” a heat wave for the past week, though if I’m being honest with myself, it’s just sneak-peeking July and August for us. I absolutely HATE the heat and humidity. I’ll adjust, but being outside in the summer is just so much less pleasant for me than being outside in the winter, and it makes me cranky.
But I like being outside, so I’ve just been outside and cranking about it. Running in this weather is a non-starter for me. It’s just not worth it, so I’ll wait for a break in the heat and use this time to get back on my bike. At least on my bike I make my own breeze.
Tuesday was my third day in a row on the bike, building back to ye olden pre-covid times when I rode almost every day because I was doing wild things like “going to the office” and “meeting friends for lunch inside restaurants.” I’m back to doing both of those things, and I’m glad it’s got me riding around more regularly again.
Tuesday’s ride took me down the hill and over to Fells Point to meet my ladyfriend and her dad, in town for just two days, for lunch. I prepped for the ride by dipping myself in sunscreen, giving it 15 minutes to soak in, putting on the lightest clothes I could find, and filling up my water bottle. Tuesday was a bit overcast, and just that change made the ride more tolerable. (I know, I’m writing a lot about weather right now, but that’s what’s happening in my life right now!) I zipped down the hill, hopped in the Fallsway bike lane, through Jonestown, a left on Gough because they’ve finally moved the construction up the block to Bank Street, and through Perkins Homes to Broadway for my right turn and a straight shot to the water.
It’s hot, as I’ve mentioned, so I checked the windows for AC units to see if anyone was still living there. I saw a couple folks chilling on the porch, but I don’t think anyone is living there now. I also don’t know why I assumed there’d be AC units, even if people were still living here. Baltimore can’t even manage cooling systems for schools, many of which have closed this week due to heat. Heat is deadly dangerous, and everyone should have access to cooling mechanisms of some sort in their homes, schools, and workplaces.
And then I was locking my bike up near the water and under cover. I stood there to enjoy the shade for a minute, and then joined the family for lunch with this amazing view. We ate and watched tug boats move a sugar ship out and on its way. We watched birds take off and land on the water, told stories about the Pendry Hotel, Homicide, Frederick Douglass and Isaac Meyers, the kayak club, and I remembered my store credit at the running store and made plans to pick up new shoes. I’m not going to run until it cools off a bit, but someday it will cool off a bit, and I needed new shoes.
After lunch we took the free boat across this water to Locust Point, walked around, got snoballs, and ducked in and out of rain that didn’t cool anything off. We caught the boat back, I hopped on my bike, and they only beat me home in the car by five minutes. It was a totally comfortable ride, especially compared to Sunday’s ride, and that made me unspeakably happy. I will acclimate enough to take pleasure moving my body outside this summer. I got home sweaty and joyful, more rides, more snoballs, more summer. I’m glad we had a visitor to remind me how much beauty there is in this city–it’s not actually all just a heat haze.