I don’t do new year’s resolutions, but I do like to set a few intentions. They are never about how much I eat or weigh, though the internet sure thinks that’s what I care about. I did set a resolution in 2014 to floss every day, and I have only missed one day since then–on a trip to Jackpot, Nevada with my mom. I am so used to partners packing the toiletries (thanks, PK, E., and N. over the years) that it didn’t even occur to me to pack my own. I remember walking the casino floors as panic set in (there’s nowhere to buy floss in Jackpot, NV after 10pm) interrupting slot players to beg for floss. The looks I got let me know I was going to have to wait until morning, when I ran across the street to the general store and then stood outside their door flossing with relief.
So yeah, I can be a bit compulsive. It means I need to be very careful with my intentions. For 2023 I want to continue my meditation practice, because nothing comes close to meditation for training my anxious self to tolerate anxiety. I want to keep my gratitude journal–corny, I know, but I love it. And I want to ride my bike and cultivate my bike friendships, so I signed up to the century ride for Moveable Feast. The ride is in May, and I’m already training. I could probably ride 100 miles today if my life depended on it, but I want to ride that 100 miles and still want to ride again. That means I have to train. It has been a long time since I had a plan or a goal related to my bike, and I’m excited to be back to that. And I get to be on a team with R. and R., neighbors who are just so freaking cool. If you want to donate to support our fundraiser to bring nutritious meals to people with chronic illnesses experiencing food insecurity, please do so here!
This week’s long ride was 20 miles, and I was apprehensive about being able to do it, especially since it has been so windy. The only way to know if you can do it is to do it, so I headed out on Tuesday afternoon with those miles on my mind, no real plan how to get them in. I headed east toward Lake Montebello, where emergency construction has closed the loop. The loop has been closed at Druid Hill Park for so long I barely remember it, so now there’s nowhere to go to bike mindlessly in a circle. It’s such a drag.
But I did my half circle before heading down the new path to the Herring Run Trail, my favorite place in Baltimore these days. Sure, you have to cross some busy streets, but if you keep your eyeballs straight ahead, you can feel like you are in a bit of wilderness. The loop from my place to the trail and back again is ten miles, but I didn’t want to do it twice, so I decided to bike north and south of the trail near the end, to see what I could see.
And then I crossed Sinclair Lane and ended up zooming around the Orchard Ridge community. The houses are the candy colors and styles I associate with Habitat for Humanity, or the mixed income public housing developments that replaced–displaced?–neighborhoods in New Orleans and Baltimore. Orchard Ridge appears to be neither. And I was so glad to be in a neighborhood I don’t know and had to find out about.