The Bar at the HandleBar Cafe on Caroline Between Fleet & Eastern

20170629_145154 The heat’s turned back on in Baltimore, which made me all the happier to end my bike ride in Canton for another session in the cryotherapy chamber. The ride down was easy breezy now that I knew where I was going and didn’t have to check my phone for directions. I headed down Guilford, veered left for the protected cycletrack along Fallsway, walked my bike as instructed to the sidewalk just past Fayette before pedaling south and east and south and east until making a couple of wrong turns and ending up at my new favorite summer spot for freezing myself. I was all flush with that feeling of gratitude that I can ride a bicycle–it really is the very best.

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Banana Peel in a Tree at 32nd & St. Paul

Banana Peel in a Tree at 32nd & St. PaulToday’s ride took me down the hill in the dark to meet up with R. and D. for dinner. We’re all still kinda new in Baltimore, and it was good to talk to folks who are also trying to figure out how and whether to love this place. You know what makes me love Baltimore? Talking about what I love about Baltimore. And that’s what I did, and I left wanting to cancel everything and ride my bike around everywhere and see how it’s all been since I last saw it. But it was already getting late and some of us have to work tomorrow, so I just rode back up to Charles Village, a quick stop to see the neighbors at the bar, enjoying a football rout. I snapped this picture of a banana peel lodged in a tree on St. Paul Street. I wonder what *that* guy was doing. And then I put the hat back on and pedaled back down the hill to home, learning yet again that even if it feels like you don’t need your gloves if you’re only going a few blocks, you really need your gloves.

Beers on a Bar in Fells Point at Broadway & Aliceanna

Drinks on a Bar in Fells Point at Aliceanna & BroadwaySunday’s ride took me over to Waverly to meet friends for a drive to Leakin Park before taking the bike back down the hill for a quick swim. Wow, swimming is hard and wonderful. And then it was game time. I had a coupon for a chain restaurant in Fells Point, so I biked over there and grabbed the last spot at the bar, ordering up something they called “pizza” and a beer. And then a second beer, because the Miller Lite Girls were there in tight bedazzled v-neck t-shirts handing out free beers. Continue reading

View of the Harbor From the Waterfront Kitchen

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Friday was one of those workdays when my heart wasn’t really in it, and then there were meetings and then I couldn’t find my wallet and blah~it was time for the week to be over and for me to be on my bicycle, so that’s where I was, down the hill and to the left to join V. and A. for drinks and this delicious mushroom cheese toast thing at the restaurant on the waterfront. We toasted and laughed and complained and took note, over and over again, of just how pretty it is here. And then it was back on the bike to dodge the Inner Harbor promenade traffic for dinner with S. and friends and then BASEBALL. Oh, baseball, I love you. I had to leave before the game ended-gasp-but I could tell we were still winning because shouts were coming from open doors and stoops and bars all along the route home because last night we were all O’s fans, an easy thing to be right now and highly recommended. In a car I would have listened to the game on the radio, but this worked too, and I got that sense of racing as I sped home to see who won. Up the hill and back home with more baseball starting Sunday. Things could be worse, yes indeed.

The Brompton Under a Table at the Wonderland Ballroom at 1101 Kenyon

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Almost every bicycle ride I take is a pleasure, even if I’m just retracing the same old paths on my way to another boring errand. I even enjoy those sweltering rides in New Orleans, the ones at dusk along the Mississippi River, which sounds romantic until you know how many bugs you’ll eat just trying to breathe. But hey, I just really, really like riding a bicycle. Today’s ride in DC rush hour traffic with record heat, grinding up hills, not sure where I was headed…let’s just say I’ve had better times. Bu what felt good was just folding up the Brompton and tucking it under the table at a bar and sucking down glasses of ice water, a beer, and a surprisingly tasty lentil salad, knowing that I won’t always be this lost in this town if I keep riding this little bicycle that is going to help me figure out yet another city. Yeah, this’ll work.

Crumbling Bricks at Cox & Falls

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Today’s ride took me up past Hampden to meet folks at a bar to enjoy some playoff football. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the Ravens are in, and they’re my team, now that the Saints are out after last night’s heartbreaker. It was chilly chilly, so I rode as fast as I could and took advantage of the sun and the hills to warm myself up. I passed a lot of people in purple, already tipsy with the day. There as a drink, some. Fried food, and a whole lot of yelling, and then it was time to roll back down the hill. I snapped this picture of the remnants of the brick wall of some ghost of a building. If it were a different wall, this might be an Historical Landmark, but here it’s just another remnant of a past Baltimore–so, so many of these. In the light and with that sky, though, today it looked beautiful. I pedaled home and was reminded that the downhill is much, much colder. I best get used to it.

Beer and TVs at a Sports Bar in the Can Company

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It’s nearing the end of the calendar year, and I have money in my FSA that I just haven’t had time to spend. That means it’s time for another trip to the spectacles shop, and none too soon, seeing as how the right temple of my current pair of glasses is held together by first aid tape. S. and I picked out my frames last week, so today I bundled up and hopped on the bike to the Can Company for the one hour eyeglass shoppe to put lenses in for me. But then my prescription was out of date, so I waited fo an appointment. And then I waited some more and some more, and finally, four hours later, I am looking sharp, as are things in a distance, and a whole bunch of grading is in the bag, and now it’s time to visit this weird sports bar for a well-earned beer and a sandwich. All these kinds of sports bars are the same, and tonight this predictable sameness is just what I want before I hop back on the bike and shiver home. The day was lost in a single errand, but I mostly did the errand so I could take a bike ride, so I say, success! Rides of five miles or less? Take your bike. But note to self: it is time to cover those ears, for real.