Looking Up at the Blue Sky Above St. Mary’s Park at Paca & Druid Hill

Picture of a blue sky with a whisper of white clouds. A tree and a lamp post are also in the picture.

I was so, so tired by the end of last week. I start every week with a to do list that seems pretty manageable, and yet all it takes is a couple extra tasks getting dropped on the plate to throw me out of whack. By the time I hit Friday I was toast, and when I finished my tasks for the day, the last thing I wanted to do was ride my bike somewhere. But I was meeting some friends and collaborators for an outdoor meeting in the park, so I had to suck it up and ride my bike down the hill.

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The Marley Station Mall Parking Lot from the B&A Trail

I have been riding my touring bike for over a decade, and what my rides look like have changed in that time, because I have changed. It has always been my daily commuter from day one, because I love traveling by bike, and I hate parking cars. Seven years ago I used it to train for and ride my first century ride, and five years ago I used it as it is meant to be used–for a self contained tour of the Adirondacks. I asked my dad how to train for that tour. He told me to go on longer and longer rides, and then go on the two week tour, because the best way to get in shape for bike touring is bike touring. He was right.

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Mural at Pop Farm at 14 Schroeder Street

In truly thrilling news, my sister got a bicycle! I remember trying to get her on my old cruiser bike in New Orleans ten years ago, and she started panicking with fear after less than two revolutions of the pedal. Much like our dad bailed on teaching us to drive after one or both of us freaked out, I took the bikes back in and we moved around New Orleans on foot instead.

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Looking Down the Pier at Fells Point

Looking Down the Pier at Fells Point

Monday was Memorial Day, and instead of hanging out with family in Michigan as planned, the ladyfriend and I were home in Baltimore, as usual. I’m still at home almost all the time. I go out every day for some exercise and sunshine, and once every ten days or so I go to the grocery store, but otherwise my life is completely home and online.

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Empty Lot Along Druid Hill Park Lake Drive

Empty Lot Along Druid Hill Park Lake Drive

It’s Saturday, and it feels like I’m in the slow beginning of a disaster movie, where the characters are all going about their daily business with no idea what’s ahead. Except we know what’s ahead. We see what has happened in China, Korea, Italy, Iran, France, Spain, and, like, Seattle. We see what is happening here as the case count ticks up. Schools are closed, workers are told to work at home, the Department of Defense has banned even domestic travel. The writing is on the wall, and yet.

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Park Construction at Redwood & Greene

This week has felt like a thousand years, as I’m sure it has for most of us. We started getting warning emails about taking our teaching online last week, but it’s not easy to figure out how to respond to those warnings. I’ll go online when I need to go online, but until that moment, there’s not a whole lot to do. I mean, get extra training, rewrite the syllabus, etc. etc., but nope, I spent that time fretting and talking with the students who made it to class on Tuesday about what we’re all afraid of and what we think we should do. That was basically it for preparation.

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Cherry Blossoms Along Lombard Between Greene & Penn

Cherry Blossoms Along Lombard Between Greene & Penn

It’s the end of February, which means spring is around the corner. It’s hard to be excited about spring when we barely had a winter. I wore gloves on today’s bike ride downtown, but it was one of only a handful of times I’ve felt the need to slip them on. I should have slipped them on more times than I actually did so, but sometimes I have to learn a lesson over and over again in perpetuity, apparently. But spring is here, as evidenced by these cherry blossoms in front of the nursing school on Lombard.

Dead Rat in the Maryland Cycletrack at 24th St.

Dead rat Today’s ride took me down the hill via the Maryland Avenue cycletrack, a right on Lombard to the bike racks at Greene to pick up the shuttle to work. I take this ride all the time, and I know its asphalt really well. it took me a few years to figure out the phantom drop just before Saratoga, but I mostly know it all by heart now. I still keep my eyes down, though, because you never know. And today it was this sad dead rat, looking sleepy but most definitely dead, in the middle of the right lane around 24th Street. I went around it and kept on my way. I locked up my bike, headed to campus, worked and worked and worked, and then turned around, got on the shuttle, walked to my bike, and headed uphill.

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Abandoned Mattresses Against a House at 32nd & Calvert

Abandoned Mattresses Against a House at 32nd & Calvert It’s been a minute since I blogged, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been riding my bicycle. When it’s the way you get around, you always get to ride your bicycle. I’ve had some fun rides, but mostly it’s just me, pedaling to and from work, to and from the gym, to and from meeting friends here and there. It’s such a gift to be at ground level when getting around, instead of stuck inside a car, behind all the other cars. This is especially true on days like yesterday, when downtown Baltimore was in complete gridlock due to a suspicious vehicle leaking gasoline, and then yet another water main break. I took the shuttle into the city from work, hopped off at the second stop, and two blocks later was on my bike and heading home, able to walk and ride around the traffic. Suck it, cars!

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Bike Lane on Roland Avenue North of Coldspring

Bike Lane on Roland Avenue North of Coldspring 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.

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