Fire Trucks on Display at the Baltimore Convention Center on Pratt Street

Fire Trucks on Display at the Baltimore Convention Center on Pratt StreetAfter a morning finishing one book, starting another, and sending some emails I should have sent months ago it was time to get back on the bike and pedal around in a surprisingly beautiful day. I headed down the hill to the Inner Harbor with an eye toward redeeming a coupon for a trip through the historic ships parked there. Well, that coupon expired in May, so I decided to just wander around to see what I could see. First stop: Harborplace. I’ve never been in there, because why, but today I decided to go check out the McCormick Spice store. Continue reading

Trayvon Martin Protesters Gathered at City Hall To Demand Justice

Protesters Gathered at City HallThe clock clicked to 5:00pm and it was time to slather on the sunscreen and get on the bike for another ride down to McKeldin Square for another rally demanding justice in the Trayvon Martin case. That’s not a demand that’s going to be met following this particular rally, of course, but the rally brings like-minded folks together to feel community in anger, mourning, frustration, but also to revel in the pleasure of the crowd itself. My favorite moment from Sunday’s protest, for example, came when I was locking my bike up to the racks in the Inner Harbor (there’s a rack! As N. would say, wowwwwwwwwwwww!). Continue reading

The Star Spangled Banner in the Distance at Fort McHenry

The Star Spangled Banner in the Distance at Fort McHenryI left my car in Federal Hill on Friday, so today I had to ride my bike over there to fetch it. First, though, an early ride to Waverly to meet J. and C. to tend our young beehive. Bees are amazing. Their wings are lace-thin and always moving, and the whole hive vibrates, hums, and gives off a waxy heat. Today we tried to redirect some of their combing and in the process, had to remove some comb (and got to taste the honey), delicious.
Continue reading

Looking Up From Mount Vernon Square

Looking Up From Mount Vernon SquareSummer school classes were finished and it was the Fourth of July and we all had the day off and the weather was hot and the sky was blue. The morning started with a walk and a bus ride and a walk with N., who clearly needs a bicycle. Then again, if you aren’t in a hurry–and we most assuredly were not–why not amble, wait, ride, and amble? Continue reading

Parade Crowds on Charles, Just North of Eager

Crowds in Mount Vernon for Pride on Charles Just North of EagerSaturday started with a lovely visit from M. and J. and a steady amble down the hill to Mount Vernon to check out the preparations for Baltimore’s Pride parade before walking back north for brunch and to swap out the walking for the bike. Continue reading

Crowds of Bicyclists at Patterson Park

Cyclists Resting at Patterson ParkSo, I mostly like to ride a bike alone. I think. I mean, I usually ride a bike alone, and I love riding a bike, so I must prefer to ride alone, right? But then I started riding with one other person, or maybe two, and that was really fun, especially when we got to stop for lunch. The group ride from Ocean City was some of the most fun I’ve ever had on a bike…hmmm, maybe I don’t only want to ride alone. And then there’s Baltimore Bike Party, a growing event that can have over 1,000 riders tracing the streets of Baltimore–that’s a whole different ballgame, and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be into it because of crowds and fear of getting locked up with other riders and not being in charge of the route and all that jazz. When R. asked if I was really going (every month I say I’m going to go, but I never do),  and if so, could we go together, I figured now was as good a time as any to challenge my own assumption that as much as I love the idea of a massive bike parade through this fine city, it’s not really for me. Continue reading

President Hrabowski Speaking at UMBC’s Graduation at the Mariner Center

President Hrabowski Speaking at UMBC's Graduation at the Mariner CenterThursday’s ride was a short one, just down the hill to the Mariner Center for UMBC’s undergraduate graduation ceremony. I know a lot of folks who find these ceremonies long and boring after awhile, and though I need to learn to smuggle in water and extra snacks under my gown, I still love a good graduation–pomp, circumstance, costumes, floppy hats, shiny faces, extended and even more extended families, reminders that The Children Are Our Future, and then, of course, the endless list of names. For individual graduates, though, it’s always the very first time, and I still get excited to celebrate, especially for the students I’ve had in classes or as advisees. Continue reading

An Empty Ocean Parkway Near Avenue N

An Empty Ocean Parkway Near Avenue NOh, today was just perfect. E. and I woke up early, choked down bananas and coffee, and headed over to the crowded start of the Brooklyn Half Marathon. E. has been training for this for a long time, and it’s her first race at this distance. There were 25,000 other runners all lined up in projected pace order stretching blocks and blocks down Eastern Avenue as music and aimless chatter spilled out of loudspeakers as we both jumped up and down waiting for the start. Continue reading

Her Fantastic Cats Performing at Bearings Bicycle Project at Greenmount & 26th

Her Fantastic Cats Performing at Bearings Bicycle Project on Greenmount & 26thI woke up early on Saturday and decided right away to do absolutely no work-related tasks that day. No emails, no grading, no reading or writing, nothing. I needed a good day off, and I took it. I lazed about for a bit and then layered up for a ride down the hill and around the harbor to meet J. and her parents at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Oh, it felt so good to be flying down the hill on empty streets, the morning fog still hanging on everything taller than a row house. It was quiet and still, and I wondered to myself, how do people who don’t ride bikes or walk around know where they are, like really know? Outside of a car you have no choice but to pay attention. But anyway. Continue reading

BMX Rider at Carroll Park Skatepark at Bayard & Herkimer

It’s cold and windy in Baltimore, but I needed to go on a bike ride today, badly. I remembered my father’s insistence that “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing,” piled on my wool and layers, and hopped on the bike to see what was happening out there today. I flew down the hill to downtown and then took an unexpected left to follow the anti-marriage equality truck to a rally at War Memorial Plaza that was ostensibly “Not a protest. Not a festival. Not a rally. Not a time for speeches, sermons, stumping or pontification.” Continue reading