Join the Conversation Sign in Front of the Lee-Jackson Monument at Wyman Park and Art Museum Drives

Join the Conversation Sign in Front of the Lee-Jackson Monument at Wyman Park and Art Museum DrivesThursday’s ride took me through the thick air of our humid heat wave to Hampden to meet L. for lunch. We know each other on the internet, and we’ve got a lot in common, it seems, so we decided to finally go offline and actually prove that we are bodies in real life. Turns out we are, and we both like to eat at Golden West, which we did before splitting ways, him to his writing hovel and me to a bar to do some grading and sip on some pumpkin pie flavored sangria–grading makes a girl do outrageous things. Continue reading

View of the Potomac Near the Catoctin Aqueduct

View of the Potomac Nearish Harper's FerryI’ve been doing plenty of around-town riding lately–to work and back, errands, doctor’s appointments–but last weekend I got to put my bike on the back of R.’s truck, all cozied up to her Surly Long Haul Trucker, for a drive out toward Harper’s Ferry and a ride along the C&O Canal. We had a general plan, but then exited early to follow signs to the canal. We weren’t sure we were going the right way, but then we saw the railroad tracks–a sure sign a canal is in the area. Continue reading

View From Watersedge Park in Dundalk at Bullneck Road & Dundalk Avenue

View From Watersedge Park in Dundalk at Bullneck Road & Dundalk AvenueTuesday was one of those perfect early fall days that feels like late summer. I got up early and got my day’s tasks done, hit the gym with my favorite gym buddy, O., joined her for lunch on her sunny back porch, and then it was all me and my bike. I headed south and east and south and east, a quick stop for froyo at a place where I got myself a gift certificate a few months ago–planting a present for future me–and then kept heading south and east, under the freeway, a left and a right and then I was in Dundalk, riding its bike lane which is also a parking lane, but I’ll take what I can get. Continue reading

Trash Loader Peeking Out Over Trees Along the Gwynns Falls Trail Between Washington & Wilkens

Trash Loader Peeking Out Over Trees Along the Gwyns Falls Trail Between Washington & WilkensAfter days and days of oppressive heat we had a cool one Wednesday, light humidity, and it was perfect for my bike commute to campus for a quick meeting. The ride to and from easily took three times as long as the meeting itself, which is a good ration of biking to working, if you as me. I took it easy, preparing for the taking it easy part of next week’s bike tour, and I did a great job pedaling slow, looking around, taking it all in. There’s this part of the Gwynns Falls Trail that goes through a tunnel and then up a decent, if short, incline. I’m terrible at this part of the trail. Continue reading

Blue Skies and Clouds Above the Gwynns Falls Trail Between Washington & Wilkens

Blue Skies and Clouds Above the Gwynns Falls Trail Between Washington & WilkensI spent most of last week riding my bicycle around–errands, work, getting miles in. I could tell I was riding a bit too much–I was starting to get kinda agitated and insomniacal, signs of overtraining, so I decided I’d pedal it back a bit, following my pops’ rule: whatever you do should make you want to get back on your bike again. And then it was Thursday, and I had a good ride out and back to work planned–the bonus of commuting by bike is that your long rides work themselves in without even trying. Continue reading

View From the Second Switchback on the Gwynns Falls Trail Heading Down to Woodberry From Druid Hill Park

View From the Second Switchback on the Gwynns Falls Trail Heading Down to Woodberry From Druid Hill ParkThursday’s ride was a lazy one, up to Druid Hill Park for a few laps around the reservoir. Sometimes I just need a break from the constant car battle to just pedal and pedal, around and around, without all that thinking about how not to get hit by cars. I did a few laps and then headed up the trail toward the zoo and the rest of the trail. This park sits right between Hampden and Mondawmin, and those two neighborhoods are so, so different. Hampden is predominantly white, and has been since its mill days when the hiring rules were native-born whites only. Mondawmin, on the other hand, is predominantly African American, home to Douglass High School, which turned out graduates like Thurgood Marshall back when it was the segregated high school for Black students on the west side. Now it’s got its share of struggles, thanks in part to the way when white folks are asked to share, they just take all the balls and go home. Continue reading

View From the Bridge at the Northern End of the Grist Mill Trail in Patapsco Valley State Park

20150708_130050Last Wednesday’s ride was another longer one, up to campus for a mid-morning meeting, and then back to Patapsco Valley State Park, this time to find a trail inside the park, unlike Monday’s ride. A teensy bit of advanced planning can do wonders, but that’s not a lesson I seem able to learn. I also failed to learn the lesson that the GPS is not always right, so my ride out of campus led me, for a disturbingly long time, out on the shoulder of I195. It’s UMBC Boulevard for a hot minute, and then there’s allegedly a way to stay on that street and then take a ramp up to Selford. I’ve seen our cross country team coming back from this direction, so I’m sure that’s possible, but I couldn’t figure it out. Continue reading