My Groupon for cryotherapy sessions at Charm City Integrative Health has finally been exhausted, and I’d be lying if I said I was disappointed. I liked the way the freezing cold made my skin feel for the few minutes after it was over, but to be honest, if was REALLY cold in that thing. Now that it’s not a zillion degrees out, it stopped feeling as good.
It had been far too long since I got a ride in that took me on streets I don’t know well to nowhere in particular. Those are the rides that help me feel most like myself, and without them, I was starting to feel not quite at home with myself. Friday afternoon found me with some unexpected time to myself, so I headed west to see what I might see.
Monday was a day of appointments all over the city, which actually means a day of riding all over the city, if you are lucky enough to commute by bike. I started early, joining the morning traffic as I snaked my way south and east and south and east for an appointment at the eastern edge of Fleet Street. I skipped the usual route and got to ride through neighborhoods I normally don’t hit, including a bonus morning skip through the Old Town Mall, suddenly slated for redevelopment, thank goodness. I’m a suspicious li’l worry wart, though, so I should probably hold that thank goodness until we see what the city decides to subsidize there. Continue reading
And sometimes you take three days off of bicycling because your dear sister is in town, and she’s a runner, so you happily walk and take the bus and hope N. will pick you both up and drive you around town. Today, though, what I really needed was to get back on the bike. I didn’t get a chance to ride around until the evening, when I hopped on the bike and headed down to Mount Vernon for a meeting. In a shocking turn of events, especially for a Monday, the meeting ran short, so I had plenty of time to ride around town. I headed down to the main post office because I’ve never been inside that behemoth of Brutalist architecture, plus also I wanted to put a letter in the mail. Continue reading
Monday’s ride took me down the hill–big surprise–and around the Inner Harbor, where I got to use the best of my outside voice to remind pedestrians and Segway drivers (riders?) to Share the Path. I complain a lot about the lack of easy bicycling around the harbor, but I recently tried walking it. The pedestrians are right–the shared path is the only good way around the construction in front of the World Trade Center, and once on a path, hardly anybody gets off it to follow a different one, even once the obstacles are gone. An easy pedal up to Federal Hill for some work with the co-workers, and then I headed home, same outside-voice around the harbor, a left on President to enjoy the worst bike lane in the city on my way to the best one–the Fallsway cycletrack. Continue reading
Ok, first thing’s first: I rode fifty miles today on my bicycle. That just seems so far, like, “nah, let’s not go there–it’s too far to drive” far, and I rode it on my bicycle. I started with a coast down the hill to the light rail station to meet A., R., and A. for a ride out to Linthicum–you can take your full-sized bikes on the train as long as you stay to the back of the car, an easy rule to follow. And then we just rode our bikes forever, and I saw all green hints of spring, unheralded as the pink flowers get all the press. Continue reading
Today’s ride took me over to East Baltimore for a tour of R.’s studio and master’s art project~inflatables, quilted ones that you can sit in and hold workshops and conversations, inside outside~I can’t wait! Her studio’s in MICA’s new-ish building for community art in East Baltimore near Johns Hopkins’ new developments, a neighborhood that as far as I can tell has been the target of a whole lot of ideas. The ride over took me on some zigs and zags, the kind I take if I’m trying to get lost, or if I’m trying to follow directions from the computaltor. Today it was the second, and as soon as I got there I knew where I was. The building’s that kind where unless you have been expressly invited, you can’t figure out how to get inside. Once inside it feels so, so different from where you were a second ago. It’s a community center ostensibly, but it does a very, very good job keeping the community outside until expressly invited in. As I was leaving I snapped the picture of a gate inside a gate with floodlights and a camera, I think, at the other end. I’m not sure what’s going on here, but the gated gate fit right in with the rest of the building. It’s complicated. And then I rode toward Fells Point for sushi, beer, a table to grade on, and the game. Once you cross to Butcher’s Hill, wow, whole different planet. Oh, Baltimore. I graded, ate, drank, hit the highs and lows of the sports fan, and then it was time to race back up the hill to catch the second half with friends. Empty street, empty streets~it’s game time.
Today’s ride took me down the hill–surprise, surprise–for a quick turn at the gym and some groceries before heading back up the hill to home. The whole ride is only 6 miles and only takes about 40 minutes. Driving might be marginally faster, but so, so much less pleasant! Anyway, I stopped to take this picture of the City of Baltimore Car Wash Facility on Fallsway near Gay Street, practically in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express or Sleep Inn or whatever hotel is there, surely regularly disappointing visitors that it’s sharing the block with Healthcare for the Homeless. Continue reading
Today’s ride first took me up the hill to Hampden for a haircut and a writing session before heading back home for more Fun With Laundry. The ride felt strained, and I wasn’t sure if that was because I was still sleepy or because I missed my morning coffee, but the afternoon ride taught me it was because my rear tire was low on air, and I felt the difference as I headed back to meet V. for a little shopping. Oh, a freshly pumped bike, a crispy red apple, and a stroll in the sun–summertime, hurry up! I don’t know, everything looked particularly full of color this afternoon, and that was true for my ride down the hill to Fells Point. I had to use the restroom, so I stopped at a bar for a beer and a snack, having no other choice. As I was locking my bike I noticed the Public Comfort Station across the street. I’m not sure if it’s open, but I hope so. We all have to pee, and yet our public spaces generally refuse to acknowledge that simple fact. And that makes things hard for lots and lots of people. Don’t even get me started on the trouble with sex-segregated toilets. I wish we could figure out a way to make basic facilities available to more people in more places, as did Baltimore, whenever they put in this place. The best part of being here right now, though, is that I get to ride my bike home, and there’s a dinner with friends on the way.
I spent my morning working from home and wondering if the gray skies were going to turn to rain before deciding to just risk getting caught in it and heading out on the bike to run a few errands. I signed up online for an account with my local credit union weeks ago, but I hadn’t gotten my paperwork in the mail. I’m tired of banking with the big guys, so I went to the local SECU branch to open an account in person–you can apparently still do that. Continue reading