I got off work early on Monday because sometimes my life is incredibly blessed. After grabbing lunch in downtown Baltimore I got back on my bike and headed out for a ride before heading home. I headed west on Lombard and zig zagged up to Mulberry to see if that new bike path on Franklin runs up the other side of the Highway to Nowhere too–and it does. Continue reading
Tuesday’s ride took me down the hill and to the left for another visit to the cryotherapy chamber. It was already hot as balls, as they say, and by the time I got to the place I was totally ready to get frozen. After I left I tooled over to Potomac Street to check out the status of the new protected bike lane the city’s putting in there–or was putting in there before neighbors complained so loudly it was cancelled, and then put in again after cyclists sued the city for cancelling it. The final design is, I think, still up for negotiation, but last I heard the protected two way cycletrack is staying, and parking is changing to make room for fire trucks, the main concern of those angry neighbors.
Tuesday’s ride downtown to meet the shuttle to work was a chilly one. It was that kind of cold that makes your eyes water and freeze over, the kind that makes the cold of the helmet buckle almost painful against red skin. The good thing about biking, though, is after about ten minutes, you’re all warmed up, and that takes the edge off. It took more like fifteen minutes on this early morning, but it just felt good to be back on the bike and part of the world in that way that is so very specific to being on a bike. Continue reading
I had a ticket to the Sugarloaf Crafts Fair and decided to use it on Sunday. That’s my Day of Rest, so I didn’t feel like riding all the way out there, opting instead to take the bike on the light rail for a little weekend multimodal commuting. It was easy peasy, a station less than a mile from my house, six or so stops to a station less than a mile from the fairgrounds. There were no bike racks, but I still got to park right in front for a whirl through aisle after aisle of jewelry, wooden spoons, metal art, and homemade drink mixes that will turn that bottle of wine into a refreshing summertime slushie. I made a stop on my way out for a drink and some tater tots at the local sports-watching establishment to round out my day in Timonium, and then I headed back to the light rail station. And then a guy let me know the trains weren’t stopping at that station for some reason, I’m guessing so they could get down to Camden Yards to collect the disappointed fans from the O’s game I’d just finished watching at the bar. Sigh. Continue reading
Tonight’s ride took me down the hill, around the Inner Harbor, and up again to enjoy some wine and gossip with A. and K. For the first time in awhile I had my bike shoes on, and it was such a treat to sling my leg over the top tube and clip in and be really attached to the thing. We flew down the street, a song in my head and a hard gear so I could pedal on the downhill. I was going about as fast as I go, and I had a few of those flashes where I remember I’m teetering on two wheels, in the street, with cars. How do I stay balanced? I figured trying to actually figure it out would cause me to fall over, so I shook it out of my head and trusted the whole thing to be just like riding a bicycle. Continue reading
It was practically springtime in New York today, I swear, and lucky me had the day free and my sweet little bicycle to ride about town. I carried the Brompton down four flights, unfolded it, and 15 quick minutes later I was eating chewy yeasted donuts with E. and comparing notes on bikes, gentrification, and reality television. I let her take Brompty for a quick spin and then I headed toward the Manhattan Bridge-the Brooklyn’s too busy, and I love the separation of bikes and peds on that thing. I pedaled my way up the hill of the bridge and felt simply joyous. I know, cheesy, right? But that’s how it feels to zip along in the sky, looking over the pure density of this place. And then I was unceremoniously dumped into Chinatown. Fellow bikers were zipping by me to run the red lights, cars were pulling into the bike lane and unceremoniously throwing open doors, and pedestrians were running willy-nilly into the streets–oh, city noise! Get me back on the bridge, back to safety! I negotiated the buzz, enjoyed a lovely afternoon with J., swapping reading lists and stories about local politics in a variety of locals, and then it was back on the bike and following the signs to the Willaimsburg Bridge. This one is also divided for cyclists and pedestrians on our own level above the cars and subways, and oh my, it is such a treat. Please make all bridges double decker thank you very much. I let the bike lanes take me home, a lovely end to a lovely weekend of biking around NYC.
Well, I left those cool Maryland climes for a weekend in New Orleans. N. lent me her bike, and after tonight’s parade I rode up, trying to remember where to take a right, and then I was at the post off, almost there, LaSalle which is Simon Bolivar which is Loyola. Peanut Park is still there~is this how we’re getting parks from now on?~ and so’s the Chicken Mart and so’s the basketball court sponsored by the Hornets~going to have to change that now. It’s the same, but then there’s a bike lane on Loyola and a streetcar stop. There’s a *streetcar* there now? It’s a Super Bowl thing, I think, but it was nice to see that sort of change. The cool thing about leaving a place is you get to come back and visit.
It’s the new year and I’m back from one final vacation trip–an overnight with S. at the beach. Oh, it was just a perfect mini vacation! But today it’s time to get back to work, so I woke up early, did some reading, packed my lunch, and headed to work, taking my Brompty to the train station. Yep, the car’s still sitting at the mechanic’s in Virginia, so its the multimodal commute for me. It takes about six minutes to race down the hill to the station, and then just 14 or so minutes on the train, and then another 15 minutes on the bike to campus. Continue reading
My dear New Orleans friends D. and M. are in DC for a few days this week on a work trip, so I took my non-teaching day to head down to corridor for a little taste of home. We weren’t going to be riding bikes, so I left Brompty at home and just took the Surly to Penn Station where I searched for a spot on the couple of bike racks before awkwardly locking up to the side of one. Continue reading
My car is in the shop–yes, I own a car–getting itself fixed from the break-in it suffered in June. After months of driving around with tape for a back window and opening the driver’s side door through the passenger side, on Monday the door wouldn’t open at all, and it was finally time to face the price tag and get the thing fixed. All of that meant no car for the commute to work, so I got to give the multi-modal commute a try. Continue reading