View Down the Northbound Railroad Tracks at the Halethorpe MARC Station

View Down the Northbound Railroad Tracks at the Halethorpe MARC StationIt’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

DC’s Fancy Bikestation at Union Station

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

Brompty Tucked Away on the MARC Train Between West Baltimore & Penn Station

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

Do Not Sit On Steps at 41st & Edgehill

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Friday’s ride took me an easy couple miles up the hill and over to Hampden for my monthly book club discussion and snackfest, this time hosted by S. ans A., who dressed in colonial garb in keeping with the historical novel’s time period and theme. I felt underdressed in my uniform of skirt and tank top, and overtired from a really long week at work, but once I got on my bike and headed out, I caught my third of fourth wind of the day. I rode my usual Hampden route, stopped for a bottle of wine, and then rode with some traffic on 41st before locking up to a bus stop sign on a residential streets. This sign was affixed there too, reminding riders not to sit down in a residential neighborhood, because that’s private property. I wonder how many Hampden neighborhood petitions, phone trees, transit meetings and emails had to be exchanged for this sign to be put up there, and I wonder how many daily huffs-n-puffs still happen when people sit down somewhere other than the one bench to wait the legendary wait times that are part of most bus systems. Or maybe nobody around here takes the bus, and it’s not “a problem” yet. Private property, public needs~seems to me that’s the real problem. And then I went inside, ate, talked, laughed, and drank, and then I rode home. Fall weather’s barely teasing, and I was a sweaty mess after just 20 minutes out there. Soon, soon, but for now it’s still hot as blazes.

View of the Halethorpe Train Station From the Francis Avenue Overpass

It was a crazy beautiful day today, so you can imagine how I felt about being in my office all day and into the evening with meetings, interviews, and student events instead of out pedaling around on my bicycle. I had a gap in my schedule between 5:30 and 7:00, so brainstorm! I brought my bike with me so I could sneak in a ride. I finally got out of the office closer to six, but there was still plenty of time to do a test ride from campus to the MARC train station in Halethorpe, a mere 2.2 miles, in preparation for the multi-modal commute the clown bicycle will enable. (Yes, that’s my one track mind you see running its paces.) Continue reading

Bike Parking at Penn Station in Baltimore

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I woke up early early, threw on some grown up clothes, and wrapped my reflective safety triangle belt around myself and my bag before hopping on the bike and flying down the hill to the train station for a trip to DC and an all-day meeting. It was dark and cold and my eyes watered as I groggily pedaled along, and I was happy it was a short ride. I snapped this picture of the nearly full bike rack. Yep, ride to the station-parking’s expensive, and so are cabs. I went a lot of places today and never had to get in a car, and that’s just how I like it. Now we’ll just see if the bike’s still there when my evening train arrives.

Solidarity With the People of Egypt and a Red Streetcar on Canal & Poydras

Today’s ride started off under a clear blue sky with a bright sun–no more frozen precipitation for us, thank you very much. I headed over to C. and P.’s house for a baby shower–congrats, C. and R.!–and then rode down to meet up with a rally some folks organized to stand in solidarity with the people of Egypt. I spotted a crowd on Poydras and headed over with my bicycle to join them. Continue reading