Looking Up the Railroad Tracks on Bush, Just After Severn

Today’s ride took me over to campus for the program’s end-of-the-year picnic, this time with dogs. I took my regular route down the hill, but I decided to stay on Dolphin, just to see where it would take me. The city isn’t in the kind of grid I’m used to, so I’m not always sure which streets are running which directions, but I had a hunch that if I stayed where I was, I might end up on Harlem Ave., which seemed increasingly likely as I crossed Eutaw and Druid Hill and Pennsylvania. Continue reading

View of the Jones Falls Expressway From Druid Hill Park

Today was one of those rare empty days where I didn’t have a thing to do and nothing planned, so of course I couldn’t figure out what to do with myself. I stayed in bed reading with cats for as long as I could, but then I was restless. It’s cold and windy, so a bike ride didn’t exactly sound appealing. What’s a girl to do? Oh, I know–layer up and go for a bike ride! I wasn’t in the mood to think very hard, so I headed west to Druid Hill Park to do a few laps. Continue reading

Blocked Bike/Ped Lane on Light Street

So Baltimore’s got this thing coming up called the Grand Prix. They’re blocking off a bunch of streets downtown, the ramp onto 395, a light rail station, and effectively cutting off a main artery through town–all traffic will now go on MLK–and then some Indy cars will come race around the 2+ mile course while the rest of us just try to stay away, unless, of course, we can afford the $20-$895 tickets, plus $30 to park non-Indy cars. Continue reading

Train and Truck at Press Near Burgundy


I woke up too early but early enough to meet M., D., and J. For a pre-brunch coffee and muffin. It was just after 9:00am on a Sunday, so the streets were empty, the air smelling a bit like somebody had a “good” time last night. I pedaled over to St. Claude to pick up the bike lane, but I got stopped by another train on the tracks at Press Street. Yep, the same Press Street where Plessy tried to take a seat, but now it’s where we regularly get stuck waiting for a train to roll up and down the tracks, switching rails, but it’s still Plessy’s street just the same. Most folks know to take a right here and beat the train at Chartres, but I was in no mood to race, happy to settle in and watch the thing rock back and forth, back and forth. But then cars were making their turns and going around the train, and I felt like some kind of rube, standing there waiting with my bicycle like I didn’t know I could go around. I gave in to the phantom peer pressure and went on my way, stopping to take a picture of train at momentary rest with yet another vehicle going around. it is rather amazing to me sometimes how much work I have to do to make myself stand still, and I wouldn’t have minded standing still a little longer this morning. And then I rolled up to the cafe just as M. and D. did, and I was just happy to see them. I am going to miss some friends something fierce.

Westbound I10 Traffic After the Saints Game

Oh, it is windy in New Orleans today. We don’t have hills here, as you may have heard–the lip of the bowl doesn’t count–so windy days are the closest I get to hill training. I considered perhaps maybe not riding my bike over to the offices of Women With A Vision for today’s B.B.Q. so as to avoid that uncomfortable feeling of getting batted about by the wind, but come on. It’s my first day without a massive workload in the last two weeks. I need to ride my bike. Continue reading

Train and I10 at the End of West End Boulevard

Yep, still cold out, which means today’s ride had to wait as I tried to figure out what sort of layering would keep me warm enough without making me look like a broke-ass Punky Brewster. I was only mildly successful on both counts, but I headed out anyway, first to the Marigny for the New Orleans Book Fair. The place was crawling with all the usual suspects–readers, writers, watchers–and I managed somehow to leave with money in my wallet (though there was one art book I’d have bought, if it had been for sale). Continue reading

Train Crossing at the Uptown Levee Bike Path Entrance

I woke up early this morning and spent all day teaching and teaching and teaching and by the time it was done I really needed to just put it in high gear and pedal as hard as I could for twenty miles. So that’s what I did. I headed over to the entrance to the levee bike path behind the zoo, looking forward to just going. But just as I rode up the train gate went down, red lights flashing, and I snapped this picture just as the train was zooming by. I wasn’t in the mood to wait, and neither were the soccer moms–moms bringing their kids to soccer practice. Continue reading

Train Crossing the Huey P. Long Bridge

I had a thoroughly delightful Sunday, grading papers, reading, looking through job ads, working on my professional website, and when I finished up my work, I was most definitely in the mood for a long bicycle ride. I made a few tiny adjustments to my brakes and headed out to the levee, wanting to just pedal without monitoring the conditions of the pavement. The sun was just starting to go down, the weather was noticeably cooler than it has been, and I just let my legs get into that spinning rhythm with a song on repeat. Continue reading

“Sorry We’re Corrupt” Sticker at Magazine and St. Andrew

Contrary to popular belief, I do own a car, and for some strange reason, I was in the mood to drive yesterday. I did, and sheesh, it’s different to drive. I got everywhere so fast and dry! I even went to the suburbs, to the mall. I passed a couple of friends as I sped down Rampart. I beeped the horn, waved, and and wondered if they’d wonder what I was doing in a car. But enough about What I Saw Driving A Car Around Yesterday. Today I was back on the bike, to work and back and then to dinner with B. and back. We took a short walk around afterward, and I noticed this sticker on a fire hydrant on Magazine and St. Andrew (I think). I kind of love it. I could wonder who it’s referring to–the NOPD? BP? IMF?  WTO? HBO?–but mostly what I thought about as I passed it tonight on my walk back to the bike was how things look really, really different depending on your mode of transportation. And, as B. said tonight, sometimes you’ve just got to walk.

Shipping Containers Along the Mississippi River at Marengo and Tchoupitoulas

So, I generally spend quite a bit of time on my bicycle. I used to think that all bikes were basically the same, but that’s just not true. My bike feels like my bike. It’s in the shop, though, and I’ve got a rental bike, and I wanted to take it out, see what she could do. Yeah, I like what the Surly can do. I like how big and heavy and steel she is. I miss my bike. But this one’s fun too. Sigh. Anyway. Tomorrow. Continue reading