Looking Down at My Wet Self After a Bike Ride in the Rain

Looking down at a a bike handlebar and my wet skirt and dirty leg from biking in the rain.

I watch the weather, but what I’m looking for changes with the season. It’s bike riding time, so now the only weather I pay attention to is rain and sometimes wind. I kept hoping the Thursday forecast would change because I had an 8am dentist appointment over in Hamilton, and I didn’t want to ride my bike in the rain during rush hour, especially on busy streets like Walther, Echodale, and Harford Road.

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Cloudy Sky with a Bit of Blue Peeking Through at Lombard & MLK

Lookin up at a cloudy sky with a bit of blue poking through. The left side is framed by trees, the right side by a large building.

My bike riding these days has been mostly commuting to and from work. And then the rain started, and I hate riding my bike in the rain. My brakes don’t work as well, my glasses get so wet I can’t see, and it is just generally unsafe. No such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing, my dad and many others would say, but I gotta be honest–sometimes it is bad weather for biking. And that is what we had for almost a week.

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Cloudless Blue Sky Above 27th & Calvert

Picture of a bright and cloudless blue sky with a couple of wires stretching across the top quarter of the picture. Green tree branches peek out on the right side. There's a tiny speck in the middle of the image. It's a bird.

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but it’s hot outside. It doesn’t matter where you are, it seems–it’s hot, it’s “code red,” it’s never going to end. (Well, we’ll get a break from the heat this weekend, thank goddess.) So this is a post about how it’s hot, and I rode my bike in this heat, and it was fine.

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Peeking Over the Fence at Rash Field at William & Key Highway

A construction site with lots of gravel, dirt, holes, and diggers. Tall buildings are in the background.

Tuesday was busy–lots of emails in the morning, teaching in the morning and afternoon, and then meetings. It was good to see students again, but if I’m being real, I mostly wanted to be outside. It was sunny, 60 degrees, just perfect, and sitting inside at my computer felt like a waste of that perfect air. Fortunately, I had a dentist appointment in the afternoon and enough time to ride my bike there and back between tasks, so I got to hop on the Surly and head down the hill like the old days.

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Looking up at UM School of Dentistry at Baltimore & Pine

Looking up at a metal sculpture that stands out against tall glass and brick buildings. From this vantage point, I feel overwhelmed.

The weather has turned to fall, and I’m so incredibly grateful for it. I’ve run three times a week for most of the summer, and though I acclimated to the heat and humidity enough to not feel like I had to puke at the end of every run, it never got easy. So much of my body’s energy was working to keep me from overheating that little was left for the actual running. I found it all deeply uncomfortable, but I got enough good feelings out of it for it to have been worth it.

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Looking Down the Pier at Fells Point

Looking Down the Pier at Fells Point

Monday was Memorial Day, and instead of hanging out with family in Michigan as planned, the ladyfriend and I were home in Baltimore, as usual. I’m still at home almost all the time. I go out every day for some exercise and sunshine, and once every ten days or so I go to the grocery store, but otherwise my life is completely home and online.

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Train Tracks Running Under the Street at 26th & Guilford

Train Tracks Running Under the Street at 26th & Guilford Monday was supposed to be the day the heat wave broke, but I think 95 degrees is still pretty hot. I’ll ride a bike in it, because it’s still cooler to ride a bike than stand at a bus stop waiting for the bus, but I’d rather not. So it was a quick one–just down the hill to the gym for a workout in air conditioning, and then back up the hill to home. My report–it’s still hot out there, and I’d still rather be on my bicycle than almost anywhere else.

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High Rise Under Construction at Eastern & Albemarle

High Rise Under Construction at Eastern & Albemarle It’s July, and there’s a heat wave, so honestly what I’m seeing on my bike rides this week is my own sweat in my eyeballs. It’s brutal, especially going uphill. I’d still rather ride my bike than bake at the bus stop, waiting for another bus that’s going to get trapped in the traffic nightmare that is a sinkhole at Howard and Pratt and street closures for Artscape. Seriously, a bicycle is always the best way to get around.

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Clouds Over the Bridge at Guilford North of Mt. Royal

Clouds Over the Bridge at Guilford Just North of Mt. Royal I’m still riding my bike around, because that’s how I get around, but we are entering the hot and humid days of summer when rides get considerably less pleasant. It’s like riding your bike in somebody’s mouth. Or pedaling through hot pea soup. Or something else similarly hot and wet and yuck. But here we are, acclimating to another hot summer in Baltimore, happy to get a ride in most days to get from place to place. I snapped this picture on my way home on Friday. The sky was all layers of cloud and threats that didn’t come true.

Today’s ride was a bit different. It was spitting rain when I left the house at 7am, and then I spent the next three hours at the gym, working out and then staring at my phone in the locker room, willing the heavy rains to pass. And then they did, or close enough for me to ride home and still be able to see through my wet glasses. It’s a lot of weather-related rides these day, sunscreen in my eyes, dreams of a cold seltzer pushing me up the hill. It’s good to have a normal summer.