I’m not going to lie, when the alarms went off at 5:30 this morning I would have been happy to turn them off and go straight back to sleep. But no, I dragged myself out of bed, put on yesterday’s damp riding costume, and headed downstairs to the easy carb loading offered by the Holiday Inn Express complimentary breakfast–thanks, Jackie, for putting it out early for us! We got on buses for a ride over the bridge before collecting our bikes, slathering on sunscreen, and putting air in our tires.
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I woke up this morning to a day with absolutely nothing scheduled. I can’t remember the last time that was true for me so I felt just a little giddy about it. After lazing about in bed for awhile and reading about World War I war memorials (fascinating stuff, really), I hopped on the bike and tooled around Baltimore to see how we were remembering a different war. It was really hot out and the streets were virtually empty as I sped down the hill. It’s rather ghostly when it’s like that, but I must admit I love flying through the streets with only a tiny worry about cars; I just love how riding a bike makes my body feel, all hugged close by wind I help make. I took my turn around the inner harbor’s new bike lane, groused to myself about all the cars in it~why do they need *everything*~ and turned to Federal Hill where I caught the first parade of the day. There was drum and fife, stiltwalking, vintage cars, and then everybody from the neighborhood in red, white, and blue strolling along. I wanted a little more music to really call it a parade, but I put ny bad attitude in my pocket, ate the grape tootsie roll pop I caught from the Grand Marshall, and got back on the bike to track down the dog parade at the American Visionary Arts Museum. I had missed the parade, but I settled in for the pageant and groused about how many winners had store bought costumes and how I think that’s not really in the spirit of things. I shoved my bad attitude back down and made my way to Fort McHenry after a quick stop for lunch. I did a loop around before heading into the air conditioning. I took this picture of the view of the new man-made wetlands around the fort. Apparently there used to be wetlands all over Baltimore, but they were destroyed when they got in the way of industry and were blamed for disease. After the Key Tunnel was built these wetlands were installed to grow back. It’s a similar logic to that inside the museum, remembrance and preservation, but of nature. Or maybe “nature.” I did a quick tour of the fort, watched some more drum and fife, and then I was on my way home, pedaling slowly through the giant oven that is the city right now. It was a most lovely day, but I would like to request a cooling trend so that a short ten mile ride through the city won’t leave me a wilted flower.