Train Tracks Along Some Part of the NCR Trail

Scene From Somewhere on the NCR TrailI got up super early today, choked down some coffee and oatmeal, and went outside to meet A. for a drive out to the beginning of the NCR Trail in Hunt Valley and the mission to ride the whole thing, up to York, PA. That’s 80 miles, and I was kind of terrified that I wouldn’t be able to do it. Long story short, I did, and along the way I saw a river, flowering trees against green backdrops, a zillion other cyclists, far fewer dogs than expected, and I crossed the Mason-Dixon Line and rode into Pennsylvania where I saw the green turn into the industrial wasteland that is every city everywhere, it seems. Continue reading

Bike Rack at St. Paul & Madison

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So I’m one of those people who gets the credit card because of the points promotions and orders the Groupon for the furniture store in Baltimore when she knows she’ll be moving there in six months. That meant a ride to Belvedere Square today to spend that $200. I don’t know my way around, not at all, so I ended up on a busy street that I knew would take me generally in the right direction. Gears, people, I need more gears, and I need my bike seat back–the chafing!–but I happily made it in under thirty minutes. Short trips are best made by bike, no matter where you are. I am so going to be able to bike this town, and that feels so good. Oh, and the uphill on the way there meant flying downhill on the way home. After a stop at K. and N.’s for a futile wait on the new landlord, I was back on the bike for a trip to Red Emma’s and their veggie banh mi. I locked up my rental bike to this cool bike rack in the shape giant chain links. The problem with the artistic bike rack, though, is it often isn’t entirely functional, and this one suffers from that as well. U-lock and cable kept my bike safe, though, until my ride home. Pedal, pedal, pedal up Eager Street, and then I caught a pothole. Time slowed, long enough for me to think about how I almost fell, and then to feel myself falling, wondering why I couldn’t stop it. And my first crash in Baltimore is under my belt. I scrambled out of the street, let that driver who kindly asked know that I was ok, and got back on the bike to get home and scrub, scrub, scrub. I’ve got impressive bumps on elbows and knees, but the good part of falling on a bike is remembering that those small falls will happen, and they just aren’t that big of a deal–just get back on the bike, you’re ok. And you’ve got to learn your potholes. And now, more ibuprofen.