Today was a beautiful spring day–sunny, not too hot–and I had my penultimate radiation session at Hopkins. I rode my bike the way I ride my bike to the hospital, down Barclay, a left at the Tool Library, across the street and another left at the cemetery, a right, a left into a terrible bike lane, and a right into a slightly better one. I locked up outside on a rack that’s not bolted down and grumbled about that in my head before spinning through the doors to the elevator down to the basement. It’s amazing how quickly routine becomes routine, and this has been mine for the past month.
Day 2 of summer break caught me doing a couple of quick chores around the house before hopping on the bike down to Penn Station to catch the 9:05 to DC for a day at the museums. The part where you don’t have to live in DC or own a car but can, for $14 round trip, ride in and take advantage of all the cool stuff they’ve got there is one of my favorite things about living in Baltimore. I don’t take advantage of it much, but sure glad it’s there–it’s like Baltimore Bike Party in that way. Please don’t make me put on a costume and ride with a thousand other people, but please make room for everyone else to do it, I’ll just buy the t-shirt (which I wore on yesterday’s ride, ftr). Continue reading
I haven’t been posting a whole lot lately, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been riding the bike. When it’s your means of transportation 95% of the time, you’re pretty much guaranteed a ride every day. That’s my favorite part of living car-free, and it’s working. Some highlights from the past week or so include finally getting a good ride up the Fallsway bike path again and wondering why people complain so much about being routed by the prison–at least you’re not in it, and why do we want to hide what we do to each other with all our cages? Oh, I think I know some answers to that one, and they aren’t pretty. Continue reading
Friday’s bike ride took me first to the train station and out to Catonsville on Brompty for a day at the office before swapping out for the Surly for a ride with N. down to Camden Yards to watch the O’s take on her beloved St. Louis Cardinals. It’s more than a little embarrassing to go to a game with your ladyfriend all decked out in enemy colors, but she donned an O’s wristband, so there was that. The ride down there was a bit slow–my left knee hurt on the inside and I was making the mistake of worrying how the ride back up the hill would feel instead of enjoying the ride down there. Staying present’s a tough job for this cat, but I’m working on it. Continue reading
I had a dinner date with R. in Locust Point tonight after a long day of work and other work and swimming and work. It was still warm out, but all the weather reports said temps were about to drop and rain mixed with ice was moving in. But oh, I wanted to ride a bicycle, so that’s what I did. I pedaled with rush hour traffic on the way there, up and around and down Fort Ave., a right on Steuert, and then to find a bike rack. Continue reading
I’ve been at a conference in Oakland, CA for the past several days which has meant no bicycle riding–too busy, too tired, no bike. But I see bikes everywhere. There are lanes in downtown Oakland, signs directing riders all over town. My dear friend S. reports there’s going to be a bike lane on the new Bay Bridge when it eventually opens. Tonight when I took the BART into San Francisco for dinner with D. and P., there were bikes boarding trains, a space in the car set aside for bikes, and a pamphlet on the floor from August when bikes could ride in any car on Fridays. I snapped this picture of bikes lined up on racks at the 16th Street BART station–so many riders! Bikes are clearly just normal here–they can be normal. The infrastructure is built with the assumption it will be used for biking, and it clearly is. How, though, do y’all get up some of these San Francisco hills? Next time I best find out.
Today’s ride took me downtown to Harbor East, where I locked up my bike to one of the few spaces available–never enough bike racks, for sure. I did a quick turn at the gym and the grocery, and then I got back on my bike to head up the hill. I snapped this picture of a couple of bikes crowding up the racks. That red one is always there. I mean always. Continue reading
And then sometimes you’re out for a ride, you want to stop at the fancy French pastry shop to get a little something special for your boo, you hit up the bike rack, and it looks like this, sacrificed to parking lots and street construction. Oh well, it’s the thought that counts, right? I pedaled on and right and snaked up the hill, getting impatient for cooler fall weather.
Yep, still cold and icy, so when it was time to meet L. for brunch, I decided to go ahead and walk. I put on my snow boots, lovingly sent by by E. upon my arrival in the Great White Mid-Atlantic, and marched slowly up the hill. The ice is just worse, so where it was still coating the sidewalk, I took each step like a New Orleanian until I made it to my destination. Continue reading
The sun has come out, the sun has come out! I wheeled my bike out of the apartment this morning and was shocked by how different everything looked in sunlight, and by the immediate need to put on some sunglasses. I pedaled to the Lower Garden District for a lovely brunch with A. After a quick stop at her place to see her cats–we are both resolute cat ladys and proud of it–I rode back down to the Quarter. I’m a Friend of the Cabildo (pardon my brag), so I decided to stop in at the Presbytere to avail myself of my membership privileges. After waiting behind some Swedish tourists, I got my free member ticket and headed into the Katrina and Beyond exhibit. I have been to this one before, but it definitely deserves multiple viewings; it is a really tense experience. Today I watched the entire 1929 silent film about New Orleans pout out by the Eastman company. It is all about what a beautiful place New Orleans is, the romance of our sultry air and elaborate ironwork, our outdoor restaurants and eclectic architecture. It showed our prime spot as a port, with easy access to the Mississippi, over 40,000 miles of railroad tracks, and a direct route to markets in the U.S. and around the world. And there was, of course, video of Mardi Gras parades. The last words of this silent film were, “Romance, work and play combine to make the charm of New Orleans.” True that. The rest of the exhibit makes claims not unlike this old movie, and the new film installation at the end of the exhibit echoes many of these scenes (though the 1929 movie didn’t make me cry). We are not telling new stories, though the old one about how great MRGO is doesn’t quite resonate anymore. Yes, world, New Orleans has a right to exist. I checked out the photography exhibition upstairs, but the Mardi Gras stuff just seemed out of place with the mood I was left in, so I headed home to work out of the sun before a longer ride tonight. If only they’d figure out how to put some bike racks in Jackson Square. Seriously, folks, we can park bicycles without ruining the historical look of the place, right?