It’s the seventh anniversary of this blog today. I’ve been riding my bike and writing about what I see pretty regularly for a full seven years. That sounds like a long time, sort of, but what seems like really forever ago is me not riding a bike and writing about it. I ride a bike–it’s what I do, for transportation, for fun and pleasure, for vacation and work, for everything. Seven years ago this was not the case at all. Seven years ago I had recently moved to New Orleans with a car, and I was mostly driving to get places. Continue reading
Sunday’s ride took me up to Hampden for a late breakfast–I think they call it “brunch.” The ladyfriend came too, riding her sexy pale blue 1972 Miyata 10 speed bicycle. Oh, life is better when the people you love want to take their bikes, too! We locked up to some road signs in the neighborhood, put our names on the list, and settled in to wait. I watched as the easy flow of mostly-white folks wandered up and down our Avenue, a million miles away, it felt, from the Baltimore we’ve all been talking about. We saw a bunch of people we knew, shared our hellos and our stories, and ate well and did some window shopping before getting back on our bikes. Unreal privilege right here, I tell you. Unreal.
I’ve been biking seemingly all day, every day for the past week. Saturday was especially long, up to Loch Raven, taking the lane on some seriously busy streets, down and over to check out the tulips and babies and puppies and mansions in Roland Park, and then down to Fell’s Point to avoid Pirate Day (you know pirates were often slave traders, especially when piloting the superfast Baltimore clipper ships, right?) and Record Store Day (the ladyfriend’s got that covered) and choke down a quick crepe before taking the Lombard Bike/Bus lane–good lord, I love that thing–to Ridgely’s Delight for a ride home. Continue reading
I took Wednesday afternoon off after a week of marathon grading and teaching and meetings, and oh, it was lovely. I brought hardly anything with me for the ride over to Lake Montebello for a few laps with other bicyclists (they all had their spandex on–I was totes under dressed), kiddos on their way from school to wherever they go after school, and the many walkers, some in regular clothes, others in their suits that make you sweat more, which I guess technically means losing more weight–hey, whatever floats your boat. Continue reading
After my chain snapped on Monday I took the bike in for a day at the spa. Wednesday was a wash, but today I finally got to go for a ride again. The Surly was all fancy pants–new handlebar wrap, new water bottle holders, a shiny clean drive train, and new shifter cables and housing– and it was a treat. Continue reading
And then some days you set out for a short recovery ride up to Federal Hill for a sandwich and a massage, but you make it less than a mile before the chain just flies right off the bicycle. Shifting has been a bit wonky for the last few rides, and I swear I was going to clean her innards soon, but alas, too late for that. I ran us home, took the car for errands, and then all of us went to the bike shop. The Surly’s going to spend the night and get a tune-up, drivetrain clean, new bar wraps, two new water bottle holders, and a new rear rack to finally replace the sad panda rack that has been broken and rattling since we got hit by that car two years ago. Sometimes your girl let’s you know she needs a little tlc, and this one surely deserves a spa day.
Today’s ride took me down the hill to the Star-Spangled Flag House and Museum of Star-Spangledness for a little research for this thing I’m writing. It was an easy coast down the hill, but I have a request to make of cars: please don’t pull out into the crosswalk at such speeds? You’re close to pulling out into my lane, but you’re most definitely in the pedestrian’s lane, and that’s dangerous. You’re also blocking the curb cut I need to go up if I”m to stay on the officially marked trail; this is why my utopia is all vehicular cycling. But I digress. Continue reading