I’ve had such a busy summer so far–teaching, writing, learning, walking touring, meeting, editing, etc.–that I haven’t had much of a chance to just ride my bike around. I’d been eyeing this Tuesday for a couple weeks though. I had a few things to do that morning, but the rest of the afternoon was mine to ride wherever, and with a weather report that had us topping out at 80 degrees, I was pretty excited.
Last week was a sweaty one, the first of the summer here in Baltimore. It was just so hot, and I found myself a little nervous that I wouldn’t be able to ride my bike in it. I talked myself through it: you’ve ridden through 8 summers in Baltimore and New Orleans, every single one of them way too hot to ride through. You’ll sweat, but that’s it, so just sweat through it. Go as slow as you need to, it’s not a race, you’ll acclimate. Ultimately, though, since I don’t have a car and the bus is so unreliable, bicycling is my best choice for getting around, and I’ve got places to go.
Thursday was my birthday, my first one without an expected text from my dad telling me how proud he was of me and suggesting that maybe my 41st birthday ought better be thought as the start of my 42nd year. Coming into the day fresh off his memorial service in Boise didn’t make that any easier: I am acutely aware that he is gone and not coming back, and that’s still really, really sad. But then I woke up Thursday morning feeling celebratory–I’m alive, it’s great to be alive, I’m living an incredibly lucky life, and I wouldn’t change mine for anybody else’s, no way, no how. That’s a pretty great feeling, one worth celebrating by going out to breakfast with a friend, picking up a fresh flower gift from the local florist, writing a little about my dad, and then taking a bike ride.
Tuesday was my birthday, and I spent it as I’ve spent most of the last 8 birthdays or so–riding my bike around. In New Orleans, I would try to follow the same route from year to year, a chance to check on what, if anything, had changed in the year since I’d last notched one. One thing they all had in common was the sweat, so much sweat. Summer in New Orleans is oppressive, like trying to breathe in swamp water. Continue reading
Ok, so technically this is what I saw riding my bike around yesterday, but by the time I got home from my Saturday birthday festivities at the shocking hour of 11:00pm, I fell straight to sleep, no time to blog. It was a beautiful sunny day, and since it was my birthday, I got to do whatever I wanted to do. First up: a bike ride to brunch, where I ate just enough and then ran into a woman I lived with in Berkeley 10 years ago, because that’s just what things are like sometimes. Continue reading
Today was my birthday which meant I could do whatever I wanted to do to celebrate being alive, and believe you me, I’m enjoying this whole life thing. I slept in, talked to my sister on the phone forever, and then hopped on the bike and headed out for a massage. Afterward, because it was my birthday, I left my bike on the rack and walked the several blocks to Wendy’s for a spicy chicken sandwich, add cheese, fries, and a drink. She asked me what kind of drink I wanted. I foolishly said I wanted a Diet Coke, but what I didn’t know was that I’d be filling my cup from the crazy new zillion flavor Coke machine newly-installed in the lobby. Continue reading