Saturday was a most excellent day to be on a bicycle. That’s hardly the point, but it’s just true: when there are multiple protests and rallies going on around the city, plus the rest of things to do on a weekend, a bike is the best way to move quickly and easily, especially as cops and cars start blocking entrances and exits. I thought about this, about how car culture makes protest culture that much harder because we become so easily immobilized, as I inhaled a stack of blueberry pancakes at the diner on the corner before biking over to Sandtown-Winchester for the first gathering of the day to remember Freddie Gray, killed by Baltimore City cops almost two weeks prior.
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
My coupon was about to expire, so I took my Tuesday afternoon self down to the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards and locked my bike up to the new bike racks they’ve installed by the baseball stadium as a way to encourage me to “Go Green.” I wonder if there are folks who ride a bike because it’s “green” rather than because it’s fun, cheap, easier than driving and parking, faster than the bus, or any of the reasons I ride a bike. I remember when I quit smoking–I suddenly cared deeply about the deep imbrication of tobacco production with the growth of southern plantation slavery, but that’s certainly not why I quit smoking. But hey, anything that gets you off the smokes and on the bike will make you a happier camper, in my opinion. Continue reading
I was long overdue for a long bike ride, so that’s what I got on Tuesday. I had an appointment on Fleet Street, so in my head it was just down the hill. Then I looked at the map–Fleet Street goes all the way out there, to the edge of Canton, and I needed to get on the bike and pedal fast to make it on time. I did, down the hill and up Baltimore Street since I never go that way; just because you’re in a hurry doesn’t mean you can’t take a new route to see what you see. This way east is a longer hill than I’m used to, but it felt good to just pump up there–there’s a downhill on the other side. Continue reading
Sunday’s bike ride took me and the Surly downtown for a historical tour of Oriole Park and Camden Yards, another hit brought to us by the folks at Baltimore Heritage. To be honest, I was a tired out bicyclist after Saturday’s ride, and if I hadn’t booked this tour weeks earlier, I might have chosen to stay home and rest up with all the homework I saved for the very last day of spring break (yep, teachers do that too), but I’m glad I went. Continue reading
Today’s bike ride started early with a run downtown to join folks for the unveiling of a historical marker to commemorate the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. It is just the third historical marker honoring labor in Maryland (there’s one for Mother Jones and another for the Lattimer Massacre, though that happened in Pennsylvania, mostly), because we don’t often tell the stories of labor or the ephemeral history left by people who were illiterate and lacked the outlets and power to put their thoughts down for posterity. Continue reading
Monday was all read, write, teach, read, grade, get cavities filled, and write, but then it was time to put on my Orioles shirt, stuff a few layers in my purse, tie it all together with my reflective safety belt, and take the bike down to meet C. and friends for food before Game 2 of the ALDS against the Yankees. Continue reading
I woke up early, worked all day, and then it was time to ride the bike down the hill to Camden Yards, because the O’s are in a pennant race, and it just doesn’t get better than that. Our side gave up a run in the first, but responded with 6, so we just sat back and let it spin itself out, wishing somebody would just finally beat the Yankees. There was the hot dog race, the crab shuffle, Cotton-Eyed Joe, and it was all soothingly predictable, but also a late-season game that mattered. The game was a win and we walked down closer to the field for fireworks spitting out near the bleachers. And then it was get back to the bike and zip past all the people walking the miles back to their cars, a left up the hill to home. Bike, baseball, bike–works for me.
The weather report said it might rain, and a glance at the sky assured me that it would, so of course I put on a skirt and a light jacket and headed out for a long bike ride to campus–oh, the curse of aspirational dressing! I was cold all day. Regardless, it just felt good to be on my bike after three days off due to what I’ve decided was a pollen-induced multi-day headache. I zoomed down the hill and then took my right through Bolton Hill and Marble Hill over toward Upton. Continue reading
I woke up early even though I didn’t have to, because I can’t help it, so why not drive to DC early, sneak in a National Park visit before my lunch date with J. and E.? Piscataway Park was lovely, but driving into DC wasn’t. Why people ever drive is beyond me–it just makes me anxious, and there’s no reason I should bother learning to deal with that anxiety. Take the bus–lesson learned. As I drove back into Baltimore, the lights were already on at Camden Yards, reminding me there was a game tonight. Driving makes me want to die, but a bike ride and a lazy evening watching baseball? Yes, please. I rode down here, locked up to a rack, bought a ten dollar ticket and a seven dollar beer, and settled in to watch my new team take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a meaningless game, for us, at least. That doesn’t mean I didn’t thoroughly enjoy watching us throttle them with five runs in the first, and this meeting at the mound didn’t seem to help. But we are only in the third, and this is baseball and we’ve got to get 16 more outs, so I best get another beer and some nachos. And then I can bike home instead of waiting to get out of the parking lot. Thank goodness.