It rained ice last night, but fortunately in the city it warmed up quickly, and all we had was rain. By the time I got the call I was waiting for the rain was down to sprinkles, making it much more pleasant for the short ride over to where I’d left my car last week to meet the tow truck driver for my final goodbyes to the Hyundai Accent I’ve been driving around occasionally since 2007. I got the car to drive from Oregon to my new gig at Tulane in New Orleans. I cried as P. and I made our way through east Texas and into Shreveport, and I cried all the way until I10 turns to bayou just past Baton Rouge. Don’t leave me here, I cried, scared of the masses of green I was sure were hiding stuff, the inhuman heat, and the giant crickets that caught rides. Continue reading
My car’s on the fritz, and it looks serious, so it’s time to get back to living a car-free life, a prospect considerably eased by the fact that N. has a car. Even so, I’m going to be on my own for commutes to school, and Thursday was the first of many. Brompty and I rode down to Penn Station, got our MARC tickets, and hopped on for a quick two-stop ride to Halethorpe for the couple-mile ride to campus. First stop was a place called South Campus where I’ve never been, and a quick mapquest put me on something called Rolling Road, not a good sign for the limited gears of Brompty. It wasn’t the easiest push, even in the granniest of gears, but I made it without walking the bike and early for my meeting, energized by the stretch and the sense of badassery you get when you take a route that on first glance isn’t the best for bikes–yeah, I’m easily pleased. And then it was another couple miles back to the main campus, made easy by the downhill I’d already earned. The curvy roads made for limited visibility, so I took the sidewalk for a bit, ordinarily a move against my religion. And sometimes you get this, a sidewalk basically blocked for anyone in a wheelchair or who needs the room. That built environment determines who can be there, and on this ride, it seemed. Pretty clear the place is for cars only. Unless, or course, you just take the lane, which I gladly did, happy to be out in the chilly sunshine under blue skies, grateful for bikes and trains, imperfect as they are, and new car-free adventures, whether the transmission gets fixed or not.