View On the Jones Falls Trail Behind Druid Hill Park

View On the Jones Falls Trail Behind Druid Hill ParkIt’s been all wedding, work, and post-election hellscape, so I was happy for the confluence of a day off work and died-down winds to just spin my wheels a bit and clear my head. I started the ride heading up to Roland Park for an appointment with L., my magical acupuncturist. We talked about my sleep, my lower back, and the surprising resilience that you discover in yourself 11 months after your dad dies. An hour later I was back on my bike, treating myself to a late breakfast out, and then riding over to the park to get a break from my daily riding with cars. I wanted to just spin without that alertness that’s so normal, and so exhausting.

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Storefronts at West Pratt & Ackworth

Storefronts at West Pratt & Ackworth It’s summertime, summer school is over, and this is the time when I tend to get restless and glum. I work best when I’ve got stuff to do, so if I’m not careful, unscheduled time can get the best of me, stealing from me this valuable time to let my mind range freely, read new things, and make new connections. I’ve learned this over the past zillion summers, so I make sure to schedule things work, writing, and relaxing-related. Today’s schedule featured a bike ride over to the Be Free Floating┬áin West Baltimore for my second trip in their sensory deprivation tank.

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View East From Druid Hill Park

View East From Druid Hill ParkOh, thank goodness the deep freeze has lifted, at least for now. The past couple of weeks have seen lots of bicycling, mostly to and from work, but even a ride or two for no good reason on streets I don’t know like the back of my hand. Last week even featured a ride on streets that didn’t hold the snow amidst trees that did–and it was so beautiful. I remembered this ride I did with my dad years ago in his tiny town of McCall, Idaho. Continue reading

Blue Skies and Clouds Above the Gwynns Falls Trail Between Washington & Wilkens

Blue Skies and Clouds Above the Gwynns Falls Trail Between Washington & WilkensI spent most of last week riding my bicycle around–errands, work, getting miles in. I could tell I was riding a bit too much–I was starting to get kinda agitated and insomniacal, signs of overtraining, so I decided I’d pedal it back a bit, following my pops’ rule: whatever you do should make you want to get back on your bike again. And then it was Thursday, and I had a good ride out and back to work planned–the bonus of commuting by bike is that your long rides work themselves in without even trying. Continue reading

View From the Second Switchback on the Gwynns Falls Trail Heading Down to Woodberry From Druid Hill Park

View From the Second Switchback on the Gwynns Falls Trail Heading Down to Woodberry From Druid Hill ParkThursday’s ride was a lazy one, up to Druid Hill Park for a few laps around the reservoir. Sometimes I just need a break from the constant car battle to just pedal and pedal, around and around, without all that thinking about how not to get hit by cars. I did a few laps and then headed up the trail toward the zoo and the rest of the trail. This park sits right between Hampden and Mondawmin, and those two neighborhoods are so, so different. Hampden is predominantly white, and has been since its mill days when the hiring rules were native-born whites only. Mondawmin, on the other hand, is predominantly African American, home to Douglass High School, which turned out graduates like Thurgood Marshall back when it was the segregated high school for Black students on the west side. Now it’s got its share of struggles, thanks in part to the way when white folks are asked to share, they just take all the balls and go home. Continue reading

Lee & Jackson Monument at Wyman Park Drive & Art Museum Drive

Lee & Jackson Monument at Wyman Park Drive & Art Museum DriveThursday’s ride took me up the hill to place a large order at Popeye’s and then down the hill, over, and up again to Druid Hill Park to do a bunch of laps as I try to get used to clipping in again. I got out of the habit, and now I’m scared of it. I used to clip in every day, even just for a quick two mile ride to Tulane. I taught in my bike shoes and hopped back on the bike to ride around town afterward. They were normal–now they’re not. I’d like to make them normal again, at least in time to pull myself up and over and through the Adirondacks at the end of July. That’s what was on my mind as I did my laps, getting more and more and then less and then more comfortable with my spds. Continue reading

The Midas Car Shop at Reisterstown and Liberty Heights

the Midas at Reisterstown and Liberty HeightsI’ve been riding my bike all over town this past week–zig zagging through East Baltimore for late lunches, zipping down to graduation ceremonies at Royal Farms Arena–yes, it’s called that, and yes, I got to lock up on the fence right in front while everyone else was stuck waiting in traffic to find a way to pay $20 for a parking spot–and riding to SoWeBo Fest in West Baltimore for the first funnel cake of the season. Vacation has been oh so lovely, and I’m sad to see it come to an end, though it certainly won’t mean an end to biking around.
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