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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Field of Yellow Flowers at Druid Hill Park

Field of Yellow Flowers at Druid Hill ParkI’ve been riding my bike all over the place over the past week or so. The weather’s been perfect for it, and we’ve even had some days where I’ve gotten to get a good sweat on. It’s awesome. I haven’t felt much like writing about it, though. The uprising took all my words right out of me. I found myself writing and writing, as fast as I could, as if narrative could somehow make the very complicated things that are happening here–have been happening–make sense. Continue reading

Daffodils at Druid Hill Park Overlooking I83

Daffodils at Druid Hill Park Overlooking I83I 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

Two Bikes Snuggling Under a Flower Tree at Druid Hill Park

Two Bikes Snuggling Under a Flower Tree at Druid Hill ParkThe park was buzzing with folks enjoying the 80+ degree day–walking dogs, teaching kids how to ride bikes and scooters, handholding and necking and springtimeromancing, jogging, picnicking, engagement-photo-shooting, and just generally being outside. I rode my bike there to meet N., who lo and behold got herself a bicycle that morning. Oh, what magic! What fantasy futures of riding together to the ball game and to get ice cream and out to the water to count ducklings! I’m happy to ride by myself–I prefer it, generally, because the bike is the one place I can reliably be alone, but also with strangers–the contact zones of the city open up when you get out of the car. Continue reading

Truck Dumping Bales of Hay at Druid Hill Park Conservatory

Truck Dumping Bales of Hay at Druid Hill Park ConservatorySaturday was another sickeningly sweet day, so when N. suggested a trip to the spring flower show at the Rawlings Conservatory in Druid Hill Park and asked if I wanted to meet her there on my bike, the answer was an easy YES. I pedaled out without even a just-in-case sweatshirt, and I wasn’t the only one out there. The whole city seemed to have emerged in shorts and t-shirts and sunglasses, and I was happy to join them. I beat N. to the park, because bikes are faster than cars, especially when the car gives a guy who just missed the bus a ride to the train station–N. is such a peach. Continue reading

Looking East Past a Blighted Factory at West Lafayette & Spedden

Looking East Past a Blighted Factory at West Lafayette & SpeddenFinally, a dry day without ice on the roads, plenty of sunshine, nowhere to be, and no cold or flu dogging me! Oh, it was good to be back on the bike. It took about two minutes flying down the hill on Maryland Avenue to get that smile on my face I get when I feel at home and most myself–when I’m on my bike headed nowhere in particular. After a brief stop to pick up this week’s coffee I decided to go left instead of right and was quickly tracing new streets in West Baltimore. Continue reading

Bare Trees on the Jones Falls Trail in Druid Hill Park

Bare Trees on the Gwynns Falls Trail in Druid Hill ParkSometimes I’m in the mood for an exploratory ride, one where I get lost, or found in one of those neighborhoods I don’t go to unless I’m getting lost on a bicycle–the rides where I end up in Middle East, usually. I never seem to make it west…something to think about in the new year. But some days I  just want to ride without negotiating cars or newness, the simple pleasures of well-trod paths that are off limits to cars. Today was that latter day, so I took the bike up and around to Druid Hill Park for a lap or two and to check out the Jones Falls Trail behind the zoo.
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