View of the Potomac Near the Catoctin Aqueduct

View of the Potomac Nearish Harper's FerryI’ve been doing plenty of around-town riding lately–to work and back, errands, doctor’s appointments–but last weekend I got to put my bike on the back of R.’s truck, all cozied up to her Surly Long Haul Trucker, for a drive out toward Harper’s Ferry and a ride along the C&O Canal. We had a general plan, but then exited early to follow signs to the canal. We weren’t sure we were going the right way, but then we saw the railroad tracks–a sure sign a canal is in the area. Continue reading

View From Watersedge Park in Dundalk at Bullneck Road & Dundalk Avenue

View From Watersedge Park in Dundalk at Bullneck Road & Dundalk AvenueTuesday was one of those perfect early fall days that feels like late summer. I got up early and got my day’s tasks done, hit the gym with my favorite gym buddy, O., joined her for lunch on her sunny back porch, and then it was all me and my bike. I headed south and east and south and east, a quick stop for froyo at a place where I got myself a gift certificate a few months ago–planting a present for future me–and then kept heading south and east, under the freeway, a left and a right and then I was in Dundalk, riding its bike lane which is also a parking lane, but I’ll take what I can get. Continue reading

Giant Red Tree at the Convent at Ellerslie & Parkwyth

Giant Red Tree at the Convent at Ellerslie & ParkwythFriday started with a relatively early ride over to Waverly to meet R. for another brainstorming session and some quality time with her handsome gray cat. We had so many good ideas, and I felt so excited about what we’re going to do next, that I just had to ride my bike around after instead of heading home. Continue reading

Emptying Parking Lot at the Giant at 33rd & Old York Road

Emptying Parking Lot at the Giant at 33rd & Old York RoadIt was a fall-chilled sunny and breezy day in Baltimore, a perfect day for a bike ride, but I had so much work to catch up on I had to stay inside and work. Bah. Fortunately my latest project required an evening trip over to Waverly to help R. assemble our carnival-style popcorn machine (don’t ask– come out to the corner of 31st and Greenmount tomorrow to find out), and the last thing I’m going to do for a quick trip under 2 miles is drive a car. I flipped on my front life, strapped on my reflective triangle, and pedaled my way over there. The chill was mild, but I had visceral memories of last winter’s bicycling, and the winter before’s, too, and oh, I love the open streets of winter riding when everybody else seems to be hibernating. We put our machine together, I pet all the cats, and then it was time to head home. I stopped at the grocery store for a thing or two, and snapped this picture of the almost-empty lot, the moon in the far background, the street light lighting up the tree they’ve put here to make it look like something other than a parking lot; it kind of is more than a parking lot–most of us are using it as a through-way from that side of Waverly to this one. I left behind these last couple of cars and zipped home, looking forward to more empty streets and chilly breezes in my immediate future.

View of the Harbor From Fort McHenry Park

View of the Harbor From Fort McHenry ParkI woke up to a cloudy, cool, and windy fall Saturday, and oh, it felt good. N. asked if I might want to spend the afternoon with our books out at Fort McHenry–I could ride my bike and meet her, and she’d drive with a blanket, pillows, and some bottles of water. I looked up at the gray skies and felt the breeze and thought, YES, GREAT IDEA. Because in spite of the look of the weather, I really, really wanted to ride my bicycle. Continue reading

Beehives on a Brick Building in Butcher’s Hill at N. Chester & E. Fairmount

Beehives on a Brick Building in Butcher's Hill at N. Chester & E. FairmountWhat a perfect Saturday, all late-summer blue skies and cool morning air, I spent the morning in a car, but the rest of the day was out in it. R. drove up the hill to fetch N. and me and then we headed out for a hike at Oregon Ridge State Park. Now, I’ve hiked around this park at least a dozen times, all four seasons, with lots of different parts of my Baltimore. It’s like my Gwynns-Falls-Trail-Out-to-Middle-Branch-Park bike ride suggestion, but in a car–always a sure win, because it is just plain perfect out here. Continue reading

View of the Sky from a Waverly Back Patio

View of the Sky from a Waverly Back PatioFriday’s ride started early with a morning pedal over to R.’s to sit on her back porch and ostensibly talk about our project, but we got waylaid by jokes and girl talk and such, sipping coffee and staring up at this beautiful sky–all blue and green, the power lines a punctuation more than anything, because that was my mood, sitting there with my friend in her neighborhood, feeling at home here. And then I rode over to Hampden for an appointment, pedaling as fast as I could because that neighborhood is always farther away that I think, and I do not like to be late. An hour later and I was riding home to grab my car for the drive to work. Oh, I would rather be on a bicycle these days, especially as the weather just starts its turn to that part where full sun doesn’t mean full sweat and the breezes are actually cool. Bring it, fall. This bicyclist is ready to transition, and I’ve got my windproof gear all ready for a long winter. And I want to sit out on that patio and watch the leaves turn gold and red and orange and then stare up at bare branches against a chilly blue sky. Sometimes I don’t want time to pass, but right now I’m ready for it. I’m glad I get to tour the changes by bike.

Taking a Break on a Loop Around the Druid Hill Park Reservoir Bike/Ped Path

Taking a Break on a Loop Around the Druid Hill Park Reservoir Bike/Ped PathAnd then some days you just want to mindlessly pedal and listen to music and say your how-you-doin’s to other people doing the very same thing. Monday was that day, so after getting caught up on work emails all afternoon, I hopped on my bike and headed out in the Labor Day humidity for a ride around the Druid Hill Park reservoir. Continue reading

Empty Mail Trucks at Front & E. Lexington

It was sunny and a little breezy and I had finished up grading that stack of papers called “midterms,”and I got to get on my bike and head up to Hampden to meet V. for lunch and some window shopping. Then it was back on the bike and down the hill for a whirl around the weight machines at the gym, and then back up the hill. I didn’t have time to take much of a long way back home, so I just took an early right for a few blocks. Continue reading

Cinnamon Pine Cones at the Whole Foods at Harbor East

And then all of a sudden it was cold and drizzling and I was underdressed on my bike, remembering that I need a hat, gloves and my eyes are going to water. I did a spin at the gym where I was too hot, stopped for coffee and an egg sandwich, and then to the grocery. The place smelled frankly too much like cinnamon, like the place was trying to beat me over the head with “fall.” I got my six items, checked out and loaded them into my pannier, and headed out. Ah, the culprits: bag after bag after bag of cinnamon pine cones with a small pile of cinnamon brooms (yes, I guess that’s a thing) bringing season’s greetings. Welcome, fall! And thanks for reminding me again that I might be cold heading down the hill, but I’ll be nice and toasty on the way back.