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

Ducks Heading Into the Water at Fort McHenry

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Monday was a stunner, so I was even happier than usual to be on bike for appointments that took me to Federal Hill and Locust Point. The ride started early as I made my way down the hill and up the hill to meet O. and R. for a day in the art studio. We had decisions to make on a project we’re working on, so we made them and then made our way to a neighborhood restaurant for a sushi lunch and story swap. If you can get R. to tell you her stories about her trip to Seward, Alaska, do it–oh, what magic! And then we parted ways and I took the lane on Fort Avenue over to Locust Point and the weird mall that I’m inexplicably in love with for a ahircut and grading marathon until it was too much not to be outside and on bike. I rode over to Fort McHenry to do a lap around and see what the other lovers of spring with nowhere to be were doing. There was a bit of a jam on the far side of the park as folks had gathered to pay very close attention to some ducks. I got off my bike to join them–this was clearly a crowd I could relate to. “This is the closest I’ve ever been to a wild duck!” one woman exclaimed. She was right. These ducks were nonplussed at our presence. We chatted together for a good ten minutes about our new feathered friends: Do they mate for life? Are those two “together”? When will we get ducklings? How is it so cute when the wiggle their little duck butts? And the the duucks were in the water and on their way, and so was I, grateful for strangers and the opportunity for friendly exchange with my fellow species. And again happy to be on a bike and in the world instead of blocked off from it, on a freeway where everyone is a faceless threat instead on an open, friendly, interested fellow traveller.

The Sun Setting Over Federal Hill From the Harbor Connector Between Locust Point & Fells Point

The Sun Setting Over Federal Hill From the Harbor Connector Between Locust Point & Fells PointOh, it is good to be back home in Baltimore, especially after a 14 hour drive from St. Louis–that’s a lot of sitting, which leaves me even more sore than pumping my not-quite-enough-gears Brompty up and down the hills of suburbia. After a lazy morning of recovery and answering work emails I’d left for after the holiday I hopped on the Surly to enjoy this balmy 50 degree day. Continue reading

Black-Plastic-Covered Pile of White Stuff From the Bridge Over to Fort McHenry on Fort Avenue

Black-Plastic-Covered Pile of White Stuff From the Bridge Over to Fort McHenry on Fort AvenueToday’s ride took me whizzing down the hill, around the circle, and over to Fort McHenry, a brief stop for a sandwich and some froyo, courtesy of a gift card from A. It was surprisingly warm and sunny today, which meant only two layers, no gloves or hat, and an unzipped jacket–it’s practically summer again! But it’s not, so the streets were almost empty, and I only had to dodge the trucks putting up Christmas lights rather than gaggles of clueless pedestrians as I did my ride around the harbor. Continue reading

Cloudy Skies Over the Wetlands Restoration Area at Fort McHenry

Cloudy Skies Over the Wetlands Restoration Area at Fort McHenryOh, what a beautiful day for a bike ride on Thursday! The sun was out between the frothy layers of clouds, I had finished my work for the day, and I had nowhere to be but on the bike. I headed down the hill toward the Inner Harbor bike/ped path, took my right turn to pedal around, and then headed up to Fort Avenue and the slight downhill to Locust Point for a ride around Fort McHenry. I’ve done this ride so many times at this point, but I still remember the first time–it seemed so far away. Continue reading

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

Looking West from the Patterson Park Pagoda

Looking West from the Patterson Park PagodaI woke up early, drank a quick coffee and ate a quick piece of toast, and then hopped on my bike for a quick ride from Butcher’s Hill to Fort McHenry to meet up with the rest of the (relatively) early risers for this year’s Defender’s Day historical bicycle tour with Baltimore Heritage. I got to do part of the narrating this year, and we had A. along to change flat tires, something he is really good at. I talked about what started the war, when we started memorializing it, why we memorialize some parts and not others, and E. talked about how privateers are just pirates with government contracts, why you might not want to build row houses out of wood, and the other forts in the city that aren’t Fort McHenry. Continue reading