Guilford Reservoir From East Coldspring Lane & Reservoir Lane

Thursday was my birthday, my first one without an expected text from my dad telling me how proud he was of me and suggesting that maybe my 41st birthday ought better be thought as the start of my 42nd year. Coming into the day fresh off his memorial service in Boise didn’t make that any easier: I am acutely aware that he is gone and not coming back, and that’s still really, really sad. But then I woke up Thursday morning feeling celebratory–I’m alive, it’s great to be alive, I’m living an incredibly lucky life, and I wouldn’t change mine for anybody else’s, no way, no how. That’s a pretty great feeling, one worth celebrating by going out to breakfast with a friend, picking up a fresh flower gift from the local florist, writing a little about my dad, and then taking a bike ride.

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Shiny New Asphalt on 26th Between Charles & St. Paul

Shiny New Asphalt on 26th Between Charles & St. PaulTuesday’s ride took me up the hill and east to Morgan State for a conversation on the Marc Steiner Show about The Wire–about how even though it’s a great television show, it can’t tell the full range of stories about what make this city tick, and the many ways folks work to make it tick better (or worse). It was a good conversation with smart people, and a reminder to me that if you don’t have someone there to talk about women, women fall right out of the discussion. Patriarchy’s a real thing, which means I’ll never be out of a job, amirite? Continue reading

Looking Toward 35th & Greenmount From Southway

Looking Toward 35th & Greenmount From SouthwayTuesday’s ride kept me mostly in the neighborhood, down the hill to meet K. for lunch and a good shared rant session, and then back up the hill to Abell to meet R. for some co-catsitting and a conversation about our Very Big Project that we both needed to break down to be a whole lot smaller so as to avoid that familiar “oh shit, it’s due” feeling. In between there I talked on the phone with J. about renting her house in Waverly starting in August. N. and I need a bigger place, and a friend of a friend heard this house would come open then, and you know how it goes. Our renting her house solves a whole bunch of problems for her and for us, so it looks like we’re moving up the hill come August, and I couldn’t be more excited. Continue reading

Rows of Brick Houses at Rexmere Road and Chestnut Hill Avenue

Rows of Brick Houses at Rexmere Road and Chestnut Hill AvenueSpring is here, finally, and oh, it felt good to be out on the Surly on Wednesday, skirt waving in the wind, sun on my face! That whole rebirth-in-spring business isn’t just for bunny rabbits and Jesus Christ–it’s for bicyclists, too, even those of us who ride year round. I started my ride heading up the hill and to the right for a trip to the dentist before heading to Lake Montebello for a few laps with a slew of pedestrians and one very, very cute puppy: “He’s not as good as he looks–he already ate two pairs of shoes!” Continue reading

Mansion Behind Gates at Greenway & Charlcote Place

Mansion Behind Gates at Greenway & Charlcote PlaceThere’s nothing like a few days of sub-freezing temperatures to remind a girl how warm 40 degrees really is, and I was happy for the warmth on my free Friday afternoon. I took the Surly up the hill for a sandwich and with no other plans for the evening, I just kept going straight up the hill with the vague goal of going north and west enough to avoid getting caught in the Loyola parking lot. I know, I know, I could check a map and follow some directions, but where’s the fun in that? 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

Mother’s Garden in Clifton Park at 32nd & Harford Road

Mother's Garden in Clifton Park at 32nd & Harford RoadMonday was my last free day before the start of a new semester, so after finishing up some syllabi (syllabuses?) it was most assuredly time to take a bike ride. I headed north and east toward Lake Montebello to do some easy laps with the rest of the Mondays-off crowd. I rode through sprinklers and past geese having their afternoon snacks, followed the sign to Morgan State only to hit a dead end 45 seconds later (construction, always with the construction), and after a third lap got off the trail and onto the street to explore the neighborhood. Continue reading