The Inside of the 35 Bus on Wilkens Avenue

I only had a meeting this afternoon up on campus, so I figured it was the perfect chance to ride my bike to campus. I scrawled down a thousand turn-by-turns from the googleymaps, shoved the piece of paper in my bra, and pushed off down the hill on another new route. I took a wrong turn here and a wrong turn there, but eventually I was on Lafayette and going the right way and once I hit Monroe, I knew what to do (right, left, wave, right, coast, pedal, pedal pedal, pant, pant pant). Continue reading

Lush Trees in Druid Hill Park

Oh, rain, please give it a rest! And it did this afternoon. Sure, there were gray skies and clouds and some spitting, but I managed to sneak in a ride in the relatively dry afternoon after a good day of work. I decided to head over to Druid Hill Park to check out the green, and there was a lot of it. Continue reading

Burned Out House on Georgetown Road & St. Marks

I had one morning meeting up on campus and nothing else on my schedule, so I figured it was high time I take the bike on the commute. I left myself two hours to go the ten miles, fully expecting to get lost/get a flat/get so tired I’d have to walk. Well, I did get lost, but I’ve been memorizing streets on my drive over the past couple weeks for just this event, so I knew Saratoga crossed Monroe, and once I was on Monroe I could follow the same route I take in the car. Voila! Continue reading

Episcopal Church at Cathedral & Read

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Finally the rain stopped falling this afternoon and I got to take the Surly out for an inaugural ride in Baltimore. I headed up a few blocks to grab lunch, then over to the coffee shoppe for some work–yes,  I do have things to do besides unpack–and then to Mt. Vernon to meet V., my new colleague and future drinking buddy, for a large iced tea and some conversation. Man, the bike going downhill is a trip! I was seriously flying, and it felt fantastic, if a bit scary. I’m just not used to hills, but I won’t be saying that for long. Just being on the bike made me feel more at home, and I am seriously pumped to spend the next however many years doing laps, using gears, yelling on the inside for the Bolt bus to get out of my bike lane, it’s all I have. I was early to our date–the downhill ride took about three minutes, and I sat outside, looking up at the cloudy sky, thinking this church is awfully old and pretty, knowing that in the not-too-distant future I will take myself on a tour of the thing. So much new! I rode back on the uphill, grateful for my many gears and the part where I am not at all in a hurry.

Gwynns Falls Parkway a Half Mile Or So From Frederick Avenue

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So back when I thought I might be a runner before figuring out it hurt my shoulder (don’t ask), I followed that Couch to 5K program to the letter, and it worked. Where’s the training program for the ten mile communte through hills both ways? Because that’s what I need. J. drove me and the rental bike to campus today, I did a few paperwork things, and then it was time to practice the commute back to the city. It started with a 3/4 of a mile ride up the incline of the aptly-named Hilltop Circle and then a right on the busy Wilkens Avenue. That offered some downhill respite, thank goodness, until another slow climb up Caton Avenue, where the traffic scared the pants off me, and I actually got off the bike and walked–I’d rather be safe than sorry. And then all of the sudden I was at the head of the Gwynns Falls Parkway, no cars allowed! How wonderful! I happily pedaled along the paved trail, stopping to take pictures like this one, of green walls hiding water and falls. Is this part of my commute, really, I thought. Turns out, no, so I turned back and retraced my steps and was back on the road with cars speeding by as I huffed and puffed my way to North Avenue. One guy shouted from his stoop on Fulton that I would catch more of a breeze if I just pedaled faster. Excellent plan, sir, but not one I am yet able to follow. Pedal, pedal, pedal, buy a bottle of water from a guy on a corner–aid stations!–take a right, take another right, take a right, and I was back at the bike shoppe, returning my rental, rehydrating, and after all that, feeling surprisingly good. It took me forever, and ithe traffic got a little nuts at times, but I did it, and I can do it again. But I am going to need to be patient and to practice. Project, yay!

Blue Sky & Snow in McCall, Idaho

If you met me today, you might think I have always been into bikes, but the truth is, I’ve only been riding regularly for a few years. I can’t really remember what I did before I wanted to ride a bike around everyday, but I vaguely remember that I spent a lot of it smoking. In other words, I have come to ride a bike in New Orleans, where it is flat, flat, flat. Continue reading