Cars Turning Left at President & E. Fayette

Cars Turning Left at President & E. FayetteTuesday’s bike ride took me to Locust Point, but I took a different route than I usually do. Usually I take Guilford down and up to the Inner Harbor bike/ped path around  and up through Federal Hill, but on Tuesday, the very last thing I wanted to do was dodge pedestrians. I took Maryland Avenue down instead, dodging the cars turning on Franklin/40 and merging into one lane on that steep hill at Saratoga. I love taking all the lanes in this part of just-west downtown because there aren’t quite so many cars and besides, it’s just the safest way to travel. 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

View of the Under Armour Plant at Key Highway E.

View of the Under Armour Plant at Key Highway E.N. planted three clues about where to meet her Friday night, and she told me to ride my bike there. I did a little sleuthing by way of the internet to figure out that I was supposed to be at 1121 Hull Street, so after a day of lazing and working I carried Brompty down the stairs, put air in her tires, and headed down the hill–that way I could fold up my bike and toss it in the trunk of N.’s car and let her drive me back up the hill.
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Preparing to Pour Cement at Bethel & Fleet

Preparing to Pour Cement at Bethel & FleetIt was another gray day in Baltimore, and as soon as I got on the bike I felt raindrops. They weren’t the kind of raindrops that stayed–those would come later–and it felt good to just be flying down the hill in less than full summer heat. I rode down, took my left and my right, dodged some mail trucks, took another left and a right, and I was retracing familiar steps. I thought about why these familiar steps are never in the west–I blame MLK (the street, not the man)–and then I parked my bike and ate the kind of breakfast that you know you’re supposed to think is amazing, but really you shouldn’t have to ask that many times for a biscuit that’s more like a very, very plain crumbly muffin with jam that just doesn’t hold up. On my way I stopped to snap this picture of construction in Fells Point. It’s almost time to pour the cement, I think, the ground traced with steel bars. There are cranes in the sky down here. Every time I see cranes in the sky, I remember that’s what they said about New Orleans–there would be cranes in the sky, but that didn’t happen. Something else is happening there now. I walked down to the pier, sat and watched the water taxi come and go, and then it was back on the bike to the Inner Harbor and around to Locust Point for a couple of errands before a speedy trip home. Those last few miles were my favorite of the day, up and down, up and down, hitting my stride, waving my hellos.

View From the Fort McHenry Bike Path in Locust Point

View From the Fort McHenry Bike Path in Locust PointOh, I needed today. I woke up late and lazed about in bed with cats, gathering that vacation day vibe. I had a lovely long lunch with R. and O., eating dosa and talking about the layers of history and memory everywhere, the messages sent by trees about where matters and who doesn’t, and arranging our next meetings–why not have a meeting tubing on a river, O. asked? Sometimes you find the right people, and oh, it feels lucky. Afterward it was finally time to take the bike out for a ride. I zipped down the hill, fast as could be, and then up and around and up and down and up again to Fort McHenry. Continue reading

View From a Bench Along Riverside Park Path in Riverside Park in Federal Hill

View From a Bench in Riverside Park in Federal HillBaltimore’s getting the temperature right, but wow, this place had the wind machine on high today, so I had to keep pedaling down the hill to keep from being pushed off my line by the wind. It was good, though, just to be outside on a bicycle with naked legs, so many promises for the months to come. Continue reading

Puppy at McHenry Row in Locust Point

Puppy at McHenry Row in Locust PointI was in Cleveland for the weekend, not riding a bicycle but being driven around the freezing town by one of my very oldest friends, who kindly listened to me imagine what it would be like to ride a bike in that town. They live about six miles from downtown–is there an easy bike route there? How are the hills? Are there any bike lanes going in? I spotted just a few intrepid winter cyclists, including one guy on a tricycle positively encrusted with lights. Most excellent. It was a lovely trip, but oh my I was itching to get back on my bicycle, which I did, for a ride to Federal Hill to run a few errands. Continue reading

A Limousine Under Wraps in a Silo Point Parking Garage

Limousine Under Wraps in a Parking Garage at Silo PointI had a dinner date with R. in Locust Point tonight after a long day of work and other work and swimming and work. It was still warm out, but all the weather reports said temps were about to drop and rain mixed with ice was moving in. But oh, I wanted to ride a bicycle, so that’s what I did. I pedaled with rush hour traffic on the way there, up and around and down Fort Ave., a right on Steuert, and then to find a bike rack. Continue reading

Warrior Emporium at 1228 Light Street in Federal Hill

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Oh, Friday, I looked forward to you all week. My winter class and my own research and writing have been getting in the way of doing nothing, but I reserved Friday for just that. They promised a warm one, and I missed the “90% chance of rain” memo, so I set out without gloves, hat or raincoat. Oh well. I zipped down the hill in fog for a quick stop in Harbor East and some laps in the pool. Swimming is turning out to be just awesome. Right now it’s all about concentrating on my breathing, and since I’m a beginner, I’m getting better really, really fast. And then it was back on the bike~a quick nod to the bike that has been locked to that one rack since September~and I was on my way around the harbor and up to Locust Point for the ol’ sandwich-massage-and-a-haircut hat trick. By the time I headed back home it was raining, so I just tested my brakes and then rode as fast as I could, taking shortest route instead of the one signed for bikes. I stopped on Light Street to snap a picture of the Warrior Emporium, a place that specializes in cutlery and martial art supplies, of course. It’s a perfect combination, but it just kind of feels weird. There’s a hardware store next door, another place that secretly kind of has everything~drawer pulls, nails, cat carriers, soda, and everything. What a block, eh? Every shopper’s dream. By the time I made it over to Fallsway it was really coming down, so I put my head down and sped home, still quite certain Friday was worth all the hype.

View of the Locust Point Harris Teeter From the Second Floor

2012-12-20 14.44.00Thursday’s ride took me down the hill early to meet my swim teacher for another lesson. These lessons have had me riding from Charles Village to the edge of Canton, not a trip I was used to taking, so I keep trying new routes. Today, though, I just took the straight shot down the hill, a left on Aliceanna, slight right onto Boston, and I got there in just 35 minutes, which is fast for a red-light-obeying cyclist like me. Continue reading