Block of Homes on West Mulberry Street at North Gilmor Street

I wasn’t really feeling a bike ride yesterday, but I knew I’d feel better and sleep better if I got outside, even though it was a gazillion degrees and swampy out there. I was right. I headed down the hill and west and then up the hill again to Bolton Hill. I have some friends thinking about moving there, and I wanted to see how long it would take me to get there if they end up doing that. An important part of any moving calculus: how long will it take Kate to get there on her bike? For this one, about 17 minutes.

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Birdwatching on North Point State Park’s Black Marsh Trail

Birdwatching on North Point State Park's Black Marsh TrailI’ve been biking seemingly all day, every day for the past week. Saturday was especially long, up to Loch Raven, taking the lane on some seriously busy streets, down and over to check out the tulips and babies and puppies and mansions in Roland Park, and then down to Fell’s Point to avoid Pirate Day (you know pirates were often slave traders, especially when piloting the superfast Baltimore clipper ships, right?) and Record Store Day (the ladyfriend’s got that covered) and choke down a quick crepe before taking the Lombard Bike/Bus lane–good lord, I love that thing–to Ridgely’s Delight for a ride home. Continue reading

Daffodils at Druid Hill Park Overlooking I83

Daffodils at Druid Hill Park Overlooking I83I took Wednesday afternoon off after a week of marathon grading and teaching and meetings, and oh, it was lovely. I brought hardly anything with me for the ride over to Lake Montebello for a few laps with other bicyclists (they all had their spandex on–I was totes under dressed), kiddos on their way from school to wherever they go after school, and the many walkers, some in regular clothes, others in their suits that make you sweat more, which I guess technically means losing more weight–hey, whatever floats your boat. Continue reading

View Across the Patapsco From Middle Branch Park

View Across the Patapsco From Middle Branch ParkFriday’s ride started late, following a long morning of grading and grading and more grading. It’s simultaneously the best and worst part of the job. It’s a chance to settle in with individual students and see what they’re really thinking about, and a reminder that I’ve just got too many students to do that in the way I’d like. But I muscled through a big stack over fancy coffee and pizza, and I was ready to stretch my legs after. I headed down the hill and around the Inner Harbor, a quick stop at the tourist visitor’s center for some cash (I knew I was going to end up at the casino on payday), and checked out the empty spot where the Constellation used to be. A giant ship is suddenly absent, just its high heels left poking out of the harbor. Continue reading

View From a Bridge Over Spa Creek in Annapolis

View From a Bridge Over Spa Creek in AnnapolisLast week featured plenty of bicycle riding, and I even managed to get lost in the Pen Lucy and Hillen neighborhoods. I love getting lost, and I love that I seem able to do so no matter how long I ride around a city. You just have to make a different turn and be willing to go up the hill, and I’m easily willing to do those two things. Saturday, though, was all new. My ladyfriend threw her back out almost two months ago, but she’s finally up and moving around again, and we got to break in the double bike rack. Continue reading

View From a Footbridge Near Ashbourne & June in Arbutus

View From a Footbridge Near Ashbourne & June in ArbutusI had to come into campus for a full day of meetings and things today–a total bummer given that the sun was going to come out after several days of rain and I was feeling a bicycle ride. Solution: multimodal commute with the Brompty, and that’s what I did, flying down the hill to catch the 9:25 train to the Halethorpe station, not even 3 miles from campus. Continue reading

Looking Up at Trees From a Bench on a Trail in Damascus Regional Park


Many moons ago S. asked me to accompany her to her mom’s fundraising party for the MS 100 ride in Damascus, MD, and then it was finally today and time to head that way. Because she is awesome, S. kindly requested I fold up my new Brompton and bring it along for a ride on a park trail. She borrowed a mountain bike, and we were off. The bike is just so much fun to ride, and the gearing lets me keep pedaling while going down some fairly steep hills. I was flying, and damn, it was so much fun. But, as my father always says, what goes up must come down, and that’s true the other way, too. Yeah, I think I need a grannier gear on this thing for sustained climbs, or maybe I just need to get stronger. Overall, though, it was most perfect to be pedaling in the shade offered by trees like these, which we stared up at from a bench near the end of our ride. What a treat.

Birds on an Island in Druid Hill Reservoir

Today’s ride took me up the hill to Hampden to the coffee shoppe for some afternoon writing. I was pretty tired from a marathon day yesterday and some ill-advised late night TV viewing and it all made the uphill-in-the-wind feel unnecessarily hard. I got myself in an easy gear and let myself spin along until I got to the top. It was downhill on the way home, so I just let myself fly in the sunshine over to the park to do some laps. Continue reading

Planter’s Peanuts Park at Euterpe & Simon Bolivar


I had a long day at work today following a short night of sleep (sometimes cats are pests), so I was feeling too tired for a bike ride. I sluggishly rode home from work, dropped my stuff, and decided to take the bike out for a short ride after all–just what I needed after a day spent talking about prisons, from OPP and Angola to Abu Ghraib. I headed for the smooth ride that is Simon Bolivar and flew along with a nice tailwind that was to become a rough headwind on my way home. I stopped at Euterpe to wander through this new park, brought to you by Planter’s Peanuts. This corner has been vacant for as long as I’ve been riding my bike past it (which isn’t very long), sometimes hosting trucks for sale. And the suddenly something was being built there. And then a week later it was finished. And it’s a “park,” in the shape of a peanut, with Mr. Peanut sitting on a bench. There’s just gravel, and only one bench–and Mr. Peanut is hogging it–so I’m not sure exactly what we’re supposed to do in the park. As I was leaving a mom and a couple kids wandered over, and they seemed just as confused as I was. Why can’t we just get an actual park here? Sigh. I continued my ride to and around the CBD and back Uptown. Yep, it is *always* a good idea to go for a bicycle ride.

Twilight at Easton Park at St. Peter & N. Lopez

Today’s ride took me up to campus for class, which was awesome, because the writer of the book we’re reading came and answered all our questions. How great is that? After getting some work done in the office and stopping at home to rest and read another book, I got back on the bike and headed down to Bayou St. John for the first meeting of volunteers for this April’s Patois Human Rights Film Festival. Continue reading