I’ve been back in Baltimore for a week, and it has been a lovely week riding my bike around town again. Monday’s ride took me up to school and back and had me wishing, again, that there was a bike lane on Wilkens Avenue. Googlemaps shows this as a regularly traveled bike route, and that’s true–it is–but only because it’s the only way to travel from the city to that part of the county, not because the infrastructure or road speeds make that a pleasant way to cycle. Continue reading
I’ve been away from the blog for a bit, not because I haven’t been riding my bike, but because I’ve been writing so much for other things, and it turns out there are only so many words in me. And then I was in Boise for a week, sans bicycle, and then right back in Baltimore and back to work. And then there was Thursday, and I got to ride my bike all over, first up to Roland Park. I took Keswick this time, and enjoyed the interval training of its rolling hills. And then it was back down the hill, a couple of stops, and then the new casino and its massive collection of bike racks right by the valet parking. How can this be that they actually built in room for several dozen bicycles? At the casino??? Continue reading
I love not having a car, but Friday was one of those days when having a car would have been kinda great. I had an appointment up in Roland Park and then had to be out in the suburbs at UMBC and then back in Roland Park to judge an evening debate tournament. And I was out of coffee. In a car, I just would have made the rounds, but on a bike it felt like climbing hill after hill after hill, always needing to leave a little early to get to the next thing on time. And I didn’t have a chance to get coffee until 1:30 in the afternoon, on my way home to swap Brompty back out for the Surly. But you know what? As I climbed up Roland Avenue for the second time, I realized how lucky it is to want to ride my bike, to take such joy in the feel of it all, and to live in a body that lets me do it. Continue reading
I remember when I first got to New Orleans, and I was quite certain that I had never seen a more beautiful place on earth, at least when it came to the everyday flora. It’s all banana trees and palms and brilliant azaleas and oh my, it is just so pretty there. Baltimore, well, it take a minute longer to grow on you–or at least me. But then there was fall, winter, and then springtime. The flower trees flower in waves, first the white crabapples, then the pink cherries, and then, well, I have to wait to let the parks and streets remind me. Continue reading
Friday’s bike ride took me up to Roland Park for a doctor’s appointment, and it was so cold that even the long climb didn’t warm me up. It was the kind of ride I never would have taken back when I had a car, but now it just makes sense that I’ll take the 30-40 minutes to get there on the bike, which isn’t that much longer than it took to drive. I headed up Calvert and took my left onto University Parkway, past the lacrosse fields and the veganeverything restaurant, down the hill past the ghost bike that reminds me every time I pass it that bike lanes don’t guarantee safety–nothing does. Ride defensively, indeed–and drive that way, too. Continue reading
It was unseasonably warm on Monday, and I had meetings to make in Waverly and Roland Park and no car, so after airing up the Surly’s tires, I headed out to enjoy the getting-from-place-to-place of a busy day. The ride between Waverly and Roland Park was a bit of a haul up a hill, so I put myself in an easy gear and kept my eyes from looking too far ahead. I hit the bike lane on University Parkway, passed the ghost bike that serves as a sad reminder that the bike lane can’t guarantee safety, and then spun past mansions of ever-increasing grandeur, so different from the places in Waverly and West Baltimore. The bike lane was filled with debris from road construction and house renovation, which I guess is better than all the cars that use the bike lane to corner tighter while winding their way up. And then I took my right and locked up my bike to a street sign, and snapped this picture of water running between an office building and the mall I never noticed, in an entire year of driving over here. And again I was reminded that biking gets you out of your head, out of talk radio or music, and back in the world, wondering how they covered up all of this water, and why. And then it was an easy ride home, flying down the hill with only a brief stop to check out the statue outside the LaCrosse Hall of Fame. Thank you, Indigenous People of America, for your sport, Love Laxbros of Johns Hopkins. The only reason I was taking the car is because I was used to taking the car. Thanks, universe, for the reminder to just ride my bike.
Tuesday started out a shady and soggy mess, but all was cleared up in the afternoon, just in time for a quick bike ride around the neighborhood. I rode up to one of many entries in the Charles Village Sandwich Shoppe Wars (Quiznos was rightly the first casualty), lunched, and then continued on up the hill and over toward Roland Park to meet S. for coffee. I am up in this neighborhood all the time, but for some reasons, this was the first time I’d noticed the monument set back behind the trees circling that tiny sliver that gets to be called a park. It’s a monument to the Confederate women of Maryland, “The Brave at Home” who “In Difficulty and Danger/Regardless of Self/They Fed the Hungry/Clothed the Needy/Nursed the Wounded/and/Comforted the Dying.” Continue reading