Looking Down the Pier at Fells Point

Looking Down the Pier at Fells Point

Monday was Memorial Day, and instead of hanging out with family in Michigan as planned, the ladyfriend and I were home in Baltimore, as usual. I’m still at home almost all the time. I go out every day for some exercise and sunshine, and once every ten days or so I go to the grocery store, but otherwise my life is completely home and online.

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Women & Leadership Class 2016-2017 at UMBC

Women & Leadership Class 2016-2017 at UMBC I’ve been riding my bike a lot since I last blogged about it. I ride it almost every day, especially now that school is in session. It’s just how I get from here to there, and since I go here and there, I’m pretty much always on my bicycle. It has been so hot these last couple of months that biking has been a lot less pleasurable than usual. I’m still always happy once I’m on the bike, but if I’m being honest, I don’t always want to get on there.

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Bike Path Closed At The East End of Herring Run Trail

Bike Path Closed At The East End of Herring Run Trail It’s that time of the summer when it’s just too damn hot and humid for bike riding to be all that much fun. The ladyfriend even gave me her car for Monday so I wouldn’t be huffing and puffing in dangerous 100 degree temps. Last summer I rode my bike 350 miles in the Adirondacks at temperatures like this, but it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity, or maybe I’ve just gone soft. At any rate, I left my house on Tuesday with a plan to just ride three quarters of a mile to the gym and exercise in the relative comfort of the YMCA’s air conditioning.

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View Above New Development Off Liberty Parkway in Dundalk

20160617_150700 It was my birthday last Thursday, and I was a bit apprehensive about it, my first without my dad. Firsts are tricky, or so I’ve heard, so I didn’t make any big plans for the day in case what I wanted to do was sit in bed and cry. That’s not what I wanted to do, waking up in a celebratory mood instead. I decided to keep it going on Friday with another vacation day, this time for a bike ride. I set out without a real plan, except a vague desire to collect my free Birthday Burger at Red Robin down in Canton. I zig zagged my way there, got a burger that I ended up paying for–don’t worry, the free one’s on my card for later this week–and then decided on a whim to bike over to Dundalk. Getting there’s a bit of a pain–Holabird Avenue’s not exactly bike-friendly–but once you’re there it’s a dream of wide bike lanes and quiet streets. I made my way slowly over there and took the lane on Holabird to avoid that close-call feeling as cars imagine they can pass you even when they can’t. I went past the Amazon warehouse where all the magic happens, noted its ample bike parking and wondered if the company doesn’t have the clout to get a bike lane in front, and talked my way through the truck traffic before making my right on Dundalk Avenue.

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Greenery Along the Gwynns Falls Trail In Gwynns Falls Park

Greenery Along the Gwynns Falls Trail In Gwynns Falls ParkIt was a beautiful sunny summer weekend, the ladyfriend was on a much-needed out of town adventure with herself, and I had absolutely no plans. That’s some perfection right there, and I spent the Sunday of it riding my bike around. I left my house at high noon, all lotioned up with sunscreen and nowhere in particular to go. I had it my mind to maybe hit SoWeBo Fest, so I rode south and west and west to avoid my regular work commute route but to be heading in generally that direction. And then I was pedaling through west Baltimore on an old commuting route I used to take when I first moved to Baltimore. I decided to see if that bridge on Old Frederick Road had been replaced, and once I got there and saw that yes, it had been, I was on the Gwynns Falls Trail, so why not take it to the end?

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Baltimore Sign and New TeeVee at Baltimore’s Penn Station

Baltimore Sign and New TeeVee at Baltimore's Penn StationWednesday was so ridiculously hot and humid. As I was getting ready to head out, I idly wondered if it would feel hotter because they’d told me we’d reach a heat index of 106 degrees, or it would actually just *feel* that hot. And then I went outside, and it was just plain hot. My ride started with a quick mile and a half up the hill and over to the YMCA where I exercised in air conditioned comfort before heading home and swapping out bikes for the much hotter ride to campus, by way of the MARC train. It was the kind of hot where the wind going downhill feels like it’s blowing from a furnace–no cooling there. Continue reading

Kayak Stacks at the Fells Point Pier

Kayak Stacks at the Fells Point PierIf you know me in real life and have known me for awhile, you know this about me: I have a tendency to get really into things for a really brief time, and then I move on. Some of you have been with me long enough to have seen the break baking phase, the cigar collecting, the online support group dedication (13,000 posts in 100 days of quitting smoking–I was 100% dedicated to quitting smoking), running, drumming, swimming, and the list goes on. Continue reading

View of the Hanover Street Bridge From a Pier on the Gwynns Falls Trail

View of the Hanover Street Bridge From a Pier on the Gwynns Falls TrailI woke up late after a most perfect late night out and my first thought was: bicycle! I hopped out of bed and onto the Surly for a ride over to the Waverly farmer’s market and breakfast at the corner diner. I rode back home for a quick stop before meeting M. for a ride out to Middle Branch Park. She is new in town and hasn’t been on that section of the Gwynns Falls Trail, so I was happy to join her for a ride. Continue reading

Looking Up From Mount Vernon Square

Looking Up From Mount Vernon SquareSummer school classes were finished and it was the Fourth of July and we all had the day off and the weather was hot and the sky was blue. The morning started with a walk and a bus ride and a walk with N., who clearly needs a bicycle. Then again, if you aren’t in a hurry–and we most assuredly were not–why not amble, wait, ride, and amble? Continue reading

View Over the Fence at Webster’s Dead End in Federal Hill

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Today’s ride took me down the hill and back up another hill to my favorite new strip mall in Locust Point where I locked up to a rack before spending the day getting a massage, going out to lunch, talking to S. on the phone, and eating frozen yogurt as I tried to circle around an argument for this thing I’ve been writing all summer. It’s scary sometimes, the point where you have to stop making Interesting Observations and start making larger sense, and I have to take very good care of myself so I don’t scare myself away from that part of writing. I finally managed to figure some stuff out while waiting for the rain to stop, scribble, scribble, scribble, and then it was time for a celebratory beer, some grousing about the USA men’s basketball team~holding for the last shot of the half when you’re up by 33 is just tacky~and then I pedaled over to A. and J.’s for wine, good food, chatter, and more Olympics action. I stopped to take this picture before I got there, at the end of Webster. You call it Webster Court, but all you’ve got is this half fence to keep a distance between you and freeways and waste treatment plants. And then a groundhog scurried by and I was reminded that a lot of things are willing to make a life right at the edges. I rode home late at night, for me, and realized it has been awhile since a warm night ride alone, which meant the sense memory was all New Orleans. It didn’t make me miss that place, though; it made me happy that I can still access that feeling of being the only person on the streets, flying by with my skirt waving, my own breeze cooling me down. Oh yes, that is a nice way to spend a summer evening.