Trophy of the World War 1917-1919 at War Memorial Plaza

I was getting ready to ride my bike down to War Memorial Plaza to join Friday’s protest when my neighbor J. texted me. “You’re not going to the protest, are you?” Actually I was, and though I tend to travel solo, I was happy to have company for the ride downtown. I met him on my bike just up from the alley, and he stayed at least six feet behind me as we rolled down the hill.

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Helicopter and Blue Skies Above War Memorial Plaza

Monday was one of those days where I worked all day but didn’t get anything substantive done. It’s amazing what bureaucracy will have you thinking is labor, but I digress. At the end of it I didn’t really have the energy for a bike ride, but I knew I’d feel better after a ride, and I was right.

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Looking up Gay Street Toward Baltimore Street

Looking up Gay Street Toward Baltimore Street

Monday’s weather was perfect for a bike ride–sunny, cool enough, light breeze–and I had time to take one. I hopped on and headed downtown to see what the previous few nights of unrest might have left on the streets. I saw quickly that one thing that was left was a whole bunch of cops. I zipped down Maryland and saw a group gathered in the courtyard by University of Baltimore, and then walking in a group up Cathedral, taking a right on Chase. And then there were cop cars and vans on almost every street.

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Trayvon Martin Protesters Gathered at City Hall To Demand Justice

Protesters Gathered at City HallThe clock clicked to 5:00pm and it was time to slather on the sunscreen and get on the bike for another ride down to McKeldin Square for another rally demanding justice in the Trayvon Martin case. That’s not a demand that’s going to be met following this particular rally, of course, but the rally brings like-minded folks together to feel community in anger, mourning, frustration, but also to revel in the pleasure of the crowd itself. My favorite moment from Sunday’s protest, for example, came when I was locking my bike up to the racks in the Inner Harbor (there’s a rack! As N. would say, wowwwwwwwwwwww!). Continue reading

BMX Rider at Carroll Park Skatepark at Bayard & Herkimer

It’s cold and windy in Baltimore, but I needed to go on a bike ride today, badly. I remembered my father’s insistence that “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing,” piled on my wool and layers, and hopped on the bike to see what was happening out there today. I flew down the hill to downtown and then took an unexpected left to follow the anti-marriage equality truck to a rally at War Memorial Plaza that was ostensibly “Not a protest. Not a festival. Not a rally. Not a time for speeches, sermons, stumping or pontification.” Continue reading

Unite Women-MD Rally at War Memorial Plaza at Fayette & Gay

Oh, thank goodness Saturday’s here! I woke up in that mood that is only made better by a bicycle ride, so I hopped on the Surly and flew down the hill to War Memorial Plaza for the Unite Women–Maryland rally. The crowd was small, but we made the best of it. I got to give a little talk about this and that at the microphone and talk about stuff with folks after, but I wish there’d been more people–we need warm-body activism alongside our internet posting about warm-body activism. Continue reading