Police Canvassing at 35th & Old York Road

Police Canvassing at 35th & Old York RoadI’ve only been on my bicycle a few times since my big trip through the Adirondacks. That’s partly because I was exhausted and my non-biking sister was in town, and then because I was out of town at a family wedding, getting chauffeured around like the girlfriend of the sister of the bride. And now I’m back in Baltimore, settling in for a long late summer and fall of no travel, and that means I’m back on my bike, because that’s how I get around this place. Continue reading

Blue Skies at 36th & Ellerslie

Blue Skies at 36th & EllerslieThe weather report promised a day of rain and wind and storms on Monday, much to my bike-loving chagrin. I spent the morning locked up at home, dealing with hundreds of emails that could no longer be ignored, and slowly but surely the sun came out. I decided to go with the skies instead of the weather report and head out on the bike to complete some errands like the daredevil I am. Continue reading

Birds in a Bush at 32nd & Barclay

Birds in a Bush at 32nd & BarclayI meant to get a bike ride in on Monday afternoon, first down to Mount Vernon to meet E. for a chat and then, oh, wherever I felt like going. But then I was stepping off the curb with my bike and stepped funny, and I heard a crack so loud it made me want to puke on my new orange Ortlieb front roller classics. That was the end of the ride for me, so after sitting on my front steps long enough to catch my breath, I headed back inside to elevate and ice it. Sigh. Continue reading

Demolished Building at E. Preston & N. Washington

Demolished Building at E. Preston & N. WashingtonI spent my Saturday standing on the corner of 33rd and Ellerslie up in Waverly, bike leaning against a street sign, cheering on the gazillion runners taking part in the Baltimore Running Festival. My sister’s running the NYC marathon at the end of the month, and watching her train and knowing her story, well, I know that every single one of the runners passing by me that day had a story, too. I’m pretty much a marshmallow, so that thought had me choking back tears as I clapped and wooted for a good two hours before finally tearing myself away for a much-needed bike ride. Continue reading

Giant Bouquets at Local Color Flowers at Brentwood & 32nd

Giant Bouquets at Local Color Flowers at Brentwood & 32ndWednesday saw the return of Brompty to the bike lineup as we headed back to campus after a month-long hiatus. I love the world the folding bike opens up for me, but this girl doesn’t have the gearing to do hills with ease, and the new commute adds two hills. That isn’t a lot, but it was enough to make me nervous about how much time I’d be adding to the commute with the move, and I was happy to have a chance to get that first go out of the way. I aired up the tires, unfolded the pieces, dusted off the seat, and was on my way, reminding myself–out loud–that I was not in a hurry. As long as I remember that I’ve got time and can sit myself in the easiest gear I need my knees can take whatever hills are there. Turns out the added mile and a half was just an extra mile and a half of flowers and how-you-doin’s and neighbors and then I was back on Saint Paul, flying down the hill to the train station in maybe 10 more minutes than from the old place–that’ll work, especially with the added bonus of taking the left lane on 33rd for a turn onto Barclay. There’s something about vehicular cycling that really gets me going, especially when I’m on Brompty. Continue reading

Youth Curfew Ordinance Protesters at UB School of Law at Charles & Mt. Royal

Youth Ordinance Protesters at UB School of Law at Charles & Mt. RoyalI’m moving this week, just up the street, but still my anxiety is through the roof–you’d think I hadn’t moved at least every three years of the last twenty. Oh well–I’m doing what I can, and on Tuesday that meant taking the bike out to meet a friend for a walk, riding over the the gym for step aerobics (never changes!), and then riding all over running self-care errands. Yeah, it was slightly better than sitting in the house, waiting for it to pack itself. Oh, I love this town–its trees, its cheap haircutteries, its community acupuncture and friendly eyeglass shop! The ride was an excellent reminder that I may be moving, but I’m not starting over–I get to stay in Baltimore this time! Continue reading

The YMCA at 33rd & Ellerslie Against Blue Skies

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First, I have to say something about the weather. It is so hot and humid out. This is obvious to anyone in the are, but wow, it makes a difference in how riding feels. I’m sleeping like a rock, like I’ll need a crane to peel me off the bed in the morning, because riding in this humidity sucks the life force from me. I mean, I still love it, but it takes some acclimatizing is all. I got some of that out of the way with my long ride on Tuesday and commuting on Wednesday, but on Thursday the best I could do was the mile to and from the YMCA. N. and I just joined for pool access so N. can use it to heal this back spasm that’s gripped her for the past three weeks, and I’m using it to get back to weight training and maybe a group class or two. Thursday’s was Urban Line Dancing, which as far as I could tell meant Black folks, not white country folks. I rode to the gym, sweaty after just ten minutes, locked up to the rack, took a minute to judge the blue fixie rider for locking their impracticable bike horizontally on the U-rack, and headed in to join the twenty or so other dancers. I was close to the youngest, and the only white person, and it struck me how rarely that ever happens in my life. Our social spaces are so segregated by age and race, generally, that rarely do I find myself in the minority, other than sometimes in the classroom–a privilege, but also a cost of whiteness. It’s only Smalltimore because we live such segregated lives, you know. Everyone was friendly enough, and I gamed my way through the six or so dances (though Bmore Nights is going to take some out-of-class work if I’m going to get it), and had a really good time. The steps were complicated, so all I could do was focus on them, and that was a treat. I said my goodbyes on the way out, happy to have found another place to play, this one in ac. Thanks, this YMCA, for being welcoming to so many kinds of folks. I snapped this picture on my way out. All blue skies, no sign of the humidity.