Tonight’s ride took me just down the hill to meet a couple of students for dinner and a chat about this and that. I rode with the rush hour traffic, which meant I easily beat the cars and easily found a parking spot. After dinner I walked a bit, talking to E. on the phone about, and stopped on the bridge over the JFX on Calvert. I rarely take this road, preferring the bike facilities a block east on Guilford, but today I walked across, which meant I could stop and snap this picture through the almost-transparent wall behind the metal railings on every third or so segment of the bridge. Sometimes you have to get off the bike and look down, but it was good to get back on and steady-pedal home.
Saturday started with a lovely visit from M. and J. and a steady amble down the hill to Mount Vernon to check out the preparations for Baltimore’s Pride parade before walking back north for brunch and to swap out the walking for the bike. Continue reading
Thursday’s skies and weather report certainly suggested a bicycle ride would be a bad idea, but oh boy, I needed to ride my bike. And there were hints of blue in the sky, so maybe it would be fine. And it was. It felt so good to just fly down the hill and up the hill and around the harbor and up the other hill to Federal Hill. A. and I caught up on all the gossip and then watched each other write and not write and write and then I looked outside again, and maybe the weather report was right. I packed up quickly and snapped a picture of the sky over the neighborhood. It did not look promising, especially with rain already starting to fall. I made it around to the Science Center before the skies just opened up. The deluge! It was incredible, and the wind was blowing the rain horizontally into me. My shoes promptly filled with water, and there was so much water in my eyes I had to get off my bike and walk–I couldn’t see a thing. I finally squinted out enough water to get back on the bike and slowly pedaled up the hill toward home, feet slipping off the pedals, brakes squealing, and puddles splashing. This song would not leave my head, and for some reason I couldn’t stop smiling. Once you’re all wet, you’re all wet, no worries, it’s summertime.
As soon as I slung my leg over my bike and clipped into my right pedal I felt like myself again, and I couldn’t help but dodge back and forth in the lane, doing that little dance of welcome home. Oh, it was good to get on the bike and race down the hill and up again, for the sweet treat of coffee and talk with two of my favorite nerds, E. and R. Afterwards R. and I lingered to talk about bikes and girls and things, and then I was off toward downtown and the Gwynns Falls Trail. Continue reading
I didn’t think I would get to ride a bike this week, but guess what? Denver has bike share! For the relatively low price of $8, I could ride all day long, as long as I checked a bike in every 30 minutes. No problem, I thought, especially since there was a station right outside my hotel. Turns out the software running the kiosks was broken, so the bike was free for 30 minutes, and I used all of then tracing downtown’s bike lanes. I have to admit the place felt kind of empty, that ghost town feel of downtown Hartf ord or Oakland or Boise, but immediately that just felt like free roads to pedal. The place is flat and easy to ride, and the skyline is that mix of modern block skyscrapers and red brick boxes–a lovely combination. I had a vague memory of passing a bikeshare station on yesterday’s ride to the airport, so I retraced those steps, vaguely, until I saw this art installation I rememebered that centered me back where I was. I noticed it because the storage container’s been used in new artistical ways lately, in NYC and Brooklyn, especially, and in New Orleans as a possible new housing design. To me these massive crates feel like temporary, like a fix that means to break down and leave folks homeless again, so it isn’t really art, except it is. It depends who’s looking I suppose. Me, I pedaled back downtown, hoping my gut would lead me back to the bikeshare station I knew was still working. It did, and I docked the bike and spent the rest of my day on foot, passing through the classical architecture of the state and city capitals and the ultramodern art musuem and the simply wonderful history museum before walking back to the hotel where work belonged. It was a perfect day to explore a new city by bike and by foot, and it was absolutely my pleasure.
The day was so beautiful it deserved a much better bike ride than it got today, but what are you going to do–sometimes you have to work. But then I was done, and I hopped on the Surly for a ride through the construction on Charles to meet S. for a late lunch/early dinner before taking a quick zoom around the neighborhood and back the Charles Village for the dress rehearsal of the Baltimore Neighborhood Circus show at the 2640 space on St. Paul. I’m happy I get to negotiate the new Charles Avenue on bike and not in a car. But anyway. Continue reading