Yesterday, with Rob away at Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con I decided to haul ass to Starbucks and force myself to either finish the first edit on one of my short stories, or the first draft of another, so that I can finally have something for writing group this following week. But when I got to the Starbucks, I just didn't feel like getting off my bike. So, I didn't. Instead I went "exploring," which as previously noted is not usually a good idea for me. But this time, it paid off, as I found a safe route (as in, no highways) into Baltimore and was able to do some city riding for the first time ever.
And it is so much better, you guys. I didn't get sworn at, cut off, sideswiped, or told to get on the sidewalk once. It was almost surreal, how much better it is to bike in Baltimore City vs. BalCo/Towson. I rode on bike lanes for the first time. Saying it that way makes me sound like a hick, which, maybe I am. But I'm also a badass for daring to ride in the suburbs, so it evens out. You city riders have it so easy. And what's interesting is, Baltimore isn't considered a bike friendly city by most. I don't know where it falls in the rankings, but it's never spoken of in the same breathless tones as PDX or Boston or Minneapolis. Yet, I don't know what a city could possibly do to be better. Like, if this is just a "normal" or even "bike unfriendly" city, what the hell are they doing in Portland that's so great? (Then again, maybe I was just there at a really good time. It was Saturday afternoon after all, not rush hour.)
I'm growing to realize that one of the reasons I hate Baltimore County so very much is that, unless you have a car, there is no possible way to explore. There are parts of the county that are beautiful and would be biker/walker friendly, but they are separated by many miles of interstate highway. Yes, this is true for most places, including my old home of Pittsburgh. Once you get out of the city, if you don't have a car, forget it. But I haven't lived in a place like this since 2005, and I forgot how depressing it is, how constrained it makes me feel to only be able to visit the same half-dozen places over and over again (and yeah, I usually wind up only having a half-dozen "haunts" but at least I get to pick them!). I don't ever want to feel this way again. And in two months, I won't have to, because we're moving!
I forgot to take pictures, but I will rectify that on my next trip in (and there will be a next trip in, oh yes).
The moral of today's story is: I will do anything to avoid writing. Or maybe oh my god, is it August yet?!