Sunday, April 19, 2009

Full disclosure

I just made it back from Baltimore a few hours ago. Now that I'm home safe, in the spirit of full disclosure, I feel that I should admit a few things.

While I did successfully make it to Baltimore yesterday with few mishaps (sure, there was flat number eight and I got a little lost on Pratt Street trying to find my way to Trent and Holly's place which probably added another three or four miles onto the trip), I did get a bit of a later start than anticipated, so Mitch and I actually took the metro to Greenbelt and biked from there, shaving about 12 miles off the total distance. Mitch caught the train back from BWI. Still, it worked out to about 43 miles, all told, for me. I slept like a rock last night. Of course, a nice dinner, a couple beers, and a hot shower didn't hurt anything, either.

Today, I made it back from Baltimore, leaving a day earlier than anticipated in an attempt to beat tomorrow's rain. I did not, however, bike the whole way back. I did (magically) make it out of Baltimore without any trouble. In fact, I was surprised how much easier it was than coming in. But boy did I get lost after that. Must've been the hubris again. I took something like an eight-mile long wrong turn around BWI. I met a nice older biking couple who joined me for a couple of miles until we reached the MD Dept of Transportation Office, where we hoped they might be able to, you know, help me map a way back to where I needed to be. The security guard was very nice, providing me with not only a Maryland state map, but also some much needed Kleenex (I was getting a little sniffly). Bolstered by the confidence of a newly highlighted map, I set out again, only to wind up lost twice more around Arundel Mills mall. (Sidenote: mall-crazed shoppers in SUVs are the most mean-spirited, rushed drivers ever. You'd think they were leaning on their horns and swerving past you to get to something more important than a red light 20 feet ahead and a 10% off sale on snuggies.)

I'd called on tech support a couple of times for some navigational advice, but after nearly five hours on the road for my second straight day, with wind and rain picking up, I found my way to a Post Office, called my friends Tori and Rudy, and pulled out a bottle of water and a sandwich. I'd finally found an intersection I recognized from yesterday, and it was one that suggested about another two and a half hours of biking to get home. After nearly 35 miles today (about 15 of them in circles and on detours), I remembered that in fact I am not too proud to call for help: Rudy came to the rescue and drove Ollie and I home in the Prius.

Since I'm baring everything, I feel somehow also compelled to admit that when I went by the shop on Friday to put on my new fenders, tires, and rear rack, I put the rack on incorrectly not once, not twice, not even three times, but four. And the fenders? Really, I have to use *bolt cutters* to make them fit? (It was my first time wielding bolt cutters and I think I quite impressed the high school kid who was standing nearby trying to regale me with tales of his stunt biking.) But I ask you, what kind of biking gear comes with simply a package of nuts and bolts and weirdly shaped metal things but no instructions? Oh, I finally got the rack on. And that sucker's never coming off.

Now that I'm done ranting, time to get to the good stuff in my next post: the amazing school and community gardening going on in Baltimore....


  1. Ok, now I get the Ocho thing. At first I had thought that was because it was in the eighth mile that you got the blow out, but it appears that it was the eighth flat.

  2. Yeah. I'd considered entitling the post "Eight is Enough" but 1) that was a particularly horrible TV show (though it was a particularly horrible flat, come to think of it, so perhaps fitting) and 2) "Ocho" was just plain funnier. Also, I was in kind of a Spanish mood after the Mexican dinner and Negro Modelos the night before....


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