Tuesday, November 1, 2011

First post!

Well, hello there! I previously "blogged" (seriously, I hate that word) about my bicycling adventures on Breakfast at Twilight, but my interest in cycling has grown to the point at which I felt it warranted its own site.

Anyway, here's the story, for those too lazy to read the "about me" link: my name is Erica, I live in Baltimore, and I don't drive. Sometimes this hasn't affected my life in the slightest, and other times, it's been a major barrier to my employment, socialization, entertainment, and independence. I also have a lot of political beliefs shaped by my non-driving status. Up until 2010, I lived in a city (Pittsburgh, PA) with a fairly extensive public transportation system, which is currently in the process of being dismantled. In 2010, I moved to a satellite city of Baltimore where public transportation was severely lacking, so I decided to start bicycling. And I fell in love!

One of the many pieces of Hampden public art.
Cycling has improved my life in so many ways. Although public transportation is a wonderful thing, there is really something to be said for getting where you need to go under your own power. The feeling of being on your own timetable, without the delays common with buses and trains, is liberating. Bicycles really are freedom machines, at least for those of us fortunate enough to live in places where cycling is possible. (I grew up in a place where it wasn't possible, and I'm sure my suburbia hate will come out here sooner or later.) At the same time, cycling in a major American city that isn't Portland is quite often a daunting experience... it's always better than driving (for me), but there's still an ever-present danger which doesn't have to be there.

With this blog, I hope to give a little bit of insight into cycling in Baltimore, as well as talk about what it's like to be a non-driver kinda-but-not-really-but-YES-REALLY by choice (my driving history, it's complicated), public perceptions of cyclists/non-drivers, and how to commute and run errands easily on a bike (protip: it's really, really easy). I'll also probably post more pictures here than at the other blog, although I'm really not much of a photographer.

Happy reading, and happy riding!

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