Today’s ride took me up through Druid Hill park and over to Mondawmin Mall for a little shopping. The ride was just beautiful–under gray skies but through lush green and around a silvery reservoir to the Jones Falls Trail and its twists up and over to the conservatory and the zoo. I rode to the side of the conservatory to check out the giant agave plant’s flower. It has shot out of the middle of the Audrey-like plant and grown so tall they had to open the roof and remove a window to give it space. I don’t know what the next phase of the flowering will look like, but I do know that once it finishes, the plant will die. Agave apparently only flowers one single time, taking anywhere from 10-60 years to do so. I certainly don’t want to miss this event, so This route is on the bike schedule for the foreseeable future. The rest of the ride was utilitarian, over to Mondawmin Mall for a little shopping before retracing the steps to home. As I walked my bike through the Mondawmin Transit Center, a woman on a bus stop bench called me over. She had some questions for me about my bike: where do I ride it, how far, is it hard, etc. She spends a lot of time walking or waiting for the bus, and she has a hunch a bike might be better than those two choices for short trips around the neighborhood. I considered this proposal of hers for a minute. Yes indeedy, I said, you are right on that score. The big why out of the way, we chatted about the where, how, and what to get an actual bicycle and then I was on my way, happy for the kinds of contact a bike enables that a car never could. See you in the streets, I said, and wear your helmet.