View of Baltimore Looking East From Druid Hill Park Reservoir

View of Baltimore Looking East From Druid Hill Park ReservoirAnd then sometimes you just want to put some music in your ears and ride around in circles feeling happy to be alive, so that’s what I did on Thursday, heading to Druid Hill Park for a ride around the reservoir. I slowed way down once I got to the park, partly because I’m the slowest hill-rider in town, but also to watch the kid on the diving board in the pool. He was standing on the springboard facing away from the water, bouncing every once in awhile as other kids and an instructor looked on. There’s no way out but to jump off that board, but oh, that’s a scary jump. It’s going to happen, though, so might as well jump. I was projecting, but it seemed a safe bet that something similar was going through the kid’s head–been there, friend, you can do it. A kid on a BMX bike was watching the same scene, but after I passed him he started pedaling, taking the grass to the left and passing me. I decided we were racing, but I let him get to to the top first before putting the ol’ Surly in a harder gear and pushing to beat the kid who couldn’t have been older than 10. I easily passed him, looked him in the eye, and smiled. And then he popped a wheelie and passed me right back, riding that back tire for a good 100 yards before falling back behind me to regroup for another wheelie. We could not stop smiling at each other as we got our race faces on. And then a little girl was learning to ride her bike in the bike lane, I took a wide passing lane around her, he got stuck behind, and I’m just going to say it–I won that race. I love those fleeting moments of shared joy in shared spaces. A few more laps, a stop to sit and stare out at this view, and then I headed home, just missing the rainstorm that has been brewing all week. What a lovely life I’ve got going on here.

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