Daffodils and Green at Mother’s Garden in Clifton Park at 32nd & Harford Road

Daffodils and Green at Mother's Garden in Clifton Park at 32nd & Harford Road Monday’s ride was far too short, the day given over to grading and emailing and fire-putting-out, but hey, at least I got out for a quick pedal around the neighborhood under our springtime skies. My first stop was across the border of 33rd Street for a surprise visit to R.’s place. I had a book to give her, but that was just a ruse because I wanted to see her face and watch her perfect grey cat slink through the spring flowers. I got both of those things as we stood outside her house talking about bike rides and what seat she should get for her Surly Long Haul Trucker and how good it feels to get some sun on the face these days. I headed from her place over to Lake Montebello, or at least that was the plan. It’s not a grid  up here in North Baltimore, so I ended up taking a lane and climbing up Harford Road for awhile. I kept expecting the reservoir they call a lake to just be there, but nope. If I were a driver, I’d probably know all the scenes along Harford Road, but I never ride it–too busy and fast, even with all the SHARE THE ROAD signs. So much of riding on a road like that is the confidence to take the lane and just let drivers go around you. That’s what they do when they’re behind buses and delivery trucks, and they can do it with bicyclists, too. I have to admit that I lose my nerve sometimes and jump on the sidewalk, but that wasn’t happening on this day, as the sidewalks were choked with kids waiting for the city bus because we let them do much of the work of school buses, which has me wondering if we subsidize them with school monies. Also, the sidewalk along here is blocked every so many feet with street lights that rise straight out of the sidewalk. If you’re in a wheelchair, don’t even think about taking this sidewalk. What terrible planning.

I finally figured out how to get to Lake Montebello (it’s not a lake!), but I took a right instead of a left, choosing Clifton Park instead. I walked the bike up the grassy steps into Mother’s Garden where I dodged high schoolers flirting to do a quick turn around the park and check out the flowers and snap this picture. It’s like the cover picture of a children’s fairy tale book up here, I swear. I wished I could sit at one of the benches here and enjoy the breeze, but I had to rejoin the traffic flow and head back toward home, but at least I got my obligatory spring flower picture and the confidence that yes, there are more rides in the offing.

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