Cloudy Skies Over the Reservoir at Druid Hill Park

Fence in the foreground, green trees behind it, and then mostly just a big old cloudy sky.

I didn’t feel like going for a bike ride on Sunday, but I knew I’d feel better in my body and mind if I did, so I did. I also couldn’t let a rare day below a zillion degrees go to waste. The heat is literally deadly for so many, and it’s figuratively deadly for me. At the end of a long bike ride on a normal July day in Baltimore leaves me feeling like somebody just sucked out my soul. A million percent worth it, but a day in the 70s? Thank you!

I had no destination so I just rolled down the hill until I hit the Center Street bike lane. I took a right, thought I’d pop over and check on Lexington Market. Dang, they’ve built a brand new Lexington Market right next to the old Lexington Market! I’ll be riding by it most days after this fall and the whole thing is so complicated, and the displacement so right on the edge, and I have missed so much by not riding by it every day. I understand that many office workers don’t want to go back in the office, and they don’t want their commutes, but for me, if I don’t commute, if I don’t bike around and share space with people, including those who aren’t like me, I am liable to forget about the ways we are all connected, and the ways we are trained not to see that.

I kept riding down the hill, took a right on Lombard, and biked across MLK–one of my least favorite bike things to do. That street, man. It’s a deadly divider in more ways than one. I took the first right off the main drag that I could find and then zigged and zagged around, past the Biopark, Hollins Market, through Union Square, Franklin Square, Sandtown-Winchester, Harlem Park, and up through Reservoir Hill to Druid Hill Park, greatest park in the business.

It was only a ten or so mile ride around town, but I went through so many neighborhoods, said so many how-you-doings, got so many how-you-doings back, and then I ended up at my favorite park. I rode around it a bit and it was packed with people playing tennis, softball, and basketball, gathering with friends under trees and lining up for ice cream from the ice cream truck. There was a bounce house, a couple grills, a bunch of balloons. People were enjoying this perfect Sunday, and so was I. I sure do love living in Baltimore, and I love riding my bike. I rolled home, a quick stop for groceries, and settled in with my gratitude for this place and the people who share it with me.

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