I woke up late after a most perfect late night out and my first thought was: bicycle! I hopped out of bed and onto the Surly for a ride over to the Waverly farmer’s market and breakfast at the corner diner. I rode back home for a quick stop before meeting M. for a ride out to Middle Branch Park. She is new in town and hasn’t been on that section of the Gwynns Falls Trail, so I was happy to join her for a ride. We took Maryland Avenue down, dodged the traffic near Pratt Street, and took our right and left into the stadium parking lots. The O’s lost in NYC today, but there were lots of folks gathering for something or other; signs read “Welcome Race Fans,” and that didn’t seem to apply to me, so I just kept on riding. We stopped for a train and then it was all cranes in the sky for the new casino as we turned another left onto the trail. It is always fun to take old routes with someone new, because I can see what I imagine they might see (although I’m really just seeing what I see, fantasizing about what they see). Today I saw lots of summer overgrowth, a shoreline filled with trash, people taking naps in the shade, a piece of steel rising in the distance that might have been construction or modern art (who can tell?), my favorite trash incinerator and favorite electrical substation (Westport, of course), and then so much trash on along the light rail tracks and in the park where parties were surely had for the 4th of July. I snapped this picture as we sat and gossiped on the pier. The clouds looked painted on the sky today, and it was so, so pretty, even if it was hotter than hot, leaving me permanently parched. We rode back the long way, a stop for frozen yogurt and iced tea in Federal Hill before heading around the harbor and back up the hill toward home. I predict this was the first ride of many with my new neighbor, and I look forward to hearing more about what she sees as she pedals around her new town.