My commute to work certainly isn’t among the City’s most challenging rides.  Most of it involves a trip down University Parkway — in the morning, heading east, it’s a delightful zip down the bike lane, almost keeping pace with my four-wheeled friends to my left.  On the way home, however, I’m faced with an inevitable uphill climb, and here I think I meet one of Baltimore’s most feared cycling obstacles: the University Parkway Monster — the stretch between Keswick Road and Roland Avenue that is grueling, merciless, and unrelenting.  And don’t even try to make it easier on yourself by cutting through the residential streets to the right (the Evergreen neighborhood).  There’s beautiful scenery, but not much relief.

Since I started my job last fall, I’ve developed all manner of artful ways to get around the University Parkway Monster.  I’ll turn left on Tudor Arms and come through Hampden, or I’ll take a detour through Stony Run.  But last Thursday (and it was H-O-T that day), I made it to the light at University and Keswick and thought, why don’t I give it a try for once?  So I started the climb and actually made it this time!  I was a sweaty sight (and smell) when I got home, but for once, I beat the Monster!

What are some other Monsters you’ve beaten, or have plans to beat, in Baltimore?  I also nominate the stretch of 37th Street between Keswick and Elm in Hampden.

Stay tuned for some upcoming information about the Baltimore Bike Pageant on August 2!

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