The ride downtown is a quick one, through Waverly and the abrupt change that happens on The Other Side of Greenmount, the reminders of the Roland Park Company's plan from 1890s still etched in the streetscape, the architecture, the tree canopies. The ride across the White Stripe—Guilford, Calvert, St. Paul, and Charles—leads to the abrupt treeless Maryland Avenue for a speedy flight down through Remington, Station North, and Mount Vernon and over to Eutaw for the ol' dodge-the-pedestrians game by Lexington Market. A right and a left and a right onto Washington take me through Pigtown to the start of the Gwynns Falls Trail, a hint of the wild at the edge of the city—though I'm not sure this is what Thoreau was talking about. Wilkens Avenue is the worst part of this ride, all speeding cars and heavy trucks trundling toward another ramp to I-95, and the last thing they want is a bicyclist slowing their rolls. It's all uphill from here, in terms of the terrain, but also the fight to claim space on one of these major arterials. And drivers—I'd love to take a different route, ride streets out of your way, but there's just not another choice.