So Baltimore city is reaching a record high number of 159 homicides for 2017. As a city biker, I had always thought the most dangerous thing to avoid were cars and trucks on the streets. For 15 years, I have mapped the safest routes to bike to avoid heavy traffic.
Unfortunately, the concern of safety in Baltimore city has now forced me to add a new factor in the safety equation. Just yesterday, in my normal route on Gough St, I cut through Perkin’s homes. While biking there, a group of kids with water guns tried to block my path and sprayed me continuously with water guns. Being an extremely hot time around 5PM, the water actually felt really good since I was overheating.
My instinct was to not to escalate the situation so I quickly thanked them for cooling me down. Having not gotten the response they neither wanted or expected, they stopped shooting me with water guns.
After further reflection, thinking about the anger in the city and the terrible murder rate, I realize that being an outsider in many of these communities unfortunately makes me a target of their frustrations. My new bike route calculation must now bike along roads that actually have more traffic, yet still has a safe route to move.
Thus is life…