Birthday ride today — at lunchtime, I did the 6-mile loop, from Falls and 41st uphill, past the Rotunda, down to University Parkway, up to Charles Street, down the glassphalt Charles St access road past JHU to 29th St, down Maryland Avenue cranking to keep near traffic speed, across North Ave and a right on LaFayette, down into the Jones Falls Valley and north (and uphill) on Falls Road, to Clipper Mill Road, under the JFX and over the Jones Falls on Union to the gates of the old (now burnt-down) Clipper Mill industrial park, up Druid Hill Park Rd to 41st Street and back across the bridge over the JFX, uphill to 41st and Falls. 40 minutes.
90 degrees, low humidity, it was a beautiful day. Aint the beer (well, okay, the Diet Pepsi) cold?
Yesterday and the day before, I did a new route, as yet not measured. It starts off like the one I described above, but I cut over on 29th St. to the bridge to Druid Park Ave, 170-degree turn onto the access road around the Druid Lake reservoir, and through Druid Hill Park past the Conservatory and Zoo. Then down through the frisbee golf course (screaming as I caught air off a frisbee launchpad and a few moguls), and down Druid Park Rd to the 41st St bridge. Advantages to this route: A nice view of the city from the top of the reservoir access road, you get to go down (instead of up) the 10% grade on the north exit from the park, there's still some puffing up hill from the 29th street bridge, and traffic in the park is light. Downside–dealing with freeway exit and entrance traffic crossing the 29th St bridge, and traffic in the park is light, so few will note your encounters with interesting people there.
I'm going to guess this route is about 5.5 miles, with about 350 vertical feet uphill total.