‘It’s Not Your Usual Bike Ride,’ Say Patrons Of Rides Around Lake Montebello

As the summer season comes to an end, you have six more weeks to have some fun in the sun while taking a ride around Lake Montebello.

Rides Around Lake Montebello is a program sponsored by Baltimore City Recreation and Parks. People who come to the lake for the program said it is a place to start off your workout, no matter how old or young you are.

“Biking is very common in the city, but how often do you see a program that gives people access to bikes who may not be able to afford them, or who want to ride with other people without feeling intimidated,” said Ethan Abbott, director of Rides Around Lake Montebello.

According to the city, the program has been around for seven years. Riders can take advantage of the bike program from May through October each year.

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Eryn Johnson

Riders and pedestrians enjoy their Saturday morning at Lake Montebello. Saturday, September 7, 2019.

Abbott said more than 60 people come each time to pedal the track around the reservoir which is just a little over a mile long. The city’s outdoor recreation team is on hand to assist people with finding the right bike and helmet. His team also gives lessons on how to properly ride and brake.

Organizers said Rides Around Lake Montebello is easy to get involved with and all you need is a photo ID. While technically free, Baltimore City Recreation and Parks said it accepts donations to help the program maintain the bikes and provide safety equipment for riders.

“When we found out we can ride bikes out here, it drew more and more of my family. We started to come every Saturday for family outings,'' said K. Simpson from Baltimore. Simpson said she devotes a lot of her time helping her young granddaughter learn how to ride.

While some participants said they show up to get some exercise, others said they come to enjoy the weather, the lake, and each other.

“I got started with this program because of my hunny. We do this every week for fun, for exercise, and staying healthy. It’s free. It's a great thing. Everyone should be doing this,” said Charles Lowder of East Baltimore.

Abbott said whatever the reason people come, he is glad they do. “This is a staple in this area. This is about community.”