Mission Recon 8/30/09

Misty cool northwest wind at 9:00 a.m. had me wondering about wearing shorts and my ‘Mission Recon’ Bike Detroit Shirt?  I have been studying the maps of the city to find new ways in and around while seeing parts of the city I have not explored yet.  I headed out and south on Pierce street south of 696.  On over to Mt. Vernon and East across Coolidge to church street and then South through the 1/2 mile stretch of grass which had at one time been a road that was reclaimed and turned green.  Across 8mile onto Hubble the Journey began.When you think of Detroit Public High Schools what comes to mind?  I asked my wife this and she said corruption, broken windows, dis-repair?  On Hubble you will find Cooley High School.  It is the most beautiful High School I have ever seen.  Art Deco influenced with sacred geometry and symbolism all over the walls I thought to myself this place is beautiful, even the lawn was nicely trimmed.  As a fitting tribute, dropped and gave 25 to the place.  Continuing on South across 96 and once again onto Fullerton Street. Fullerton is like a railroad side road of sorts as it runs parallel to a track that heads east to west.  It is empty with a little mixed industrial the vast emptiness had meadows a plenty.  The road is in pretty bad shape so once again I was happy to be on my mountain bike.  Once you cross over Livernios the roads change orientation from East to West to Northwest to South East kind of Paralleling Woodward Ave.  I discovered Roseland Wood Park.  What a nice place.  Old growth trees all evenly trimmed, nice walk way and bench, I took a break to enjoy the scene and the feel of the trees.  I will be bringing my family back to this place so that they can enjoy the experience as well.  I mean it feels nice and clean and is again set into a wonderful collection of classic Detroit homes.  Yet another enclave of historical homes not mentioned on anyone’s list of must see areas in the city, a gem.Onto Lawton I headed South past W. Grand Blvd. and snaked around near I 94 until I decided to turn back for home.  This morning was extra special as people were engaging me with hello’s and have a great day.  More conversation from people I have never met than that of my own neighbors and neighborhood.  The sun broke and the wind started to change.  Up Rosa Parks and west on McNichols I found Parkside Street just after the golf course homes.  Headed on through Sherwood Forest and onto Livernios across 8 mile and back on home.  Another beautiful 32 mile ride on the Urban trail, Bike Detroit!

J. Meyers bike explorer

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Critical Mass? 8/28/08

Critical mass in the city of Detroit is dead! Rain or not, zero people showed up for this event. With the rain it felt more like a fall Vancouver ride, one which REI sells gear for. Yet after all this time reading about critical mass throughout the country and here in Detoroit not one person showed except yours truly?

Phil from event tickets as walking around near the stadium so I take our conversation and catch up as being a good enough reson to be there. After leaving the meeting place I enjoyed a tour along the river and in and around the stadium, soaking wet I ended early and changed in Honest Johns Parking lot. It was the first ride out sporting the new Bike Detroit T-Shirts and Gear, (thanks to Armadillo and David in Berkley, Great Job), so with a new shirt on I stopped in at the Motor City Brewery to catch up with Dan and to say hello.

A fellow from Portland Oregon walked over to strike up a conversation about Bike Detroit given the new shirt I was sporting. We talked quite much about Portland and how over 8% of the population there rides bikes to work! Wow! I in turned offered a view of a city that is for the most part empty and discussed at length the freedom from dealing with cars south of the boarder, being 8 mile. All and All another good time even with the no show.

J. Meyers bike explorer

Friday Afternoon Release 8/21/09

For all you bloggers out there, this is more like a short story narrative than a-typical blog. With that being said I made it home and found myself changed and in the garage studying the city street map in an attempt to explore some different areas than before. I decided to head out on the familiar path of Lincoln. Heading due east and through Royal Oak I made my way into Hazel Park and onto John R just three blocks north of 8 mile, enter therein…

For those of you who have not been, the area south of 8 mile down to 6 mile, west to Woodward and East to I-75, is probably one of the seediest parts of the entire city. Deals are going on, Ladies are heckling from the street, (sweaty and all) they do not care. I snaked my way east on the first block south of 8 mile off of John R. Burned out houses, drug deals are all the rage. I made my way to the State fair I-75 intersection and went onto the other side to Conant. From there I headed south into the heart of Hamtramck. Unlike the area just to the North, Hamtramck has houses that are diverse and teaming with life. Known as Pol-town back in the day the neighborhoods that I visited were a mixed bag of all sorts of colors and religions. It felt all at once worldly and international. Back and forth sensing the direction rather than following it I made my way down onto Mt. Elliot where the road turns into a freeway like overpass. Heading North East I was blown by the wind back out and around the massive industrial rail CSX center to Mc Nichols.

I turned East and tried to find my way through the maze of mixed industrial businesses. Numerous roads have been reclaimed and blocked off by many of these privately owned entities. At every turn I wondered how many ‘Officials’ from the city have been out to inspect the plethora of land grabs that have taken place since the riots in the 60’s? I wonder if any of the ‘Officials’ ever stopped playing/portraying ‘Important’ long enough to head on out to the field where real importance has a desperate need and inspect what is going on in this area? I wish they would! Half crazed glares, eyes lit with a questioning view, people asked me what in the hell was I doing there? Just exploring riding my bike was my reply once again, which seemed to suffice I turned around just the same.

Onto Van Dyke I again tried to find a way back into the neighborhood away from the intense energy of the road. Every place I turned was blocked off again. Make Shift Concrete Barricades set hap hazard right on top of the once free entry road stopped my every turn. Back onto Van Dyke, near the rail road crossing I found St. Cyril Street. Unlike any of the grid roads this one was ancient. It lazed along in a random crescent up on a high prairie that had not been steamed shoveled by rail road engineers into submission. The ley of the land was original and true. I surmised that this was one of the oldest roads in the city, thinking it must have lead to a village of sorts back in the 1800’s.

From there on I finally stumbled back onto Mt. Elliot and headed down past the Heidelberg project and onto Jefferson. From there east for a quick Belle Isle loop and then back round to the waterfront with a stop into Andrews bar. Detroit Synergy was there the night before and I thought it would be fun to see the place again. Once there I struck up a conversation with a fellow patron to discuss the merits of what a true man means? The Promise keepers came up in our discussion as well as owning it, admitting it taking reasonability for one actions, a good discourse indeed.

Onto the next river front sidewalk I enjoyed the fountain of youth for a while and then headed out near the Ren Cen and made my way through Greek town and then on past the Temple up to HJ’s once again. Sitting there, after 32 in to the wind I started text messaging to see if I could get a lift? Of course my wife said “slap the peddles on home,(not in so many words but nine the less)” I did. But…… first I made a stop into Motor City for some of their new Blueberry Seltzer, more water, more Seltzer and some more water again. I enjoyed the breeze all the way back, almost 50 and yet just another wonderful journey.

J. Meyers Bike explorer

Mission Recon 8/16/09

At 1:45 in the afternoon the Mercury had risen to 91 degrees and the hot wind was blowing 15-20 mph from the South.  Knowing it was going to be a sweaty challenge I decided to head due South and get the worst of it out of the way.  Slicing through Oak Park and down Church Street I happened upon/found about a half mile of lawn which appears to have been a shut down/reclaimed street?  Heading south it becomes Hubble as I continued across 8 mile I headed in once again…

From there I slid a little East and went by Lugar Park and then down and by Diack Park on Thatcher Street.  From there I continued South, crossing over School craft I decided to take the rail road grade/bridge over I-96.  Without any guardrails or handrails the sight line drew numerous honks and views from the people trapped inside their steel cages on wheels.  As a fitting tribute I had to drop down and give 25 slow and deep to the only portal open in the North.

Onto Fullerton I decided to head East to Schaefer Hwy, turning South the automobile  interface energy was not all that good, breathing deeply I continued South past the CSX Transport Center and arrived at West Chicago and turned West onto Freeland Street.  Freeland is Strategically Keyed to a Beautiful Masonic Temple.  If you look up in the sky you will see the floating temple on the Spire that appears to have been influenced by the Art Deco Movement.  This place is commonly known as the Daimler Chrysler Jeep and Truck Engineering Center now emptied?  I wonder how connected Dick Chrysler was in the Masonic Order of Detroit?  The Crysler Building in New York seems to say it all!  I wonder if he was using his knowledge in a self serving manner, as Yoda would say, “the one that leads to the Dark side”? From what I have read anything that is selfishly wrought and or is supportive of the materialistic paradigm, invoked by speaking the hidden words of the Secret Mysteries leads to the corruption of the soul???  Was the fall of Chrysler predestined by wanton selfish acts of long ago?  Maybe ask John Bravata, he might know?  Oddly enough our local Ponsi Schemer recently destroyed Mr. Chrysler Historic English Tudor Summer Lake Cottage in Brighton to build his new palatial estate with other peoples money.  All that is left now is a foundation of concrete that was built upon the destruction of History by selfish greed.  Sounds like Detroit to me?

Anyways, aligning myself to the Center Axis/Ley Line Vortex, I faced perfectly North and dropped and gave the concrete and the abandoned temple 25, slow and deep, as an expression of Modern Day De-Construction right into the face of the Temples and Gods of Man that were built upon shallow selfish foundations and not upon the foundational principles of the Lord of Spirits.

None of us can experience the energys and Vortexs of our city while strapped in an automobile, we are moving to fast, ahead of the moment, focusing on the future rather than availing ourselves and our experience to what is right here and now in the moments as they occur.

As my tribute to Raphael was finished, I mounted up and caught the Southern breeze North and back to my garden of delights, Jen and Sephera with little Neum on his way down soon.

J. Meyers bike explorer

Tour De Dearborn 8/8/09

Only 7 of us joined Alex from Detroit Bikes/Detroit Synergy as it was pissing rain all morning long.  The most interesting fact that was shared was a particular style of Architecture that was created by one of the car designers that worked at Ford Motor Company in between 1900-1920.  Numerous homes were designed and constructed for the upper level managers and their families in and around Dearborn.  The homes are a-symetrical and have a simular theme expressed in all colors.

One of the new riders to the group was saddled with a leaky valve on his back tire.  This particular tire was not a quick connect/dissconnect so after 2 shots of CO2 the group decided to break off early and do better next time.  I look forward to next years tour, (hopefully with a scheduled rain day alternative) so that I may learn more about this amazing city that is hidden north and South of the Michigan Ave cooridore.

J. Meyers bike explorer

Friday Night Exploration 7/31

With the handle bar cam mounted I took one of the trail ways down this time so as to show people what we have been talking about.  I forgot how much fun all the twisting and turning and rolling climbing was!  Out Technical support J.P. will be having fun editing out and speeding up so that people can see the way past there fears.

I could think of no better way than ending the month of July with a semi-epic ride.  People were overtly friendly as I was being engaged firs,t with hellos and way to go’s!  When I made it onto John R were it becomes one way, I did my best to capture the freedom of the trail.  Sweeping back and forth across 4 lanes of emptiness Mile after mile, no passing cars nothing.  A view that was hopefully captured on the video which will be posted soon.

Passing by Comercia Park was worthy of a slow down to a point of crawling.  The Vans warped tour brought in a massive younger crowed down to the D, they were expressing their freedom at various levels of mood, illumination and style.  Community has many faces and many expressions with one common tone being ever present, it only happens outside of cars.

Snaking through Greek town I made it down to the waterfront to enjoys the sights and sounds of the Fountain of Youth.  For those of you who have never been, it is a delight to watch the children play in the dancing fountain in front of the Ren Cen.  Laughter, surprise, shouts of glee and yah!  Made may way around the waterfront and headed back into the East side of Greek-town to Jacoby’s to get the dusty pipes wet.  With Oberon in hand and with two waters previously consumed I met a wonderful couple who were down from Saginaw to watch their Sons band play in the Warp tour.  We talked about sites to see, historic Fort-Wayne as I listened to a Mothers wishful hope that her child would have finished his degree so that at least he could have that piece of paper.  I counters and said, the people who are in touch with the other side of their brain a.k.a. artist do not do well at University cause they are drawn to the other side, the side of visualization and feeling.   I suggested to embrace the difference and the freedom of the artist and let the boy sing, sing and sing.  With good smiles they headed off to the show and then the drive back to Saginaw whence they came.

From there I motored on up to the Motor City Brewery to say hello and try some summer ale.  What a relaxing place/event.  Sitting halfway in and half way out it was fun to take in some breath and say hello to the people that i have come to know in my travels.  Once again it is a house of community, no judgment, no disdain, no poison, no pain, we all the same.   Looking at the clock thought it best to head on north west and home, one last stop at hero’s park and hit my last set of 32 before those tired triceps began to fail.

Another beautiful ride, free from the cars and more over the drivers who are still caught up in the illusion of the race.

J. Meyers bike explorer