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