Fall out at the Ridge 10/20/2009

With the inclusion of the ‘Ridge’ in our Birmingham trail loop, we who were in attendance all agree, you can drive out to Stony or head over to Island Lake or even make your way up to Pontiac Lake but why drive a car when you can get perhaps even a better work out rip-in-it local-urban-style?

In honor of Matt, (who thinks counter clockwise) we decided to do this ride in ‘Reverse’.  The uphill climb into Birmingham is a great way to warm up, five miles and then its trail time! Turning left just before Maple we slid across Southfield Road and down the grassy embankment, over the bridge and through the woods, following the Rouge River Watershed.

This way that way, up down colors in full tune, paintings of fall filled every room.  As we made our way through and down the drive way of a wonderful homeowner we entered into the west side of the Beverly Hills Water treatment plant area.  Say what you want rippers, butt until you have rode this trail you will never know how tight, twisty challenging it is.  Class 4, with a hairpin, if not careful you can end up in the river real quick. 

As we made our way up into the meadow at the bottom ‘Y’ turn a BMX’er put a ramp if you head straight I saw it shouted out but big Mike hit it and went down hard,  A little bit of Blood and a 2 minute on the ground recovery we were up again catching our breath.  In usual fashion he stated that we might as well do a set of push-ups, we all obliged his request.. 

From there out onto Evergreen we ripped down to 13 then jumped East and hit the sidewalk South to 12 mile.  We stopped midway between to see a beautiful sight.  A red tailed Hawk had just killed a squirrel no more than 20’ in front of us just off to the side of the sidewalk.  Taking in the site, pedestrians coming north did not see him in time and spooked him.  He took off to the West, flying low he almost got hit by a car 3’ sooner and he would have been a goner.

Along the South side of 12 mile the 8’ wide pedestrian path is great, it allows for side by side jostling and bullshit. Up and down and then down again we entered into the Old Berberian Estate, across the DNR bridge and into the woods we started the long sweeping climb up the ridge road.  Shouting at us was a big ol owl whos who could be heard all the way up to the top.  At the top we all dismounted and caught our breath.  My legs were swollen and throbbing at a level I have not felt in well over a year.

From there it was back snaking through the neighborhoods of Southfield and then into Lathrup Village and for some onto Pierce back to their homes.  Again Bike hard, Fast and Fun without having to get in your Car to drive there first… Bike Detroit!!!

J. Meyers bike explorer

p.s. Beat the Train Final Ride Tomorrow Morning.

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Farewell to Thursday 10/01/09

Every Thursday night this year has been a vacation.  A chance to unplug and let go of all of it each and every time I mounted my bike.  Last night was no different.  Ted Canaday from Firesign Creative was along to enjoy his first bike Detroit ride.  Growing up in Indian Village he told me that they never really had bikes as kids for they were always getting stolen? Starting at Honest Johns we had a good talk with a staff photographer from the Detroit News, who just so happened to have taken a picture of the Cottonwood tree that took out the Lafayette tower building.  I had read the article earlier in the day and was struck by the tone of the commentary.  No matter what Man creates, if left unchecked nature will take it back.  For those of you who do not know the roots from this aggressive weed tree put holes in the roof which in turn lead to the ultimate demise of the building.  Anyways back to the ride.Heading up to Canfield we turned East passing four of the oldest churches in the city we made our way to Mt. Elliot and Headed South to St. Paul.  St. Paul was fun in so much that the street is pretty bad and more like a mountain bike trail than a city street.  St. Paul goes straight for only so long then dead ends forcing you to ratchet down south to pick up the road again.  Finally we made it across Jefferson and down and onto Freud Street.  Turning left we went all the way until the dead end.  Turning left we crossed back over Jefferson onto Vernor.  At Vernor street we turned right and went to the first block past Alter and turned left making our way to Charlevoix left again and on the right you will find the Old Tap Room circa 1910.  This place has an annual end of Prohibition party May 10th every year, Zoot suits and flapper dresses can be found all around during that annual celebration.  Some folks believe that they have the best beer selection in the entire city.  From what I have seen I would be hard pressed to disagree.  Good conversation had by all, old wooden floors and free Peanuts and shells scattered all over the ground, my kind of place!  From there we held true to Charlevoix street and made our way West cutting through the neighborhoods we made our way out to Mack.  Up and over the rail road over pass bridge down through the light we turned left onto the first block and made our way to Goethe Street.  Like St. Paul this street goes for awhile dead ends and then ratchets right to be found again.  We went past South Eastern Technical High School where the original classic portion of the old school is conjoined with a modern class piece which makes for a interesting marriage?  The football field and track is well done as groups of kids were walking and talking everywhere.  It never ceases to amaze me as to how dis-arming a simple hello can be…  Cutting through the emptiness and meadow sounds, Ted commented on how the East side really could be reinvented into an agricultural place.Back onto Mt. Elliot we made our way North to Canfield and turned left to head back to mid-town.  Four blocks in we stopped so that Ted could get his water out and ck his phone for messages form Charli his wife.  I asked him to listen closely to the Meadow Sound.  Lathrup Village bisected by 696 and Southfield Hwy could never sound so good unless that is it is 3:00 a.m. on a Sunday-Monday morning.  I told him this would be a lace that I would sleep real good!  Enjoying the Choir of nature.  Only two cars passed us along this way as we made our way back to Woodward and then on to Honest Johns.Ted Never had a bike growing up and does not ride his Huffy but once a month at best.  None the less the guy flowed 12-14mph for 20 miles and had a great time doing it.  If Ted can you can to as it is all really just a conversation in our head after all. Bike Detroit! Jim Meyers bike explorer.