Jens back out on the Trail! 12/22/09

Finally Jen was inspired to get back up on the bike and ride on out to the ridge to enjoy the new route we discovered earlier on in the year.  For those of you who are friends or have been following along, Jen has been preoccupied with the manufacturing of 2 magnificent children, (Sephera and Raphael) for the past 2 years and has been hit or miss on our bike rides.  But today we celebrated our reunion of sorts. 

With the new snow on the ground and the streets well covered we put away the Felt and pulled down from the rafters the old Trek 4500 mountain bike that literally started our relationship all those years ago.  With layers upon layers we moved somewhat stiff legged-ly onto our bikes and out on to the side walk.  Crossing Southfield road at Lincoln we snaked our way through Lathrup Village once again and made our way out to the Ridge.

The naked Forest and snow covered hills made us both smile as we realized how special our life was and delighted in what we both have work so hard to create.  As the chill started to set in we turned around and made our way back home laughing and enjoying the rhythm of the peddles and the knobby Hum singing its tune.

Bike Metro Detroit Trails!

J & J Meyers bike explorers

The first true test of Winter 12/04/2009

Bike riding for me has been an arena of application, a metaphor of sorts, as a test of mind over matter, especially when it comes to riding in December.  Today’s Journey was to be no different.  With the temperatures just hovering at 30 degrees I broke out some of the REI gear I have collected over the years and decided to Mountain bike down to the city once again.

The past few months I have been preoccupied with the concept of speed rather than enjoyment of the road, or in today’s case, the trail less traveled.   With full winter snowmobile gloves on my hands I first took to the trail south off of Lincoln and just east were Pierce Street would have been if 696 had not been constructed.  In, over, up and down I made my way through this little trail section prior to jumping back on the side walk trail which leeds through the Parks above those large tunnel expanses associated with the I-696 freeway.

Crossing over Greenfield then again Coolidge I forgot how much fun this up and down little burner can be!  Crossing over 696 via Scotia I snake through the neighborhoods down onto Livernois 1 block north of 8 mile.  Crossing over and a quick left I was back in Sherwood Forest smiling and having fun! Turning left on seven mile I made may way past the road park entry of Palmer Woods and headed onto the asphalt trail that flows into the forest. 

Inside of Palmer Woods Forest, original Oak stands can be found along with some unadulterated watershed topography.  Something special that can never be seen while in your car on Woodward Ave. or golf cart if you are playing on the public course nearby.  I slowed down to notice numerous trails that have been forgotten and blocked off by the falling ash trees.  This winter we will be spending some time opening up the mountain bike/hiking trails once again for all to enjoy.

Out of the park and onto Third Ave I started to head southeast once again down into the heart of the city.  This time I started to explore the railroad tracks and alleys that did not look like flat tire city, so as to see if I could really create an all off road trial adventure ride in and out of the city, (more of this will be published in our upcoming map sections real soon).  I plan on hitting the trails again with the Ranger and the GPS Mapping unit mounted up so that we can shoot video and record the map simultaneously.

Once at my turn around destination I had to shed all my layers and let them dry out before I could even think about the journey home.  Boots off as well, I rubbed my left toes back into warm shape enjoying some cider and ice waters while I slowly started to warm up.  The journey home included fingers and hands coiled up into a fist inside my gloves upon the handlebars as it took a while to get the body up to being warm.

The pushes up stops were not dreaded as they usually are.  This time they were used as warming stations on the various point’s in-between.      Once home it took my core a good hour to come back up to a normal temperature as I reflected on what additional layers to wear next time.  No matter the time of day, weather it by night or day, nor if the skies are sunny, warm cloudy or Gray, a ride is just one good decision away!

Bike Detroit

J. Meyers bike explorer

Chasing the Sun 12/01/2009

Chasing the Sun was on my mind as I left the office early to enjoy what would probably be the last warm day of the year.  With a smile and a kiss goodbye I was off once again down to the city that I have come to love.  Today’s ride was going to be without my usual pushups as I was more interested in a time trial of sorts.  Pushing into the face of the wind I did my best to keep it under 55 minutes as I made it to the Brewery for some Cider and good conversation with Dan.

The past few weeks we have been getting favorable responses from various city officials on our ROI Urban Farm concept.  We spoke at length about what we would grow and what Dan wanted to experiment with their upcoming Spiritus compositions.  What heartfelt excitement and joy towards a subject that we both have been involved with for very a long time.  With forth coming emails to continue our exchange I said good bye to John and Dan and started the journey back home again.

With the Southern wind at my back I sailed home in just under 49 minutes.  This is my best time yet.

Bike Detroit!

J. Meyers bike explorer

A Different Type of Ride: 11/25/09

There have been a few ‘Bike’ rides during the month of November, most of which were typical rides downtown along similar routes as I have mentioned earlier.  The past two weeks I have been on a different ride, another kind of ride altogether.  In conjunction with the Dr. David Cotton Family, Health Plan of Michigan, Greening of Detroit, and the Artist of Historical Courtyards and Gardens, I was afforded an opportunity to be an instrument of profound good will and intent.  For a past few weeks I donated my time and took a mini-excavator ride up and down Jefferson Ave., from Alter to I-375 and back again.  A slow moving journey, an instrument of application and a chance for a great field study.  The Jefferson Ave Re-Forestation Tree Project is still under way, contact greening of Detroit if you have time to help.There are rhythms or currents associated with various intersections and points along this trail can only be perceived on the pedestrian level.  Even if you ride your bike slow down to and reach out with your feelings some day and see what you perceive.  Past the Dequindre cut, next to the woodshop on the way to the Belle Isle Bridge, you will find another cut.  An old rail line that use to feed the warehouse district from the river as the Dequindre cut once did back 1890’s.  During a break in digging cycles I took a hike on down to the softwood tree infested trail.  This would make an excellent mountain biking and hiking trail; I will be back to hike and perhaps clear one day during our upcoming winter trail work.Owen Park is a Gem that is invisible unless you are participating-moving-experiencing on a pedestrian level.  If not you will never have a chance to see the Owen Park from a car on Jefferson Ave.  Owen Park was donated to a City by on early history family and was a historic Ribbon Farm back in its day.  Sloped Virgin watershed topography is still reminiscent of its original rhythm and form.  Hi slanting slopes and embankments to the side funnel the cold air to the center for venting down to the lake side.  There is no more perfect place in our area to grow an Orchard or Urban Farm. This was the staging area for the tree planting project.  You have to look hard as no formal Kerb Cut exist. An old country like road leads down to a sidewalk and break wall where many a fishermen spend time practicing their art.Erma Henderson Park, almost next door is a beauty as well.  Old trees, Historic Architecture in the form of a restroom, wide expanse for games and events, ample parking, low cut waterside rail, entry and view.  Along the South East Sidewalk, Conner to Terminal there has been for the past several years a piece of sidewalk that was left on top of the usable space of sidewalk, across the way from a iron street lamp. 

Three years ago, December my good man Peter Frowley was on one of our impromptu Thursday night rides, hit this piece of concrete and ‘Endo-ed’ hard and had to pick glass out of his bottom for a week.  We found this section once again, scraped hard all of the weeds, cement sidewalk and dirt in-between, loaded it all up, including this chunk of concrete, and took it off to the recycling center.  I called Pete from the excavator at 7:30 in the morning, laughing hard.  He thanked me, for everyone else.  The next week the rain had washed away what was left and the surface almost looked shinny and new.


Get out of your car, slowdown, excavate re-new.  Bike DetroitJ. Meyers  bike explorer