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