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!
J. Meyers bike explorer