Thursday Night Training Ride 5/27/2010

Around 5 o’clock I decided to just go.  I had been waiting all week to hit it hard and push myself to the limit.  With track stick on board I decided to take the Far East route into the city.  One that has been traveled many times but is now for the most part all but forgotten?  Lincoln through R0yal Oak and onto Hilton is always fun.  Hilton and slipperiness on through various neighborhoods back onto John R. for some muscle and announcement, ‘Hey Cars bikes are allowed on the road too’.

The heat seemed to have had an affect on the street walkers as all the ladies were absent from their usual corners.  Once around the Henry Ford Model T plant John R. feels great and is always worth the trip.  A few times on tonight’s ride I slowed way down and tried to reach out into the bright parts of various neighborhood-collections.  Passing through the Boston Edison district I saw to neighbors, one w-ite and one b-ack working on their yards stopping at the kerb to catch up and say hi, I waved and said to myself, at the end of the day this is really what the city is all about.  Race, sexual orientation, religion, pro life vs whatever…? Who cares???  If you feel good that’s all that matters.  If you keep it real then it is.

Passing by the DIA I found my vigorous passion once again and was moving hot my way on through down to the MCB for a break once again.  Tonight I was able to sit at the bar, (did not stink to bad, no meat = no smell 🙂 It was fun getting to know the people who had been smellingly-serving me all of these years.  A fine fellow even accepted my offer to buy him a beer as we talked about sponsoring a bike ride out of the city, up to Cranbrooke and back again?  (Any one who is interested contact Dan at the Brewery for scheduling a date and time).  Saying my goodbyes, I took my aching thighs and walked out the door once again.

I took it slow through Wayne State Campus as many upon many people were walking numerous imaginary trails almost as in like a make believe world of their own.  I decided to surf instead of shred for in the end which one really feels better? Is becoming older/more mature mean that I can now realize when to turn off the spew of self centered dew?  Geeese I hope that this is true!

Second on up to Mr. Palmers Fountain/End I turned right this time and decided to Bomb Woodward up to Ferndale to visit Matt who did not make tonight’s ride.  Rosie O’Gradies is the place to be if your single and available.  All who are please see for yourself.  Not pretentious, not attempting to be perfect, only good enough to look, feel and smell good, male or female, what else would you really want anyways?

I decided to load the bike up on Matt’s trusted bike rack and take a pickup truck bike ride through the back streets that connect us all from anywhere on home.

Bike Detroit J. Meyers bike explorer

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Thursday Night Ride 5/20/2010

Mike made the call that he was in along with Matt and Dan, we were a tight group of four.  Tonight’s journey was to ye old tap room on the east side.  We make this ride at least a once every year as the place is considered by many to have the finest beer selection, period.  As we began our ride on Canfield left I decided it was time to start to push the speed up a bit, as all present were good with a bike and we could maintain the speed as a group, 16mph was the bottom tonight. 

Big Mike has never really cared for this run as the time he was present 3 years ago it was shall we say a little tense going through some of the neighborhoods NE of Jefferson.  This time we dipped south of Jefferson and hit Freud street so as to miss the chance at any ‘Human’ friction, (you see we avoid amped up car energy as well as amped up human/neighborhoods as well).  We made a stop at Algonquin Park to show mike the Romanesque water entry steps were he and his lovely wife Lisa could walk their kayak’s into and onto the Detroit river.  From there it was up and on over to the tap room.

Matt said he had never been here before? Thought he had been at least once?  A few Belgium selections were well received and soon we were oft at a higher clip pushing our way back across the rail road track overpass and on to Goethe once again. Coming west we had fun with all of the switch back turns along this street.  As we approached the point of Mt. Elliot the question was posed, do we make a river run?  The group decided naa and we peddled back quick to the MCB.  Dan and I went home to the family and Mike and Matt went in for the best Pizza in town. 

Bike Detroit!  J. Meyers bike explorer 

Thursday Night Training Ride 5/13/2010

It had been raining most of the day and as per usual the weather men had called for thunder storms for late afternoon/evening.  I decided to pack heavy and bring a complete change of waterproof clothing with me for tonight ride.  Given the temperatures and weather prediction I decided to leave straight from home rather than swinging by Catalpa Oaks Park in hope of finding any would be fellow.  So with rack and luggage secured and aboard I took my heavy train and peddled out of the driveway and began my way down with track stick mounted and ready for recording.

There are about 7 different ways/approaches into the midtown district.  Given my load and bike selection I thought it would be best to record one of the most direct and easy routes.  People coming from Pierce or the suburbs can easily find the starting point and travel on down any time they wish.  Derek and Andrea are working on the map section of our web site so that finally we can show all of the ways in, our Thursday night journeys and most importantly the trail networks and how to connect them without the use of primary or main roads.

The way down as always was fun.  I made it down to the MCB in just over an hour for which I had considered not bad given the heavy load.  My plan was just to head down and come back along one of the 7 routes we have established and be done with it.  Dan spotted me sipping one of his and John’s brews and asked if I wanted to take a detour and head out to Digman Park next to the now closed Chadsey High School?  We learned of this park in a meeting earlier that day as we continued on with our discussions with the city’s Department of Recreation concerning our urban farm interest). 

As we stopped near the corner of Cecil and McGraw we were amazed that the park was for the most part well maintained and that groups of kids and adults were playing ball and soccer which all felt good to us.  There was no way that we could even consider coming up with a plan to bulldoze what we were witnessing only to then in turn create a farm?  Talk about not being well received by a community?  With our site visit done we decided to explore further west in hopes of finding a watering hole to refresh and continue our conversation.  Down onto to Michigan Ave we spotted the Freer Bar and decided to pull on in.

As we opened the door to ask if we could bring our bikes in we were greeted by a sign that warned all Motorcycling gang members to not show their colors in the bar.  With that being understood and since we were on two wheels as well I chose to keep my second shirt on so as to effectually ‘keep my colors quite’.  In all of our travels and in all of our trails throughout the city, spanning the last seven years, we have never encountered what was to happen next at this place.

From the moment we stepped in we were met by a ‘Motor-cycle guy in his fifties with black leather ball cap and wallet chain a hanging off his butt.  He told us he just might have to ‘steel one of those bikes’ bla bla bla.  I quipped that he really would not get that far if he attempted to do so.  Then the ‘I will f_ck you up and mother f_ckers came next.  I just shrugged it off and his drunken belligerences as he walked a little to close on the way back down at the far end of the bar.  Next thing we know he is back out at the front door, holding it wide open,  looking straight at  me in my eyes and saying “Queer get the f_ck out”.  Are you kidding me?  This is an event which sorely tested my ability not to take things personally and in turned out to be a spiritual growth opportunity.  The kind  of opportunity that Father Phil was so good at, by being an empty heartfelt frame we can become a doorway to heaven, a release of anger and rage through the doorway of you or me is being of service to our fellow man.

Dan was perched ready to go when the king of enablers/bar tender came across the counter to quite him down a bit as again he came at me telling me how he would F_ck me up, blab la bla.  The bar tender made numerous apologies and said that he had been in drinking all day and that he was quite drunk and should be excused?  In my younger more reactive days I would not have passed what I considered yet another Heavenly test.  I guess there is another upside to getting older, it is called maturity.  The wisdom to see things as they are while keeping the negative/dark energy stream outside of oneself can be of great benefit.  Compassion, thanks to my friend Matt has taken the place of where rage once stood in my youth.  For this, all who were in attendance may someday be thankful?

With the Miller High Life all the way down Dan and I parted company.  He went east and back to home as I made my way north to do the same.

Bike Detroit! J. Meyers bike explorer

Thursday Night Ride 5/6/2010

Today’s Journey brought us straight north through Wayne state campus on our way to second ave all the way North into the tails of Palmer Park.  We made an honoree loop around Mr. Palmers Log Cabin which is starting to show signs of dis-repair.  A large poison ivy vine has been climbing on the chimney and is breaking down the pitch that connects and seals the logs of the cabin.  This Saturday My hope is to cut this vine off and stop the decay before it gets too bad.  With all of the History of this man we all could not believe the city was going to stand by and watch this happen?  Is there anyone out there that could champion the restoring and elucidate the citizenry of the historical significance of the land and the man who donated it to us?

With the loop being made we headed into the forest to show Dan and Derek where the trail heads were and where we would be, come Saturday morning.  From there on we headed further north to the area that we have proposed building an Urban Farm Hub in conjunction with the Cities Department of Recreation. Our meeting is scheduled for May 13th and we will post what happens so that all may enjoy the transformation that is afoot.  Stepping into the meadow expanse we were all excited by what the canvas that stood before us could be. 

Making our way South along the East side forest line Derek discovered first the native woodland understory masses including a nice cloud of trillium.  From there we were back on the asphalt trail and out onto 7 mile.  Heading west we made our way to Parkside and turn left down the mile long residential road that abuts and forms the western boundary of the Detroit Country Club Golf Course.  The old growth trees and magnificent homes are well worth the visit as we found that one could exit onto 6 mile by foot if you just simply opened the gate to do so. 

With the gate closed behind us we were off west on 6 mile to the first side street.  Turning right we made our way back north to Curtis a.k.a. 61/2 mile.  Turning left we made our way past Wyoming to the first Side Street then North to Tom’s Tavern once again.  There we met one of the founders of Wolverine Brewing Company.  At 70 plus Earl still plays hockey and offered many a fine tail of his own.  Bob Ericson was on hand and a welcome sight from 7 or so years ago as a once neighbor and a part of my life’s history it was good to catch up with him after all these years, (side note Bob was directly responsible for introducing me to Honest John which is how I became involved with bike riding in the city).

From there we were oft heading East then South down Cherrylawn.  As Cherrylawn was about to become a dead end we slid further east and made our way to Greenlawn whereas we turned and headed South and onto the South bound Lodge Service Drive.  Surprisingly enough the service drive had zero, yes that means nada, zilch, zip cars.  Apart from being a little loud it was clear and fun as we all took turns sweeping back and forth across both lanes in lazy ‘S’ arch’s which were freeing as well as fun! 

From there we made our way down to the Woodbridge tavern that we had been hearing so much about especially the food reviews.  Well they were right the food was fantastic as the Asparagus tart slowly disappeared from my plate not leaving a crumb or trace of its prior position in front of me, I thought tha this place is great!  Our waitress leaned over the table to comment on Derek’s tattoo’s and then you will never guess what happened next?  Thunder, naa na na na na naaa, Thunder strike!  I had to back my chair up to get out of the way of electricity that was flowing across the table.  Needless to say Derek ditched us or was it we that left him there?  In any event as a single and available good hearted man all we could do is wish him well and we were on our way.

Bike Detroit!  J. Meyers bike explorer

Second Thursday Ride 4/22/2010

With our friendly Icelandic Volcano keeping many a traveler at bay we were joined by a British fellow who had been stuck in the suburbs and was interested in joining us on our ride this evening.  We had a decent group turn out with Jen, Matt, Tom & Sal, Ted, Dan and the Brit who was about my size and fit well on one of my bikes from the collection.  Practicing group I abandoned my preset course to take people north on thru Palmer Park to show them the woodland trails we will be working on May 8th and instead brought everyone east down Canfield.

The Heidelberg project felt ominous today, more like a church or a cemetery, peaceful and profound!  We stopped and took a few photos while enjoying the energy of peace and reverence, ala the street- scape temple.  From there it was down to the waterfront for some fast and slick cornering all the way to Andrews pub were we stopped for a brew. 

Abba was playing and the big burly bar tender was elucidating our minds with, “feel good music”.  Ted on the other hand could not stop complaining about the tunes?  Whatever, to each his own and do please enjoy!  From there on we dragged raced down Jefferson on up and past the Ren Cen.  From there we made our way back north and onto the Brewery for some food and suds.  Not Epic, not strenuous, just a group effort that took in a Brit, showed him around and had a good time.

Bike Detroit!  J. Meyers