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