After a long month of intense work I finally found some time to catch up on the blog and share with people the tale of our travels over the past several weeks. Last year’s Bike the Bridge event was attended by big Mike and this year Jen and I were in attendance with the 100+ Americans who wanted to take the trip on up and over. This year’s event was well organized and was wonderful to be a part of.
With the short ride over to the staging area we were ushered up to join the Canadians who had already crossed and were waiting in Mass just inside of the toll booths, (they did not have to clear customs as they were not touching American soil). When the signal was given we slowly took off taking in the sites of the river as we climbed up the grade. I snapped a few photo’s of Jen wearing her bike Detroit Gear, wow what a site. Once at the apex I let it out, just a little as my speed increased to 35mph+ flying free. I was sliding through the scattered groups of riders like a skier traveling down a mogul hill. At the Bottom of the bridge we were waived through the customs booth and into McDonald’s parking lot no questions asked! Damn easiest international crossing I have ever been a part of.
From there on we traveled west to a nearby Park where a snack was offered to all. From that point the group split in two as the hardcore riders went down to Historic Amherstberg while the others went off to Hiram Walker for a little tour and whiskey taste fest. Todd Scott led the ride at a good pace taking us away from the main hwy through farm country. While in Amerherstberg the group started to splinter a bit with various riders taking off in different directions. Jen and I found a nice coffee shop and had an espresso while enjoying great conversation with the locals gathered there.
From there we were off trying to find the rail to trail conversion that had been posted all over town, it was supposed to be the Grand Opening Weekend for this newly created trail. Sadly we learned that it was not going to open up on time. From there on we took the main hwy. that ran parallel to the river and after about ten miles of exploring we found ourselves I the Black Oak Forrest Park. Only partially reveled on any map this place was wonderful! Trail upon trail, crossing over a set of R&R tracks we found no less than three sandy beach-like access points right into the Detroit River. One in particular I had to slam the breaks on or it would have been downhill and right on in! Jen stopped often to chow down on the Mulberry fruit, so many trees, so much fruit and only two hands. We both agreed it would be worthwhile just to bring a group of trail riders over for a fun filled day.
From there on it was to Historic Sandwich town where the primary group caught up with us we joined in and took the river side sidewalk back into town. From there on we split again as we made our way onto Ouellette street in search of food. Windsor has become a ghost town, boarded up restaurants and bars where as a young man I found myself foolishly playing far too often then I would like to remember. Back then I would never imagine what this place would become as the post 911 fear based hysteria and overly aggressive border guards have done more than a good job in taking Windsor down to the level of Detroit, at least in some of the parts that we saw. Lucky enough Jen noticed a spit turning in the window of one of the street café’s. We went in to enjoy a good meal that would more than hold its own among the Greek Town Collection just across the river bend. Busses were on time and the Anal retentive custom guards relaxed just a little as they had to inspect and question all of us. At the end of the day it was well worth the money paid although the shirts could have been better.
Bike the Bridge! J. Meyers bike explorer