Thursday Night Ride 5/12/2011 Trail Ride

With all of the rain I knew today’s ride was going to be a bit swampy. I came ready for mud. Amber and James joined me and Dan as we decided to experience the Palmer Park Trails in spite of the rain, or mud for that matter.

We left around 6pm and headed straight up 2nd st through the Wayne State Campus, on by the Fisher Fwy. and then straight again all the way into the Park. Passing by the fountain, Dan took the lead and was off with his ass shooting flames, lit on fire! I was out earlier in the day trying to find the driest route but with Dan now taking the lead that good plan quickly turned into Mud. With the Virgin Watershed being compromised by the early city engineers, water tends to become trapped out in the forest as it waits to be lapped up by the towering Oaks and Beech.

The first swamp pit was brutal, my 6’5″, 270 frame lumbered on through, forcing me to stretch down deeper into my lungs, looking for the fuel to stoke the fire, so that the Pistons could make it on through the forest glue. In the background, sounding like a P.A. announcement, the gem of Amber all of a sudden found her voice! “Come On”, “Are You Kidding ME” could be heard all of the way through the forest. Up front swamping, leading the slow moving train, I found myself smiling and laughing pretty hard ;-). Welcome to the Detroit waiting to be re-discovered.

With sweat pouring down upon my face I de-mounted on a dry trail island mid way through, gasping for more breath needed to carry me on the rest of the way. As we emerged on the other side of ‘Two-Log-Bridge’ out on the Asphalt boundary trail, we all started to realize that somehow or another the Forest magically gave us new stockings to wear. All the way up to our knees no less and for some all the way up to our helmets! Dark Brown Speckled Body Suits man we styling.

From there we headed East onto Woodward and left for the ½ mile sprint up to the ‘Stone House’. Once there on the porch we all kind of had to smile/chuckle for we all had returned to younger inner child state. Come on and let’s face it, who doesn’t like to play in some mud and get some sort of dirty? While sharing we learned of the ‘Elevated’ porch and second floor which had a pool table and a cool atmosphere.

With just one refreshment on down we were off again to explore the historic Palmer Woods Subdivision. Winding/touring on through we came out across from the seven mile Palmer Park Entrance and hit the side walk down to the pool parking lot. Just for good measure we turned back in for one more swamp run. Amber’s voice was ringing the forest bell once again and as we made it back down via Third Ave. to the place we started, she finished by saying, “Now I am going to have to wash my bike”!

Bike Detroit! J. Meyers bike explorer.

Thursday Night Ride: 5/5/2011; Dive Bars

Jen is back in shape, training for her first triathlon. We decided to ride down along memory lane and then join the group for another ride. In all honesty, it has been three and a half years since we have been able to ride like team members once again. 58 Minutes, with lights and stops, once out of the forest at Palmer; we pushed with mash potato wind in our face. Freedom-Fun.

Catching our breath as we walked in through Motor cities door, we soon meet Amber, Stacey, and James who were there for the first time joining the ride and group. Amber reminded us what tonight’s theme was about Dive Bars as Dan and yours truly have been caught up in our work, neither had checked. Two minutes of brainstorming and we were off over Canfield looking for the Buchanan trial for our chug on West, off to the once real village of “Springwells” for our first dive into a Dive.

At the corner of Springwells and Longwood we landed. Two pyramids of Pabst carried by three, ‘Owners’ assurances on bikes be safe, we headed back to the patio and horse shoe pits, adjacent to the party patio tucked out of site back into the rear. Pictures, smiles, and good conversation, we were back in the saddle again, less than 30 minutes, making our way down to yet another village, the village of ‘Del-Ray’, (The same historic Village that will be destroyed if the new bridge gets built).

Back up on top Springwells, we all switched back underneath the railroad tracks, picked up speed downhill with a sweeping wide left spilled onto Jefferson Ave. a fluid stream .50 mile push and onto the side door entry, up to the ‘Locals’ entrance of Kovac’s cir. 1896. Closed! We hope not for good, never filled, always empty with limited beer selection and always with Charley, the one local who always sat at the corner for years, dispensing good conversation, enjoying the night with ‘Ma Kovac” as we often referred.

The next bright Idea was Donavan’s, Shannon’s dive bar on the other side of the new pedestrian bridge? Great, onto Jefferson around the corner, through Clark Park and the May 5th celebration in Mexican town, we slowly swayed up and over the bridge feeling good to the pedestrian with the right of way. A quick left and we landed into Shannon’s parking lot as we greeted him well lounging in his patio chair dispensing law and order with respects to parking in his lot. Dan said Margaritas and the next thing appeared a random pile placed on tables before us. Greeeaaattttt as Tony the Tiger would say.

45 minutes later we went down to the river walk, on by the Icy-Joe and kind of made our way back slow. Glad we landed back at Motor City when we did. Jen made mentioned that “it is getting kind of late, we can catch a ride with Val”? It did not take long for me to say, sure.

Bike Detroit! J. Meyers bike explorer.