Pimp Your Bike Ride: 06/07/2012

Okay, big Mike wanted this themed ride that he made suggestion for during our annual meeting on January 31st. Nobody came pimped out, although I had a Ace of Clubs card in my spokes when I left Lathrup village to ride down. Needless to say the Ace of Clubs card didn’t make the trip. As I rolled into the parking lot I was happy to see James and Amber’s car with bikes in tow. I was hoping tonight’s ride would be filled with more new people, all of which we have thoroughly enjoyed meeting. Dave’s wry smile and good sense of direction is always welcome! All told 12 people came out on the ride and none of them were shy about stepping on the peddles and I mean stepping on them hard!

Michael and John joined in with the fun as Michael had once again rode down from Ferndale on his vintage classic 820 hard tail trek, recently renewed by a master bike tech. Since nobody was big NYC Pimping we decided to do an east side run out to Algonquin Park via Heidelberg and Vernor Hwy. Dropping down to Jefferson at the once famed water works garden grand limestone entry we headed a few blocks east and turned down Marquette on our way to Freud so that all of us could be psychoanalyzed about our OCD approach to bike riding. Sigmund couldn’t be found but Algonquin Park was.

Sliding into the park on the Asphalt pedestrian trail we all pumped it on up to overlook hill so that we could take in the view mouth/gateway to the Detroit River. What a beautiful site, the sail boats, the cool water, Belle Isle, Bay View cocktail dresses in party along with the lovely ladies of tonight’s ride, a glimpse of Heaven! After a few minutes of deep breathing, stretching, smiling, realizing, and photo pics taking it all in we mounted back up and rolled fast down the hill, across the footbridge onto the small island attached to the park by way of asphalt trail. From there it was a kerb hop down and another kerb hop up and we set out to cross the vast field on a single track that was barely visible. I could have sworn I heard some belly aching back round but the exhaust pressure of my own deep breath drowned out the perceived complaints. Turning right cutting through the old Gar Woods Property we soon found ourselves back again on Freud as we then made our way over to Marshalls.

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Yup you guessed it what would a Bike Detroit ride be without dive bars and PBR’s? Marshalls sits right at the foot of the Conner Creek water shed as it finally opens up to the air once again, smiling up at the sky as it slowly return to the sea from whence it came. Hard to imagine the city engineers captured and buried this once watershed all the way from Palmer Park, sad but true and yet here it is. Needless to say the peeps at Marshalls were a little bit surprised by the colorful bike riders that had converged on their ‘Local’ place, but the lovely Bar Keep remembered us from last year and sooner than you could take your helmet off 12 PBR’s were brought up counter side. Many of the group went out the back door to take in the unique historic sight of the late 1800’s architecture, which included hand hewn wood beams for span and support of the back concrete patio. I thought to myself why not take the fences down and build a couple of steps so that Kayaks and Canoes could head up through the canals and stop in for a beer?

With a good 20 minutes spent it was a quick sprint on through Grosse Pointe Park where then we made our way to Ye Old Taproom. Peanut shells flying and John with 4 pitchers of beer we laughed and mowed our way on through it all except that last assorted picture of heavy dark beer. Somehow that stuff is hard to stomach wile out on the ride. With the shadow of twilight falling down on the sidewalk, we looked out and decided it was time to get headed on back. Jen opened up and shared and it was then I decided to take the group down Charlevoix along the same route I had just experienced a few days earlier. As we mounted up Honest Jeff showed up with his good Pal and Dan and I both questioned why we did not swing on By HJ’s before heading east?

Down to Jefferson back around and on up to Charlevoix and yes everyone enjoyed the relaxed beauty of the open lanes and the historic Homes. I think what they like most was the absence of any cars coupled with the sounds of the living meadows as block after block nature sung her songs. Past Grand Blvd. the call went out for an ‘Andrews’ stop, so of course we did. From there up through Eastern Market once again and onto Cass Ave. Shortly after the right turn, once again looking for my breath, Jen rolled up and said, “left at Canfield right”? With my weak yes her, Amber and James came bye like a freight train coming down hill, whoosh and before I knew it they were two blocks ahead. I looked deep within and after all of the attach sprints I led from earlier I did not think I had anything left to give. Knowing this I jumped up out of the saddle and spun as fast as I could. As the group hesitated at the light at Canfield I caught them, James was wise, and I think he saw me coming? He stepped too and was breathing hard down on my neck as I boxed out the inner line and made it back to MCB ahead of Jen and her sprinting group. As I walked stiff legged all the next day I decided next time they win!

Bike Detroit! James Meyers bike explorer

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Home Commute: 06/05/2012

The simple fact of the matter is that it is not hard to lose your focus and balance when you choose to immerse yourself in your carrier/profession. Every year about this time I find myself looking into the mirror and asking myself when will I choose a different path and allow for balance to return. This morning, I loaded my bike and took it to work with me as I was hell bent on getting on the bike and riding home from Grosse Pointe via Downtown then north out to Lathrup Village.

Whenever I am out alone riding through the city I always hit the exploration button, to get off the auto route and see yet another part of the city. Today was no different. For those of you that ride from the east side down to the city only a few choices of passage can get you there. To the south of Jefferson you have Freud, and then Jefferson or you can choose to head all the way up to Mack. For me today it was Jefferson.

Bombing right with the wind at my back I imagined myself flying in the air like a kite flaps full of wind. Flowing/sweeping through construction barricades and chin music cars letting me know that they were bigger than me, my tension melted away and a smile finally made it way back to graffiti joy on my face. Just past St. Jean I made a quick right onto Beniteau then a quick left on Charlevoix. If you have never been this way please make time to do so. Another one way 3-4 lane historic stream is waiting for you to explore! This was a first time for me and well worth it. As I approached the Gratiot twist as I like to call it I turned north onto Mt Elliot and then left on Canfield for a Quick stop/hello to all of my friends at MCB.

After liquid hellos I mounted up again riding through Wayne State on by the Fisher on into Palmer Park. At the corner of Pontchartrain and Merrill Plaisance I saw Mr. Eric Sabree down at the South-west corner of the Orchard that did not suit his interest. I chose to turn left this time instead of heading on through the Park as I always do. I rode on down and turned around to say Hello neighbor with all of the Compassion I could summon and muster. From there north through Ferndale, west through Oak Park and back home where the trilogy of youthful exuberance came crashing out the back door to welcome me home.

Bike Detroit! James Meyers bike explorer

City Loop Circa 1909 Run: 05/24/2012

Well we all started getting in to MCB just after 5p.m., Amber and a new friend were in, Andrew and his Pal form Western, then Honest Jeff and two of his Pals showed and the group started to feel even better. Tonight’s ride was retracing our History as in the history of 1909. Not many are aware that the city of Detroit was limited only to Grand Blvd way back when. Hind sight being what it is I wonder now if it really was a good idea to expand and expand and expand out into Greenfield Township, turning all of the once pristine farm land, into the sprawling city residential. Why don’t we ask Highland Park what they think? OK let’s let others decide on this one and get back to the action and fun.

Since Honest Jeff was already in the house with his posse there was no need to swing on by his place. We slid over to 3rd and then headed down to Martin Luther King Blvd. Turning right we made our way west out to the Blvd boundary trail. It was fun with this group as all of us took various turns sprinting up, reeling in; back and forth we went like a fun dance in search of deeper breath. As we made our way to the once North West corner of the city we were all rewarded for our efforts, with a chance to stop and take in of one of the great Tudor Revival Residential Master pieces, still left standing and alive in our wonderful city. Just across 96/Grand River, tucked back into the corner, lost against monstrous trees, you will have to look hard but will find this work of art. For me the triple 6 pointed star conjoined central chimney speaks of many wonderful things. Okay back onto the ride.

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Heading east on the mighty Grand Blvd. you will soon find a split to slower minor blvd. a minor to major if we are talking classical music in terms. It keeps the cars out there rather than right in here next to us. We all felt some relief from the Amplified Steel Reflections and welcomed the relaxation of riding without the close encounter of cars. Back and forth we were all feeling it. I felt it so much I turned north rather than South on John R so we could make our first pit stop of the night. Lucky for Ambers/our new friend! He knew the way. If you have never been you have to check out V’s. Outdoor Beach Volley ball, a couple of Horse Shoe pits, big outdoor Patio, Tables and good pizza and food to if you find yourself hungry. Guess what we ordered? More than a few sips in Honest Jeff sparked the instance for a game of Shoes! What fun, I think he won 10-9, as it was a neck and neck affair! Val took shoe next and bounced a couple, not off of the wood back board behind the steel pin, but rather off the wood privacy fence situated behind. It had been awhile and with all of her new muscles form working out at the gym she had to simmer down about and dial-er-in just a weeeeeeeeeee bit.

From V’s we Bombed Ferry Street all the way east, had its own sense of history/historic vibe about it. Better yet no dance along For us it was more-better-best than out with cars on zee Grand boulevard. Turning right onto the boulevard once again we headed south all of the way to the River. Hitting the River walk once again we just had to stop in at Andrews and see big ole burly once again. And while we were at it why not a quick stop into Atwater as well? From there it was a fun tour up the Dequindre-cut and on through the Market back on over to MCB. A quick goodbye and we were off once again to our sleeping children this time!

Bike Detroit! James Meyers bike explorer

Belle Isle Run: 05/17/2012

Amber and James made it back and have become such a wonderful regular addition to our burgeoning group. Amber gets all of the credit for snapping the pics. which now have become a mainstay in all of our post. More and more people are coming out to enjoy the city with us as we truly welcome everyone and anyone who can check their judgment at home and get on the bike and ride!

We swung on by Honest Jeff’s but saw none and continued back around north on 2nd only to then turn R/East on Canfield. Out past the 5 wonderful Historic Churches we slid by the Heidelberg project. Once we crossed Gratiot Dan suggested we take group by the old Pfeiffer Brewery before we found our way to Grand Blvd. and then onto the island.

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Belle Isle was already dressed up for the Indy Car race. We all had fun cursing the course but found the time to stop by the old Casino and take a goof photo of One arm James and the three lovely ladies laying on the Casino sign, (hot Stuff!) From there we did a mid way loop and circled back onto Jefferson after the headlong into the wind sprint across the bridge. We slid along the river walk and landed into Andrews place once again. Jen was in PBR Prison out on the patio with a wonderful smile as usual. Mr. Burly man was happy to see us and had a heartfelt hello and goodbye to offer to the group.

Since we were right around the corner we rode our bikes into Atwater for one and then spun back around on the river walk heading west. James ripped up the Hill just before the DNR park and with well lit Helmet spot light blazing, flew down the hill like a “Blue-Streakier’ off the coaster tracks. What a sight. From there it was onto Jacoby’s for some grub and then back to Dan and Johns place for a good night Gracie!

Bike Detroit! James Meyers bike explorer