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.
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