7/16-23/2012 A Week Spent Riding

With the Holidays behind us we once again headed north to Mackinac Island to spend a week saying Hi to Horse’s with our wonderful kids. In a world without cars there simply may be no better place to relax. No need to look for a car blowing an intersection. The only thing you have to swerve to avoid is the piles of horse poop. From great mountain bike trails, to the inner bike paths all the way out to the circle tour the place simply feels like no other we have visited.

Bike Mackinac Island! J. Meyers bike explorer.

6/21/2011 Inner Park Loop

Tonight’s ride was going to be a tour around our proposed ‘Inner Emerald Necklace’ route that connects 22 parks together on the street less traveled. Angie was ‘Up’ for it but others were not. Bending towards the strong influence of the group we altered our plan and decided a trip down the Detroit River was a good idea. I would like to take a moment here and step towards the direction of please read up on the type of ride prior to coming out and along. Seeing the path that was out before us I decided with some delight, to head on down to River Rouge to ‘Belanger Park’, the City’s finest Park that the good ole stubborn Dr. himself left it behind for all of us to enjoy.

We slide on down and picked up the trail along the river at Riverside Park, over rail road and service trails we made our way by Fort Wayne and knocked but could not come in? From there over the Rouge at ‘Bat Man’ bridge we cut hard left and found ourselves cruising in on East Anchor Street, determined to stay on the back alley trail as much as possible. With a left and spun around right we turned left on Belanger Park Road. Slicing through Industrial Buildings ‘Fortress of Boom’, Banging, Clanging, Stamping….. We feel out of the stinky industrial tunnel and emerged through the green gates/park entry and felt better when we arrived down at the water. It is an amazing site, vistas unlike any along the Detroit River walk. While we were there we saw a Tug Boat come to the rescue of a wayward freight liner spun sideways in the current trying to ‘Back-Into’ the Canadian Port.

We found our way into the Rouge Bar on East Rockwood Street. We headed out to the back deck to take in the Sun. While we were their staring back at the oil refinery the sunlight hit the structure in such a way it turned the white faced into Golden spheres and towering spires. Some saw the ‘Taj-mahal’ while others imagined ‘practical earthly parts’! It was a strong sprint back from there as Amber got hung up with a peddle issue Dan lead the others back to Cork town. We caught up with the attack near Ft Wayne as Dave looped back to see what was taking us, good man that Dave! Amber jumped 6″ off my wheel and we cut the wind all of the way back to the main group.

As we stopped in Cork town it was time for Michael to say good bye. He rode down from Ferndale earlier in the afternoon and figured it was time to get going back. He gets the award for best rider this week. After brief stop @ Cici’s we mounted back up and made it back to MCB sometime after 11, I was thinking maybe I should have left with Mike?

Bike Detroit! J. Meyers bike explorer.

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

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

Dive Bar Tour 05/10/2012

Tonight’s ride was really about the group more than anything else. The two of the three dive bars we made it to will leave a lasting impression on all who ventured out with us. Missing form tonight’s ride was Dan and Val as well as John and Michael, the 4 of them sure did have a positive influence on our last sojourn and hopefully they will be back out with us next week. New to the group was Rick and Amy, Lisa and Scuba ‘motor city brew tours’ Steve made their long awaited return as it has been about a year since they last ventured out with us. Rick was kind enough to map the ride so that people can see the route and more over the circle tour we took around LaSalle Garden Park. Everyone agrees this place is magical and the collection of Architectural Styles is nothing short of Amazing!

Our first stop was quite a haul out to the northwest. Toms Tavern (7 and Wyoming) first opened 4 years before prohibition began. Gus the old Greek’s pictures still adorn the walls as a portrait of the infamous Bill Bonds hangs nearby. Billy boy had a wry smile as he was leaning into a beautiful Blonde many, many moons ago. This place is as old school as it gets. It may very well be the greatest dive Bar in the entire City. If it was up to me it would willing get my vote! The shop keep was startled at first with the some 14+ bikes we asked to bring in? Control freak statements made by both, we streamed them or shall I say, piled them into a corner and ordered a full round of PBR’s for the entire group. If it is not Motor City Brew Works beer then make it a Miller or PBR. There is a spot in the floor near the corner of the bar entry that has settled some -18-22″. That’s right a real dive in no uncertain terms. We think it is the ultimate test to see if one had too much to drink? If you have, you may very well be on your way down, quite literally. My main man James pulled a wheelie as he came through the door opening and with fond fare-thee-wells; we headed out east to find the long since buried Conner Creek Watershed Trail.

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A quick dip south and a left on Clarita we headed east on thru the University district, on up to 7 mile where we made our way through the Palmer Park central trail once again. Snaking around the northern most tennis court we cut across Woodward and onto Nevada Street. Next we heard the roar of a south bound train, then a Whoosh as James sprinted on by, doing his own version of beat the train! He chose wisely, (Indian Jones Last Crusade) and waited for the rest of the group but he swears he could have made it? (Dirty Mary/Crazy Larry) comes to mind. Although my eyes are getting on in age, it looked like a potential ‘T’-bone to me. Waiting on the train big Mike found the opportunity he needed to adjust his seat and with the train gone by we crossed I-75 on East into the old farmland beds that used to follow the Conner Creek watershed trail out from Palmer Park.

Realistically Nevada does not feel particularly good in-between Woodward and old Mt. Elliot, but as a group the Bubble of good intent has a strange and powerful effect on those who perhaps are a wee bit disconnected from the stream? It was Dark as night fall when we all finally arrived at the Two Way Inn. This is the oldest Bar in Detroit, in good working order, not really a dive. For History’s sake we thought it best to include it on tonight’s run. Rick and I spoke about how he was “feeling it a bit” and the group decided to head on back to the Brewery as it was getting near 10:00 p.m. The Comet ride down to the Comet Bar would have to wait until another night. Perhaps we will include it on the return from the Tap Room trail in the near future.

As we all left and headed our way down to Caniff, Brazilian Butt, Jen and the young Bucks Drew and his Pal could not hold back any longer they were gone! 20 something young men chasing hot 30ish tail, sounds about right to me! Out of sight and wonderfully out of their minds, deep down into their lungs looking for Air. Man some of the riders can really fly! By the time the rest of us made it down John R and back to Motor City Brewery they had their beers half way finished and their Pizza’s sitting hot on their plates. Good sprint! Again my special thanks to Amber our group’s unofficial photographer. What her eyes see is truly a beautiful sight and hopefully will be an inspiration to those of you who wish to ride with the group someday. James is a Lucky Man to have found his own tower of Pisa.

Bike Detroit! James Meyers, bike explorer

From Ken, one of our riders: I just wanted to say, thank you VERY MUCH for a great time last night. Granted I wasn’t expecting such a ride, but I feel great today… (a little sore) but I want to say thanks for the guidance, and words of advice to keep me pedaling. 🙂

If you’re interested… this is what my phone documented as far as the path we took… it might be off a little bit because it wasn’t keeping constant GPS signal… but still quite a map.

Hope to see you soon!

Southwest Run? 05/3/2012

Tonight’s ride had good anticipation as Amber posted on our Facebook page that her and James were coming down for some Carbs prior to the ride and had asked if we would be joining them? Running a bit late Jen and I relaxed on in as she was excited to see Val and I was excited to see the new Bottling line fresh in from Italy. We all enjoyed talking and sharing as the group assembled. Upstairs I looked out on the open deck and saw Craig Vick out there already enjoying a good conversation with Amber and James. I thought for a minute about ‘Group’? Tonight’s ride was filled with people who had never met nor had been on a ride before. A Doctor, Overseas purchaser, Architect, Artist, Brewers, Salesmen and House wives all assembled. By the end of tonight’s ride it was like we were all old friends. Kids again playing free!

As we swung out of HJ’s parking lot a heavy west wind hit us all firmly in the face. It would have been a hell of a slug out going west against the 25 mph breeze so we put it to the group to ‘Tact’ the wind like we were sailing, north then south. A cry for the ‘Stone House’ went out and we shot north for the first of many sprints. Ms. ‘Brazilian Butt’ on her new composite road bike caught up with me north of Wayne state Campus and she said that I rode pretty fast and her words “let’s go” came next. I did just that I let her go and kept the group in eyesight, her in front the rest in back. In the middle of the bubble as it were. Back and forth, one attack after another we were all pushing hard, Dan flew by then Jen, than John, back and forth we all of the way north of Mc Nichols. Dan sprinted up and said let’s take John by the Orchard that him and Dan donated. Funny thing was John had not been up to the Park since we started all those years ago. I took the group through the Historic Apartment district then turned right on Hamilton so John could see what he had helped create. To the tip and then right around we headed back down, entered into the park near the mounted Police building. I saw my favorite friend ‘Elmo’ and had to say Hi. Next we took people by the composting operation currently underway then on into the woods via the Asphalt trail.

In less than 20 yards in you are quite literally in another world. People are always amazed at the sudden magnificent change that occurs when you step foot or pedal into a Virgin Forest. With one fallen log laying in the way the mountain bikers hopped over where as Ms. Brazilian Butt had to unclip and walk on over, I think she bitched just a little bit. May this be fair warning to all that please come out and join us; we recommend an urban cross over or Mountain bike for our rides. Charting our way north we all scrambled a bit as we made our way through the 12th precinct parking lot on over 7 mile and on into Palmer Woods. John or James, maybe both asked if I could take the group by the ‘Big Houses’. First we rode by the last standing Fisher Brothers mansions then North to see the rest. Along the way we said hi to Barbara Barefield who was out visiting neighbors. Winding our way through, slowing down to take in the trees and the architectural magnificent we finally found our way out to Woodward and with a quick hairpin we soon found ourselves on Ralston sliding on in to the Stone House once again.

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A group of Vespa rider’s (mods) bikes were first to greet us while the larger leather clad Harley’s, (rockers) grouped just north set the tone for what we would be experiencing next. As I strode up the steps first one of the Harley riders said, “We are not going to have any trouble with your gang are we”? I said 2)-Two wheels right as I made the peace sign with my right hand? He said come on in. We made our way past the groups crowded on the famous front porch taking in the Sun and headed in for 3-4 pitchers of beer. The sprinting all the way north had us thirsty and ready for Carbs! (See the pictures). After a good 30 minutes of relaxing and fun the sky north started to turn dark cloud grey. James had the weather chart on his phone saying that a tail whip would be coming in for us shortly. The wind started to swirl and we took it as a sign from above that we should go. Val said lets Hamtramck it on over to the Pink Lady. Sounded like a great idea to me.

We headed wrong way south for a block so we could turn left and head right way east on over to the north south connector that would bring us to Nevada street. Jen and the Brazilian Butt girl blew by me taking away about the triathlon she was getting ready for, (damn hot chick in shape runners, I thought to myself) I practice my middle bubble justification again and simply watched them soar on bye! Needless to say, I did not mind the fleeting view! As we turned right on Joseph Campeau I looked back to see Johns brother Michael falling a bit behind. He had already ridden down earlier from Ferndale and given his old school steel bike, he was perhaps feeling a bit winded. Circling back we talked briefly about bike upgrades as we followed the ‘Hot Chicks’ to the Pink Lady. Back in the 90’s it was called something else as I remember standing like a smelly sardine in an over packed can to watch Buck Cherry sing on about some crazy bitch. Once again the Bar keep said bring um on in as we asked if we could. To coin another musical group phrase we tried, ‘Riding the storm out’ as REO Speed wagon once put it. But after a few pitchers more and James’s ever present radar phone app., we decided we could wait no longer.

John kept going out to check and see and with a brief pause we mounted up and made ourselves ready to embrace whatever Mother Nature aka the ‘Holy Spirit/Shekinah’ had in store. The sky crackled then unzipped and what came down was a bit more than the heavenly flow quite literally it was the heavenly stream! I was sure glad I wore my waterproof sandals, waterproof yah right, maybe the straps but the rest of me including my underwear file dup like water balloons all ready for the fight. We all sprinted through the flooding, swelling, clogged drains that always seem not to work just when they might really be needed. Okay I will admit it, I did not practice group so good from the Pink Lady all the way to MCB. I sprinted all the way back. I trusted that 3-4 of the others new the way back home. When we all got there cold and wet Dan brought out a skimpy mid-drift cut MCB shirt for Ms. Brazilian Butt. Val said what about me? Dan came back with one for each of the ladies. Cold thermometers Val call out- noticed what happen next was an impromptu photo shoot as all of the ‘Motor City Brewing Girls’ worked it for the Camera. Man what a Sight!

Bike Detroit! James Meyers bike explorer

Middle Emerald Necklace Park loop Tour 04/19/2012

The winds of seasonal change were up and running again and with sunny clear skies predicted this time we were ready for whatever the chill of darkness would bring. Big Mike made time to come on down and join us as we were presently surprised by ‘Honest Jeff’ who came on over from HJ’s. He was stoked and ready in a ‘Specialized’ kind of way. We were all ready for the next great mountain bike adventure. Tonight’s ride was a 32-35 miler scheduled to travel into and through 28 different Parks.

Mike started to Belly ache when he first learned of the proposed distance for tonight’s ride. The words, ‘Heavy Pull’ came whimpering out of his mouth. A word usually associated with describing a female Cat came to mind? Instead I chose silence as Jeff took the stage and said he was ready for it! Blasting canfield to Buchanon west once again we were on our way with map in hand as it would be stuck to my handle bar and consulted often. Crossing over I-94 on Warren we made a quick turn down McGraw and hit three parks right in a row! North bound on Braden Street we entered into Park #8. A quick left onto Kirkwood we headed west to Lanyo then North on into Dearborn traveling down the hidden Mountain bike trail that runs parallel to the Rail road track dumping us out on Wyoming. North across Warren we turned left on Morross St. and headed on up and over to ‘X’ marks the spot. This park is slated as a potential spot for an Urban Farm Hub. ! of the 5 that we feel has a strong enough viable local residential community who might enjoy riding or walking on over to support the park system. In a world without cars, then what? The neighborhood is comprised of the intersection of Esper and Littlefield Blvd. The Masonic Mark and homes that Anchor each corner are unmistakable.

There are 3) ‘X’ mark the spots or in François De-troit. The second visible ‘X’ can be founded northwest in Redford Twp. Fordson Hwy and Plymouth road. The third ‘X’ is hidden but if you trace out the 45 degree alignments it will guide you through the center of U of D Mercy and hit the mark where Mr. Palmers father in laws Log Cabin would have been. Okay back to the ride. Through Anthony Park we turned right on Mark Twain and in through park #11 heading Northwest. Northwest turn through park #12 we turned west on Westfield and made our way to Stopel Park #2, which for us was #13. As luck would have it only two blocks away we were all pushing fast and hard. Westfield eastbound is about 4″ higher than the west bound at the center line crack. Jeff was drifting to his left and did not see the split. He went down hard like someone had tackled him? I stopped dead in my tracks in disbelief? Bloody knee dripping, yet saying he was ready to go, we finished the 2 block jaunt over to Stopel, hopped the kerb and set our bikes up against a virgin oak tree. Dan shared with the group about the proposed ROI urban Farm orchard that had been submitted a few years back. We hope another uncovered and polished Jewel in our proposed emerald necklace. Yet another ROI park initiative expressed as a way to pay for the upkeep and improvements for the park, for the good of everybody.

We ditched on the trail further west and decided to head straight north through Oshea Field crossing over the great I-96 pedestrian bridge we arrived on the ‘Other’ side and stopped to ask Jeff what we should do next? The truth of it was that every time Jeff bent his knee the blood started up once again. The call was to turn right onto Fullerton and head everyone back east along the old Massey Ferguson industrial road. A few miles east we turned right onto Grand river and started slapping the peddles hard all the way back to Midtown. Try as we may we did not find one single bar or watering hole open the entire length down. Grand River is DEAD! 8 miles of waste land. Not at all like it used to be when the Olympia stood its ground.

We all decided to head on over to the Woodbridge Pub to enjoy some fresh Apps and some healthy discussion about People for Palmer Park. Jeff seemed caught in the middle of a good heartfelt sometimes heated discussion but given his gentle demeanor he really did not mine that Dan and I were hogging the show. From there it was back to MCB for one more than back on home to our families.

Bike Detroit! James Meyers bike explorer

Inner Emerald Necklace Park Tour 04/05/2012

Tonight’s ride started with the understanding that by the time we would be making it back to MCB it would be close to freezing temperatures. Dan, Jen, and yours truly assembled in the parking lot to begin the ride with a intense sense of excitement. It was going to be a real adventure for Dan and Jen, as they had never been to most of the 22 parks that were scheduled as a part of our tour. With the NW wind blowing in our face we were kind of glad to be heading into the wind first rather than later. Off like a shot across the pedestrian bridge the Lodge Freeway quickly was put behind us as we made our way west on Buchanan St.

It is not as easy as you would think cutting straight through the center of abandon parks, where the footpath quickly gets lost in peddle high grasslands. Making quick work of our first 4 parks, we stopped for a brief moment near Joy and Dover to take into our sights two original American Elms that stood as a couple. The two that stood as one, in the face of the Dutch Elm disease that claimed the lives of so many of their friends. Another Land grab blocked our proposed route as we made our way west from Rose Lawn down Westfield. When is all the land grabbing going to be put to a stop? Charting our way around down to Joy, two blocks west and then North again is a pain in the rear, literally. Just as we made our way around this obstacle Val called to say I am here and it was at this point Jen wanted to turn back but at Dan’s insistence we carried on with the Journey.

Making our way over 96 just west of Greenfield, we found ourselves on one of if not the longest pedestrian overpass in the city. The view high above the freeway will not soon be forgotten. From there we charted north into the Historic Grandmont neighborhood that neither Jen nor Dan had ever seen. It was as we were crossing Grandriver the NW wind came looking for us and a chance to push us back and down. It was at this point Both Dan and Jen were calling for a break. We stopped for a minute but then thought it best to continue on with the Journey. The next stop was the now abandoned Cody High school were the Full Moon floated over the Moorish influenced Architecture. We slowed down to ponder the significance of the symbols as I elaborated in typical unveiling fashion. From there we could not make it much further and stopped for a Break at the gas station located at the corner of Lyndon and Meyers after our brief tour of Butzel field and the Historic Cemetery that seems to be all but forgotten…

Crossing back over 96 at Cherrylawn we all agreed that this is the longest pedestrian bridge as it spans the Davison interchange as well as the 8 lane freeway. Flying down the ramp on the other side we quickly made a turn into our next Park that had benefited greatly from recent improvements. Standing under the shelter we pondered our next move and with hands and digits starting to freeze we all agreed it was best to get going and get back to meet up with Val. The ride from there was most remarkable with a brief stop at Central High school where once again we pondered the deeper meaning of the English influenced Cathedral turned school in front of us. More symbols revealing the intent of the founders. Understanding symbols unlocks the Mystery. A quick right turn we enjoyed LaSalle Blvd. the Western Pillar to the original Master Plan. We stopped for a minute in the center of ‘Strength’ LaSalle Gardens to take into consideration the Sephera and feel the flow of the underlying tree. From there it was onto Pallister on over and down 3rd, were we slowly made our way back, from where we once began.

Bike Detroit! James Meyers, bike explorer