Riding to Mt. Elliott Park


Yesterday’s regular 7 AM Saturday morning group run had a special start location: Mt. Elliott Park on the Detroit RiverWalk.

It was a chilly 32F at the 5:55 AM when I hopped on the bike and started heading south. At that hour with minimal road traffic, I just jumped on Woodward.

The route was simple: Woodward to State Fair (7.5 mile) to Conant, which turns into Mt. Elliott. It was just 16 miles and about an hour of biking.

The highlights along the route included going past Theatre Bizarre, Bangladeshi Avenue, and the Heidelberg Project.

Just north of the Heidelberg and just as the sun was about to rise, I heard a rooster crowing.

Once at the park, I locked my fixie to a bench in clear view of the RiverWalk security cameras.

We had a relatively large group of runners. Our route was to Joe Louis and back then a loop around Belle Isle. The highlight of the run was a stunning sunrise over the river.

More Great Bike Rides in Detroit

It all came together last weekend in Detroit. The weather was perfect and there were plenty of group rides to choose from. Detroit Synergy hosted two rides. The first started in the shadows of Comerica Park, followed the Riverwalk, and ended up in Eastern Market.

One highlight was using the automated self-cleaning bathroom at Gabriel Richard Park. It’s the first time a bathroom has spoken to me — and in different languages too.

After that ride, I rode over to the Urban Bean Company for a cold drink. While there, a Back Alley Bikes/Trips for Kids Detroit ride showed up.

Sunday was another Synergy ride that started on Detroit West side, meandered through Rouge Park, on to Hines Drive, and the Rouge Gateway Trail. The end destination was Henry Ford’s Fair Lane Estate in Dearborn. And with the spring flowers starting to come alive, it was a great choice.

Detroit Bikes! Spring Training Ride

What the world needs - Mexican Coca-ColaYou know biking in Detroit is getting bigger when you get 30-some people showing up for a bike ride in freezing temperatures — and these aren’t your lycra-clad racer types that have been riding all winter.  These are normal people.

Last Saturday’s ride was called Spring Training was more than a cycling-baseball pun.  The ride connected various spots in Detroit where professional sports are played or were once played. Comerica Park, Ford Field, and Joe Louis arena were the obvious choices.  The old Olympia site and long-gone baseball fields were not.

We also included a ride on the east Riverwalk and a stop at Mudgie’s deli in Corktown.  At the latter, I enjoyed a Mexican Coca-Cola — made with real sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup.  It was refreshing despite my disheveled look in the above photo.

Thanks to Detroit Synergy and Tom Page for a great ride.  Thanks to Sue “Sumoe” Moretto  for the photos.

Goats and the City

On Easter morning, I hoped on my bike and rode towards downtown. There were a lot of folks waiting for buses on Woodward. I love being that friendly bike guy. My hellos returned many smiles and “Happy Easters”.

Not having enough time to ride the Riverwalk, I headed west to Trumbull and south towards Old Tiger Stadium. Just north of I-75 and near the shadows of the Motor City Casino are some goats. Seriously. Not just one or two, but a whole family of them with a bunch of hens and roosters.

Welcome Urban Farming in Detroit

With more than half of your population gone and large swaths of vacated open land, urban farming seems like a fine choice. The Greening of Detroit and Eastern Market Corporation are both involved in spreading the urban farming idea. As I bike around the City, I don’t always see goats, but I do see more large garden plots. According to the Greening folks, some of those urban farmers are now seeing their excess food at Eastern Market.

With sprawl continuing to push the country further away from my home in Royal Oak, it’s exciting to see it reborn closer to home.

My 12 Most Memorable Rides of 2007

I don’t recall ever having so many memorable rides in one year. Maybe I’ve been too caught up in training rather than just riding. Maybe I just haven’t been as adventurous riding around town. Maybe it’s because I’m older.

No matter what the reason, I had a wealth of memorable rides last year. Rides that have stuck with me, changed me. Rides that give me a little flush of adrenalin just replaying them in my head. Rides that make me feel fortunate. (more…)

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