I was held up by gunmen while biking

I was biking down Vinsetta Boulevard in Royal Oak last week and all of a sudden there was a major traffic jam.  This was real odd because normally there are few cars on that road.

So I slowly weaved through the stopped cars, past a policeman, and continued  on Vinsetta.

The only difference now was I was on a movie set. Oops.

At Main Street, someone asked me to stay out of Wagner Park as they were filming the remake of horrifically bad movie Red Dawn.

I went north on Main and there there were. Four gunmen. I rode past without a shot being fired. Russian? Chinese? American? Dunno.

Just another day of biking in Hollywood.

Motivating a Neighborhood Owl

photo011While biking home from a couple errands, I came across a car stopped in the middle of a nearby neighborhood road. The driver and passenger were standing in front of the stopped car casting long shadows from the headlights.

There in the middle of this Royal Oak road was an Eastern Screech Owl.

Unfortunately my phone camera does not take better pictures in low-light situations. A better picture would show him staring at me.

The group of neighbors came out and we finally got a wildlife expert on the phone. They advised we prod the little owl (perhaps a baby) in a box while wearing heavy-duty gardening gloves.

Once in the box, he flew out and landed in the middle of another street.

On the second attempt, he got in the box and moved out of harms way.

I did thank the driver for being alert and stopping without hitting the owl. Many of the drivers in this neighborhood and throughout the region are in their own world when in their car — making no plans for any unexpected encounters like this.

We even saw that first hand while trying to get him in a box as one car accelerated towards us as we stood in the road with the owl.

Once while driving in Royal Oak a large white English sheepdog slowly walked into the street. I stopped and watched as the opposing traffic did not.  I flashed my headlights. Never once did the other car’s nose dip to indicate any braking before they hit and killed the dog.

Thankfully our baby owl should fare better.

e-Filing killed my Tax Day Ride


Tax Day at the Royal Oak Post Office

Tax Day at the Royal Oak Post Office

Like many, I used to finish my taxes late, print them out, then hustle down to the Royal Oak Post Office, which is open until midnight on tax day.

Unlike many, I biked there.

It was double fun to weave between car traffic, cut to the front and hand my taxes to the postal carrier.

For the past few years I’ve been filing on-line instead.

So at 15 before midnight tonight I jumped on the bike and headed to the post office with a camera instead of a tax return.

The WCSX Tax Bash had already packed up and left. (It featured Miss Better Maid this year!) Still there was steady flow of cars and people running with returns in hand.

At a couple minutes past midnight, the postal workers and police shut it down.

The late arrivers kept arriving, but they missed the IRS deadline.

And they missed Miss Better Maid, too.

Dogsledding in Royal Oak

The Dogsled cruises Vinsetta Boulevard in Royal Oak

The Dogsled cruises Vinsetta Boulevard in Royal Oak

It’s not something you see everyday on the streets of Royal Oak. This four-person, four-wheeled home-made contraption is called the “Dogsled.”

Eventually it’s going to make it’s way out west for Burning Man, but for now it’s being test driven around the local streets.

The Dogsled plans and photos of his construction are on-line and definitely worth checking out.

Hanson Group Runs

Hanson's RunningRunners in the Royal Oak-area are lucky. While we don’t have the mountains and trails, we do have the weekly Hanson group run.

What moves this run ahead of the others is it attracts runners of all speeds and it’s year-round on every Thursday. And it’s been this way for about a decade or so. It’s just a dependable way to get a good run in, whether it’s 4, 6, or 8 miles.

The run starts on Thursdays at 6:30pm from their store at 3407 Rochester Road, just north of 13 Mile. There are other Hanson group runs in the Detroit-area as well.

I used to bike to the shop to start my runs. It’s a bit of a pain because I can’t always ride the 2.5 miles in my running gear, so I’d have to change. Still, the ride home offered a nice cool down. Now I’m running from my house to the 2 mile mark to join the group in route. That eliminates the need to drive and gives me an additional 2-2.5 mile run home.

Of course the run is free and the store provides water at the end. You can pay them back by buying all your running shoes at the shop. The Hansons do a whole lot more for running in Metro Detroit than these groups runs, including the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project.

It always feels good to give them the support in return.

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