Monday, September 30, 2013

Tour de Toit

 Last week I participated in the Tour de Troit, a 30 mile non-competitive bicycle ride around Detroit.  This is my third year doing the ride which just happened to fall on my 40th birthday.  The ride raises awareness of biking as a mode of transportation; publicizes the growing greenways network in the City of Detroit and all of Southeastern Michigan; and raises funds for greenway development in Detroit, including the Southwest Detroit Greenlink.

Although the ride is non-competitive, there tends to be an abundance of spandex toxicity; that is, folks who seem to take the ride far too seriously.  In an effort to combat said spandex toxicity my friends and I have formed Team Lounge Leopards.  We wear uniforms in my favorite shade of leopard and pipe tunes from the basket of my bike by the likes of Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.  We have also been known to carry a case of PBR in a cooler on Daddy-o's bike.  Must stay hydrated you know!

Since the ride was part of my 40th Birthday Celebration Extravaganza, I felt the need to accessorize my bike helmet more so than the usual flower clip that I normally wear.  In a rare stoke of genius, I came up with an idea so grand it would make headlines all over the state.  Behold...
AP Photo/Detroit News, Todd McInturf

Team Lounge Leopards

The beast has been spotted!

The Tour starts at the Michigan Central Station.  This was once the main passenger rail hub of Detroit.  Since the last train rolled out in 1988 the building has come to symbolize the blight that has plagued the city.  To read more about the history of this beautiful building click here.

Michigan Central Station
The tour winds it's way around the city through Corktown, the university district, the old Packard Plant, Indian Village and Belle Isle.  Some parts of the city are so run down while other areas are a shining jewel of what once was.  I often think about what the city was like in it's heyday.  How families were once so proud of the beautiful homes they worked so hard to build.  The same homes that remain abandoned burned-out shells of their former glory. 
Packard Plant then.
Packard Plant now.
Historic Indian Village homes.
The revival of Corktown is one of the success stories coming out of Detroit right now. This effort has been fueled by the growth of Slows Bar B Q. This block of Michigan Ave is a bustling hub which includes Astro Coffee and Sugar House. We went out for some craft cocktails at Sugar House to celebrate my big four-oh. I could drink here all day if they would let me. 

Corktown revival
The day was a blast and I am so fortunate to have been able to spend it with my family and friends.  I can't wait to do the tour again next year! 

'Til we meet again,
Ms. Adventure

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