Here is a list of some of the scenic, unique, and quirky places we’ll be visiting during our ride.
Rosie O’Grady’s – A wonderful “irish” pub, nestled into the main artery of Ferndale, at the corner of 9 mile and Allen Rd. Meet here at 9 am.
Dorais Park Velodrome – More commonly referred to as the “Thunderdrome,” the Dorais Park Velodrome was designed in 1967 (by Michigan cycling legend Mike Walden) and completed in 1969: the same day Neil Armstrong landed on the moon (that’s one small pedal stroke for cyclist; a century ride or two for cyclist kind). It hasn’t been officially raced on in years. However, the Thunderdrome is home to many rogue cycling and motor-scooter races. You’ll pedal over history with a huge grin plastered on your face.
Disneyland in Hamtramck – What more needs to be said? This gem is a mini Heidelberg Project right in the middle of a Hamtramck neighborhood. The owner’s backyard is completely covered in every possible color. It’s like a carnival exploded in his backyard. It’s also a lot of fun to see up close.
New Dodge Lounge – Our first beer stop of the day. This cozy little lounge has been serving up its fine patrons for over 24 years. Best of all, they open up at 7:00 am (we will not be there that early, though). Being our first beer stop, riders will receive their first poker card of the day.
Heidelberg Project – If you haven’t seen this, you must. The Heidelberg Project, founded by Tyree Guyton in 1986, is a giant art installation that takes up the better part of two blocks. Stuffed animals tacked to houses, clocks painted on walls, and an entire house covered in polka dots makes this the most surreal stretch of the ride. It’s like riding through the craziest good dream you’ve ever had.
Eastern Market – Where all of the good produce comes from. With its roots back in the 1850s, Eastern Market covers over 43 acres and is considered the largest historic public market in the United States. We’ll be eating some home-style BBQ served up sloppy and outside (just like it should be). We’ll also be drinking here, which means you’ll get another poker card.
Dequindre Cut Greenway – Less of a stop, more of a ride. The Dequindre Cut Greenway is a recent addition to Detroit, stretching 1.35 miles before connecting to the Detroit Riverwalk. The best part here is the street art (or “graffiti” for the old-school folks). Last year, I was stung by a bee during this stretch. I could have been stung by an entire hive and this part of the ride would have still been awesome.
Detroit Riverwalk – During this part of the ride, you’ll get to see a piece of the world’s second largest country (by total area), Canada. Ride through water fountains, stop to take in the river, or just enjoy the fresh breeze, this part of the ride is always enjoyable.
La Gloria Bakery – Located in Mexican Town, La Gloria Bakery holds the key to the heart of your sweet tooth. Renowned for their churros, this bakery is one of Detroit’s best kept secrets. Eat all you want… just think of it as “energy food” for the rest of the ride. You will not need to speak Spanish to order, though it wouldn’t hurt. A third poker card will be dispensed.
Michigan Central Station – The old, burned out train station (as we know it), was built in 1912, with the first train leaving its station in 1913. It’s beautiful, enormous, and used to shuttle thousands of people from place to place. It was the hub of Detroit. In 1988, the last train left this historic station (well, it’s not registered as historic, but people have been advocating this for years). Today, the station is used more as a photography subject and a street art canvas than anything else. Needless to say, it’s still breathtaking.
Z’s Villa – Located in a historic house built in 1892, Z’s villa is our stop for more beer, great food, and… beach volleyball? Yup. Un-strap your cycling shoes, grab a beer, and serve up a couple spikes. You’ll also receive your fourth poker card.
Palmer Park – Located at seven-mile (ish) and Woodward, Palmer Park features 13 miles of hike-or-bike trails. It’s even rumored that three of the 13 miles are mountain bike trails. It was designed by the infamous Frederick Law Olmsted (he also designed little-known landscapes like Central Park in New York, and Belle Isle in Detroit).
Rosie O’Grady’s – the alpha and omega of our ride. This faux Irish pub is where it begins and where it ends. We’ll be giving away all sorts of cool prizes. Once lucky soul will even win a Surly Crosscheck frame. Did I mention food and drink specials? There will be food and drink specials.
We’ll have a safety vehicle meeting us at every destination, stocked with first aid accessories, tubes, and everything we need to repair any bicycle-related mishaps on the way.