Beyond the Wall

Observation:  Well today’s ride brought up a new challenge I had not expected – gated communities.  How do you do every linear mile when they don’t want you to ride on their streets?  I actually ran into four of them and had to use different tactics to get in and out.  First one had a broken “out” gate, so no issue there.  The second one had a gate guard, but a quick smile and wave as I rode past him made that no challenge.  Number three had a guard and a full gate, so while I tried to jut around, I got caught and questioned.  I gave a quick explanation, and while I could tell he was not loving my story, he still gave me permission as long as I was in and out and didn’t bother anyone.  The last one, though, served a tougher challenge.  I had to wait a few minutes on the road until a car came out, then I zipped past the wrought iron gate and quickly completed the one-street community.  But it was a very tiny area, so while I was done in 5 minutes, I waited another 30 minutes “trying to look like I belonged”.  Not knowing how much longer I might have to wait before someone left, I had to just make a run for it by putting my bike over the fence and climbing out.  Felt a little sneaky, but more just a little embarrassed.  Some things you never thought you would be doing at 51 years old.

All that aside, the coolest part of this ride and where most of these pictures came from is a neighborhood that never was.  Someone had put in roads and poured foundations, and then left it for mother nature to reclaim.  Sure 100s of people know the backstory, but for me, it made for one awesome day and lots of fun discoveries.

Distance:  35.13 miles

D-Fact:  In 2013, the only known successful swim of the Detroit River was completed.  The trip was done by a 47yo, slightly overweight, drunken Canadian man who had done zero training for the late-night event.  On the swim back he was arrested by border patrol, promptly prosecuted, and to this day he is a legend who says he regrets that he ever did it.



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