It's a new year and time once again to give a new look to this blog. New graphics and colors. Same bike writer!

This blog is created not only to track my own progress on my biking journey but it is intended to also assist others who have either osteo or rheumatoid arthritis or both like I do. I hope as you read about the progress I have made that it gives you inspiration and hope that you can overcome the dibilitating effects of these conditions.

If your doctor agrees that you should be capable of expanding your limits read on and don't be afraid, just listen to your body and give it challenges. Biking is a great non-impact form of exercise and greatly enhances flexibility and range of motion.

It's not a substitute for Doctor visits, taking your meds or otherwise getting off your health plan but it auguments what your Doctor does for you and can give you a better quality of life. Go for it!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dexter Revisited

The quaint little village of Dexter, Michigan embarked on a journey to transform the riverfront from a body of water that flowed through the village into a fablous outdoor riverwalk.  In the process the riverfront which was mostly viewed through a car window when you drove over the bridge, or from the sidewalk view of a pedestrian or bicycle over that bridge or from the river itself by an occasional kayaker or canoeist, has now been opened with public access for everyone.  The ambitious project has yielded a gathering place and a central focal point for outdoor enjoyment, with paved walkways, boardwalks, places to sit and take a rest, all along a new redeveloped waterfront.    I wrote a post in September of 2011 that you can find here and it had a few photos of the "project in the works."  Friday I took another ride around downtown and explored the length of the new riverwalk including a portion of the new path that will lead from downtown to Hudson Mills Metro Park.  That park has two bike trails in it, one that is a loop around the inner portion of the park and another out-and-back trail that follows the river from the other side of the park.  This is going to be great for people who visit the park and want to ride into town, do a little exploring, shopping or catch a bite to eat and also for townsfolk to bike ride to the park without having to rely on getting there on the heavily traveled roads.

The riverwalk was well thought out and links various features in the community.  From it you can access the library, farmers market, downtown and it also links a couple of subdivisions with downtown.

If ever there was an example of excellent city planning, look no further.

Photos below

Looking north out of town toward Hudson Mills, the building on the
right is the Library, the boardwalk goes under a railroad bridge and 
will eventually take you to Hudson Mills Park, construction has begun
and it's expected to be complete by late summer.  There used to be a rocky 
shoreline but now you can see where there is tiered access right to the river 
for flyfishermen.   Kayakers or canoeists  have a landing if they want to stop
and get supplies in town.  The farmers market is located up on street level
between the Library and the main road, you can pedal up the hill or there
is a set of stairs taking you up to street level.

Looking south up the "rapids" and toward the long winding portion
 of the riverwalk 

 If you continue on the path under the rail road bridge, along the board walk you come to where the connector will join the path toward Hudson Mills, if you continue to your right along the existing portion of the path it will take you to a large subdivision which now will have cycling access to downtown.
Here are several views of the winding riverwalk.  My first impression?
It's a joy to ride on!  The photos are taken from up on street level and the
park and boardwalk is about 30 feet down a gradual incline. 

I rode around town and explored a bit then hitched up and headed to Hudson Mills and took a ride on both of the trails there, it was a beautiful day with little to no wind and finally loads of sunshine and warm temps.  I've struggled with a few handfuls of spring training rides and today was the payoff, I finally felt strong on the bike.  My cadence was higher, it was easier to push harder gears and there is a quite steep short hill from the  river level up to street level, I was able to sprint up it like a billy goat.  The stronger performance made me feel a hundred times better after this ride than any I've been on so far this spring.  

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