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!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Edward Hines Park Trail Part II

So now I know why it's named Edward Hines Drive.  The area must have been held as a place of importance to have a bridge built over it as the 395th project by the Wayne County Road Commission, plus whom ever did the work did an outstanding job, the bridge was in great shape considering it's 80 years old.

Yesterday was another adventure exploring the middle section of of Hines Park Trail.  Today's ride started and the eastern end of the middle section and I rode west to the place where I had left off on the first trip.  Last time it was from Northville Downs to Wilcox Lake, yesterday's ride took me from Nankin Lake to Wilcox Lake for just over 13 miles round trip.  This section was a tad bit flatter, some rolling hills and a couple of good size climbs, but overall it was less daunting.  A map to the route can be found at this link.

Spring is popping out everywhere and Mother Nature's visual splendor is everyplace you look.  Pedaling along it's like one scene tries to outdo the one at the previous bend in the road.  I had a more than chance encounter with a family of Canada geese.  Mom, dad and little yellow puff balls were crossing the path up ahead.  I slowed down to let them pass well ahead of where I was and as I approached I steered clear of them and avoided eye contact.  This was one particularly fierce momma goose, as I passed I caught movement out of the corner of my eye and veered farther off the path away from them.  She was having none of me!  She took flight for a brief few seconds with a lot of flapping and honking, my heart pounded and blood raced through my veins.  I was sure I was a goner, but maybe it was for show, something turned her attention away.  Geeze, I never thought I looked that menacing.  Close encounter.  Not my first with waterfowl, I've been chased by geese and once by a trumpeter swan but those are tales for another time.  That all happened in the first 10 minutes of my ride and quickly the ride calmed down and was very uneventful after that, thank goodness!

 The Middle Rouge River is dotted with lakes as she meanders her way through southeastern Michigan dumping out into Lake Erie and Hines Park is home to many of those lakes.  In my short journey, parking my vehicle at one lake I passed another before I ended up at Wilcox Lake.  That being the largest of the lakes called Newburg Lake.  Like so many of those lakes along it's route there was a large dam constructed there and a power plant sat along it's shore.  The dam and plant was built, in part, by Henry Ford to power his village plant to build drills for use in his factories around the world as pictured in this dialogue board.  In addition to what's included in the photo here are two different links to historical information about the plant and about the refurbished comfort station at the lake.   The lake, once polluted

cleaned up in 1998 and new piers were installed for fishing and the lower level of the comfort station was outfitted for canoe and kayak rentals.  When I was younger and lived in the area I took my canoe and paddled and fished the lake, once catching a very large goldfish (about 10 inches) that I took home to my aquarium.  I kept him over the winter and let him go the next year.

This trio of photos is taken around the refurbished waterfront, I was not
the only photographer around, however this guy was far better equipped
than I was with my little travel camera. 

I enjoyed a little rest stop along the riverside alongside a portion strewn with some rapids and the sounds of the water spilling over rock was a pleasant backdrop for the emerging foliage and birdies tweeting. These last several days in a row now have been some of the most exquisite weather patterns we have had all year so far.  If you had the ability to order up beautiful days and gorgeous weather, you couldn't do a better job than what we've been having.

About mid ride I found a spur off the Hines Trail that is a connector to the I-275 Metro trail that traverses north and south along I-75 which would put it perpendicular to the Hines Trail.  the 275 Metro is a 44 mile long trail and one of the first built in Michigan.  It fell into disrepair and was so overgrown as to be un-navigable in some areas until a couple of years ago a project was undertaken to renovate and rejuvenate the trail and make it great trail again.  A link to a map and historical information about the trail can be found here

Lastly are a pair of photos from the starting and ending lakes on my ride today.  Who knew that recovery from heart surgery and getting healthier and fitter could be this much fun?  Even though I had tried to ride as much as I could before the heart valve surgery, a bit as weather permitted afterwards and even though I rode my trainer during the winter months, it was not with the intensity or level of fitness I had enjoyed earlier in the year and the previous year.  Pedaling my way back to health has been a bit daunting at times when I struggled through frustration over having lost fitness, but as I regain my strength I am delighted.  It's a blast when you can combine the love of exploring with the joy of pedaling.  Oh yeah, in the process, get healthy!

Having taken on this adventure I am obligated to finish up the final third and easternmost section of the trail.  I'll be sure to post a ride report when I do. 


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