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, May 5, 2013

Edward Hines Park & Trail

Northville Downs Racetrack
Truly in the spirit of Spring it was time for more exploring.  I've been wanting to explore the Hines Park trail for some time now and yesterday seemed like a good day for it, beautiful Saturday afternoon.  I had mapped the trail out and noticed that the north western most end of the tail was right near Northville Downs.  They have a huge parking lot and even an overflow lot so it seemed like a good place to start from.  I arrived and couldn't believe my eyes that the overflow lot which generally sits empty was overflowing with cars, duh, it's the Kentucky Derby and I was looking to park at a racetrack!  I did find a place luckily, but once on the trail I found a park, playground, rest stop area with ample parking.  Oh well, now I know for next time.  As a youngster and young adult I lived near Hines Park and cruised Hines Drive thousands of times.  Mostly it was in the south eastern portions of the park and when out for Sunday drives we usually turned around just before the Northville section.   After I moved away a trail was added to the park, I'd seen it briefly from a car but was anxious to ride it.

Hines Drive takes you through Hines Park within multiple cities and townships, it meanders along the Rouge River, indeed it was created as an overflow flood basin for the Middle Rouge River and helps to protect neighborhoods and homes from spring floods. The basin is in a valley and is one of the most scenic drives in the urban areas of Wayne County.  The park is littered with ball diamonds, picnic areas, shelters, play sets, fishing spots, disc golf courses and the bike trail.  You can find more information about the park here.   

As a teen I fished many areas of the river and most of the lakes that the river passes through.

When I first set off,  I headed south from the intersection of Sheldon Rd. and 7 Mile Road, it was a mistake.  I missed the path and somehow ended up on a connector that is the Bennett Arboretum (link to information about the arb) it was built to connect and serve several neighborhoods right off of Sheldon between Six and Seven Mile roads.  The path from Six to Seven Mile is nearly straight uphill, so I started my ride with an immediate big climb.  I thought that the path would turn into the park and traverse the southern side of the drive but it kept climbing and climbing, all the while heading further and further from Hines Drive and trail.  It was tough to see because the trail twisted and turned.  It was an elegant portion of trail but carrying me in the wrong directions so about 3/4 of a mile into it, I oriented myself and turned around.  My trip back to my beginning was swift because it was all downhill.  The hilliness didn't end as I now headed eastward along Hines Park Trail.  After about another half mile I was treated to another very large climb.  Note to self, if you're looking to avoid big hills start the trail about 2-3 miles east of where I started. I have a link to a route mapped at Map My Ride here.  This weekend is Greek Orthodox Easter with lots of preparations and I didn't have all afternoon for a leisurely ride so I only explored the upper reaches of the trail.  I can't wait to get back and ride it's length.    I snapped a few photos below.  

This trio of photos comes from the Bennet Arboretum section of the trail

it was quite beautiful, with this Living Wall, boardwalks and stunning
climbs.  This connector passes by some subdivisions with large, beautiful 
estate size homes. 

The next series of photos comes from the remains of the old Meads Mill and it's foundation

There is an excellent pictorial and historical guide
to the  Rouge River Tour and the communities
that it meanders through, including Meads Mill.  It
has lots of very old photos of a bygone era and the link is here.
This is where I should have parked because it puts you right 
on the trail

Just off the trail for a rest along the river

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