On Aug. 29th we rode an 45 miles or so from Ann Arbor into Detroit. We had heard horror stories of people bikers being pushed off to the ground and then having their bikes stolen. We laugh every time we talk about this, but apparently it happens. Our bikes must not have been nice enough to get us pushed off.
It's a unique experience biking into a city for the first time and seeing the skyline growing as you approach. The closer we got to Detroit the skyline began to show the hardship of the city. Up close we could see the deserted neighborhoods and broken windows. We rode down empty streets four lanes wide. There were pockets of life, revitalization, though they were small. We found a coffee shop and decided it would be smart to find a place to stay for the night. By 7 that night we were eating BBQ in Darrin and Kaitlin's backyard hearing their opinions on this broken yet proud city.
They toured us around the neighborhood and lead us to a neighborhood dance party. Community has not been lost in Detroit. Neither has their sense of humor. They played a clip from The Matrix and then a guy dressed like Morpheus came out and DJ for the night.
Detroit is in an upswing but from a very low place. Our hosts were amazed when they saw that one of the major streets we walked past was lit up with street lamps for the first time in what I assumed was years. The other cross streets were still dark and worrisome.
Jeff says he'll go back some day; I'm rooting for it but from afar.
Photos: riding in with a wide open road//abandoned Michigan Central Station//DJ Morpheus with Keanu Reeves