Bike Club began this week with two outings!
The first outing was a pleasant drive through the Dequindre Cut from Lafayette to the Riverfront. The Dequindre Cut is one of my favorite features in the City. It is an underground bike and walking path that is decked out in amazing graffiti. (The background picture of this blog is actually a picture of graffiti art from the Dequindre Cut that I took last year; and you can find more pics at this post). Last summer, the Cut was not fully extended to the river, but that extension was recently completed, which makes for an awesome and convenient route to the river.
Now while I've known about the Dequindre Cut for a couple of years, I really never thought much to look into its history. Maybe I was just too busy enjoying the scenery? But my bike partners, bless their inquisitive minds, tended to be more curious about the history of the Cut: What was it before it was a bike and walking path? Why is it called the Dequindre Cut? Is it going to be further expanded?
So, I looked a little into it. The Dequindre Cut was formerly a Grand Trunk Western Railroad line. That touched my heart because my Grandpa worked for Grand Trunk. Anytime I see this logo, I think of him and his GT hat:
So it all made sense to me of why I love the DC so much! It relates to my Grandpa. And it's beautiful and peaceful. Hey--like my Grandpa!
Wikipedia told me that the plans for the Dequindre Cut back in the 90's was to provide freeway access to the casinos that were planned to be built along the river. But, because the casinos were built elsewhere, that left the Dequindre Cut available for what it is today. I think that's a better outcome. Don't you?
We rode the river up toward Chene Park and then back toward the Ren Cen. What did we learn? Don't bike through Rivard Plaza up to the Ren Cen (GM Plaza). There were way too many people out, which meant we were going really slowly and dodging pedestrians and trying not injure anyone (or ourselves). Given that we got home safely, it was a successful outing.
The second outing was also along the Riverfront (which we accessed via the Dequindre Cut), but this time, we cruised to Belle Isle. Yay! I had never been that way along the Riverfront before, so I was delighted to find out that it extended almost all the way to Belle Isle. We only had to be on the main road of Jefferson for a couple of blocks before reaching the bridge. This was nice to know because I didn't really want to ride Jefferson all the way to Belle Isle--too many cars, people, etc. We took the bridge over to Belle Isle, but decided to turn around instead of biking around the island. We took pleasure in the fact that the bike ride to Belle Isle was very do-able and looked forward to cruising the island next time.
So what are the future plans for the Bike Club you might ask? I'm going to schedule Bike Club once a week. Feel free to come as often or as little as you'd like, and invite your friends.
Here's the upcoming schedule for June:
Tuesday, June 7th - 5:30 pm
Sunday, June 12th - 9 am
I think I'm going to try to do every other Tuesday with a weekend day in between. But please know this: If you cannot make it to a pre-scheduled bike outing but still want to ride that week, just let me know and we'll do it up. I'm available for a bike ride almost any day of the week as early as 4:30pm and probably any weekend morning. The reason I wanted to start Bike Club in the first place was because I planned to bike this summer most days after work, and I thought it would be nice to have company.
Please let me know via comment, email or text if you plan on attending and if you have any suggestions for riding destinations.
P.S. A special thank you to Monica and Alesia for being my riding partners this week!