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  1. #1
    DaddystheMan daddystheman's Avatar
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    Michigan - Kensington, Island Lake

    Hey all metro Detroiters,

    Does anyone who rides Kensington Park/Island Lake have any data on total feet of climbing? I ride the loop around Kensington, to the end of Island Lake and back, around 22 miles and was just curious about the total feet I climb in that ride. Thanks for the input, if you have it!

  2. #2
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    I road in both parks yesterday. I park at Island Lake in the last lot which is closest to the cross-over to Kensington. From there I road over to Kensington, crossing under I-96 and then took the bike/jog path towards the road at the Kensington road entrance. Took the road from there up to Maple beach and then did the course for the Great Pumpkin Duathlon that is this Sunday. Go here http://www.3disciplines.com/images/s...at_pumpkin.jpg to see the course map.

    There may be one hill that I didn't do. From there I went back over to IL and did one lap from where I parked all the way up to the other end of the park including the 1 mile road just across the railroad tracks that starts off down hill and goes past a lake then up hill to the parking lot at the end.

    According to my Polar S725X... total ascent was 870 feet. Altitude on Polars is effected by temperature. The temp didn't change much.. it was mids 50's throughout the ride so I think the reading is pretty good.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    I personaly hate those paths. Especially kensington in the heat of the summer. Its full of yuppies who have no idea what they are doing. Its just plain dangerous in my opinion. I go out there, but I only ride on the roads at Kensington. I'll ride on the paths at island lake sometimes, but usually I don't because I prefer the trails, and besides the path at island lake is pretty flat.

    Michigan is the #1 state for rail trails, and I firmly believe in using them for situations where avoiding roads is desired. There are simply to many novice idiots at kensington.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  4. #4
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    I agree... on the weekend the path is quite full of park visitors. I only use the path as a means to get to the roads in Kensington. I go very slow and usually use that time as a chance to eat a Cliff Bar and drink some water.

    Sometimes I skip that route and cross over from Island Lake by taking Kensington road. I don't like that route much either because I have almost been run off the road by a semi and there is little to no shoulder.

    Overall it is worth it because it gives some variety to Island Lake and the hills are good practice.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Its not a matter of slow, more a matter of young kids, and lots of them. They have no idea how to watch their line. Also, you have a bunch of idiots who aren't even on bikes clogging up the trails.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  6. #6
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    Those trails aren't just for bikes. They are for pedestrians wealking and jogging as well and yes, kids often with the parents out for a ride. I'd say use the paths to help you to get to roads and then ride on the roads in the parks. Also, the speed limit on the paths is 10mph. I run on the path in Kensington and it isn't good when a bike go flying past you without any warning.

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  7. #7
    married to the bike Halfstep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomMc1
    Those trails aren't just for bikes. They are for pedestrians wealking and jogging as well and yes, kids often with the parents out for a ride. I'd say use the paths to help you to get to roads and then ride on the roads in the parks. Also, the speed limit on the paths is 10mph. I run on the path in Kensington and it isn't good when a bike go flying past you without any warning.
    I totally agree. I use Kensington for family rides, usually followed by a picnic, not for workouts or training, and don't appreciate the bicyclers who treat it like an empty road.
    "If people insist on rowing or jogging or bicycling, can't we at least get them to deliver the mail?" -- Bill Hall, Lewiston, Idaho, Tribune

  8. #8
    Peddlin' Around Detroit Motorad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomMc1
    I road in both parks yesterday. I park at Island Lake in the last lot which is closest to the cross-over to Kensington. From there I road over to Kensington, crossing under I-96 and then took the bike/jog path towards the road at the Kensington road entrance. Took the road from there up to Maple beach and then did the course for the Great Pumpkin Duathlon that is this Sunday. Go here http://www.3disciplines.com/images/s...at_pumpkin.jpg to see the course map.

    There may be one hill that I didn't do. From there I went back over to IL and did one lap from where I parked all the way up to the other end of the park including the 1 mile road just across the railroad tracks that starts off down hill and goes past a lake then up hill to the parking lot at the end.

    According to my Polar S725X... total ascent was 870 feet. Altitude on Polars is effected by temperature. The temp didn't change much.. it was mids 50's throughout the ride so I think the reading is pretty good.
    Tom, how may I find more detailed maps for the bike paths at Kensington park, that has a mileage-scale for plotting road distances? It would help to be able to look at a detailed map to know distances, for figuring rest-points and stuff.

    Also, are there better times on Saturdays and Sundays when Kensington Park is open, when the bike paths are really vacant? Not for training, but for perhaps riding at 12 MPH without imposing on family walkers & joggers.

    Lastly, are the metroparks ... to include Kensington ... flat enough to get by with double cranks with 39/27 being the lowest gear?

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    For maps... you could try the metroparks.com site and you may be able to get some decent distance and elevation estimates using www.mapmyride.com. It's a great site and even lets you follow roads as you trace a route.

    Best time on the weekends would be early in the morning. Though I crossed over from Island Lake today and there wasn't much foot traffic on the portions of the bike path that I used. There were a lot of people fishing though.

    Here is my best attempt of showing what I did today (and many other days when I do a loop at Kens):
    http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...hton/545511556

    I used a mix of map mode with follow roads checked and hybrid mode without follow roads checked so I could visually trace the portions on the the bike path. You should be able to use mapmyride for the other roads in Kensington to get an idea of the hills.

    Here is the typical Island Lake route that I also did today and _many_ other people do:
    http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...hton/545550401

    Hard to answer your last question regarding your gearing. I think 39x27 is fine. Both of my bikes have 53/39 in the front and 12/25 in the rear. I wouldn't buy a new cassette or new compact crankset for Kensington, especially without trying the hills there out first.

    hope this helps.

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  10. #10
    Peddlin' Around Detroit Motorad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomMc1
    Here is my best attempt of showing what I did today (and many other days when I do a loop at Kens):
    http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...hton/545511556

    Here is the typical Island Lake route that I also did today and _many_ other people do:
    http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...hton/545550401

    hope this helps.
    Yes, very helpful, Tom. More questions please:
    * Any instructions anywhere for learning how to use mapmyride?
    * Is Kensington accessible 24/7, at least on weekends, or is there a set hour when it opens?
    * Are the red paths that you've illustrated in the maps posted above completely on bike trail?
    * Do you have a list of useful phone numbers for Kensington: Park Police, Emergency, others?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorad
    Yes, very helpful, Tom. More questions please:
    * Any instructions anywhere for learning how to use mapmyride?
    * Is Kensington accessible 24/7, at least on weekends, or is there a set hour when it opens?
    * Are the red paths that you've illustrated in the maps posted above completely on bike trail?
    * Do you have a list of useful phone numbers for Kensington: Park Police, Emergency, others?
    • Check the MapMyRide site for instructions and tutorials. I just found the site last week. It's pretty intuitive. Just give it a try and poke around for info on it.
    • Kensington access - I doubt the park is open 24 hrs/day. Check metroparks.com for info. Summer hours may be something like 6 or 7am to dusk to later.
    • Red routes - no... they are a mix of roads and the bike path. You should be able to tell the bike path from the roads. In mapmyride (which uses Google Maps), the path isn't labeled, only roads are labled.
    • Numbers for Kensington... check the metroparks website or stop in at the park office.


    I don't work for the park system or the DNR. I just do a lot of training in both parks. Good luck and enjoy the riding!

    Family, Cycling and Photography --- life is good!
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  12. #12
    Peddlin' Around Detroit Motorad's Avatar
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    Good info to chew on, Tom. Perhaps we'll run into each other at the park (if we're not looking where we're going). Thanks for your help.

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