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  1. #1
    toasty! AK404's Avatar
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    Detroit Metro area: any place where I can just cut loose?

    Heya, fellow Michiganders,

    I've been a lifelong commuter, but I'm entertaining thoughts of actually racing on my road bike. The thing is, aside from a few stretches of road along Square Lake and certain parts of Woodward, I can't find any places where I can just go all out and race like nothing else matters.

    Now I know about the velodrome, and fully intend on getting a track bike of my own (one of these days), but I'm thinking the open road here.
    How do you tell the difference between a chemist and a plumber?
    Ask them to pronounce "unionized."

  2. #2
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    Hines Dr. isn't bad, but a little far from Troy.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK404 View Post
    Heya, fellow Michiganders,

    I've been a lifelong commuter, but I'm entertaining thoughts of actually racing on my road bike. The thing is, aside from a few stretches of road along Square Lake and certain parts of Woodward, I can't find any places where I can just go all out and race like nothing else matters.

    Now I know about the velodrome, and fully intend on getting a track bike of my own (one of these days), but I'm thinking the open road here.

    Island Lake....traffic is a non factor during the week...

  4. #4
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    Stoney Creek Metropark, around the ring road (6 miles per lap, more if you take the "speedway" out to the nature center). Also the Macomb Orchard Trail from Romeo to Richmond (13.5 miles one way, smooth, level, asphalt-paved rail-trail with mostly just light bike traffic).

  5. #5
    toasty! AK404's Avatar
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    Oh, good idea. Thanks, Doug.
    How do you tell the difference between a chemist and a plumber?
    Ask them to pronounce "unionized."

  6. #6
    Senior Member PedalingFool's Avatar
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    The Macomb Orchard trail is actually asphalted from Dequinder Rd in Shelby Twp all the way to Richmond... a little bit over 23 miles.

    But there's a lot of stop-and-go because of all the roads you have to cross so not really sure you could "just go all out and race like nothing else matters."

  7. #7
    toasty! AK404's Avatar
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    Had some fun riding to Lake Orion the other day. Many uphills were an experience for me. Now considering riding to Pontiac and back like...every day.
    How do you tell the difference between a chemist and a plumber?
    Ask them to pronounce "unionized."

  8. #8
    Senior Member PedalingFool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK404 View Post
    Had some fun riding to Lake Orion the other day. Many uphills were an experience for me. Now considering riding to Pontiac and back like...every day.
    Did you take the Paint Creek Trail?
    I like to go from Rochester to Lake Orion and have lunch at Applebees.

  9. #9
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PedalingFool View Post
    The Macomb Orchard trail is actually asphalted from Dequinder Rd in Shelby Twp all the way to Richmond... a little bit over 23 miles.

    But there's a lot of stop-and-go because of all the roads you have to cross so not really sure you could "just go all out and race like nothing else matters."
    That's why I recommended the Romeo-Richmond segment. That's out past all the road crossings, pedestrians, roller bladers, etc.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rvk5150's Avatar
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    The residential streets in the Grosse Pointes are nice...light traffic except for early morning and around 5PM on the weekdays; almost non existent on the weekends. I easily get 5-7 miles with few or no stops on a daily basis.

    I also have been told by some others locally that ride to try Jefferson...great stretch from Detroit all the way up and can be very easy to ride when traffic is light.

  11. #11
    Senior Member PedalingFool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougG View Post
    That's why I recommended the Romeo-Richmond segment. That's out past all the road crossings, pedestrians, roller bladers, etc.
    True... There are roads to cross but no traffic lights. I like that and it's much quicker.
    But I would still recommend slowing down to cross the roads.

  12. #12
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PedalingFool View Post
    True... There are roads to cross but no traffic lights. I like that and it's much quicker.
    But I would still recommend slowing down to cross the roads.
    Agreed. There are a few paved road crossings, but you really have to watch out at the dirt roads since the locals haul butt on them and the crossings are blind for both road and trail users.

  13. #13
    toasty! AK404's Avatar
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    Well, I've switched from just "hammering away" on the 50-12 to dedicated spinning practice on the 34-17. To this end, I've accepted that my average speed is going to be a bit lower, but I'm hoping that the end payoffs are going to be more worth it. I'm certainly enjoying the more disciplined approach than my old "just stomp on the pedals as hard as you can" way of doing things.

    What I'm hoping to do is ride from Troy to UoM, Ann Arbor every week for as long as I can. (like so) I've done it once, and I have to admit that the fields of Washtenaw County are quiet and beautiful, though seeing my first deer-sized roadkill in a ditch along Ann Arbor Road was something of a shock. If anyone is on the way there, I'd love to stop and say hello...even if I am on a Sora-equipped Nirone.
    How do you tell the difference between a chemist and a plumber?
    Ask them to pronounce "unionized."

  14. #14
    toasty! AK404's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    Hines Dr. isn't bad, but a little far from Troy.
    I rode to Dearborn Heights anyway. It was wonderful.
    How do you tell the difference between a chemist and a plumber?
    Ask them to pronounce "unionized."

  15. #15
    he said member ls01's Avatar
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    ak
    I concur with the stoney creek and Gross Point suggestions. Jefferson is a nice ride, good pavement.Stoney actually has some hills, but if you leave the park and hit mound rd heading north there are better hills to work on. I live over by metro beach some times I ride out to stoney hit the macomb orchard trailand back out to metro for a quick century. But we need some real hills. If you find any let's me know.
    Originally posted by Whyfi "Who needs thumbs when you can lick yourself?"

  16. #16
    "LOGIC!" lopek77's Avatar
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    Rails-To-Trails... Hundreds of beautiful miles

    http://www.railstotrails.org/index.html
    "The clear problem of the outlawing of insult is that too many things can be interpreted as such. Criticism, ridicule, sarcasm, merely stating an alternative point of view to the orthodoxy, can be interpreted as insult." - Rowan Atkinson
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  17. #17
    Senior Member rvk5150's Avatar
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    Great site; thanks for sharing!
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougG View Post
    Stoney Creek Metropark, around the ring road (6 miles per lap, more if you take the "speedway" out to the nature center). Also the Macomb Orchard Trail from Romeo to Richmond (13.5 miles one way, smooth, level, asphalt-paved rail-trail with mostly just light bike traffic).
    Not quite Troy or Macomb, but there's also a good loop around Kensington Metropark, with a connector to Island Lake State Rec area. These will be easier to get to than Hines Drive.

  19. #19
    Senior Member rvk5150's Avatar
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    Maybe we can meet up for a "SE Michigan Group Ride" this spring or something? I stay pretty local and have not done an group or organized rides yet...somewhat nervous (I am not the most outgoing when it comes to this kind of stuff).
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  20. #20
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Every Tuesday evening, during the spring summer and fall, the Flying Rhino Cycling Club rents out the Waterford Hills Raceway. The club also hosts USAC races Wednesday nights throughout the season.

  21. #21
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rvk5150 View Post
    Maybe we can meet up for a "SE Michigan Group Ride" this spring or something? I stay pretty local and have not done an group or organized rides yet...somewhat nervous (I am not the most outgoing when it comes to this kind of stuff).
    That could be an interesting get-together, and an opportunity to ride some new routes. When we talk about "SE Michigan", it's really a huge area, and few have explored it all. For example, I've lived in this area almost 50 years and I've been through the Grosse Pointes maybe two or three times!

  22. #22
    Senior Member rvk5150's Avatar
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    Sounds good...I have never been involved in a group ride or any large scale rides but would like to perhaps this season......my social ineptness is what has held me back along with lack of knowledge of the "rules" when riding with others.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Steve Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rvk5150 View Post
    I have never been involved in a group ride or any large scale rides but would like to perhaps this season......my social ineptness is what has held me back along with lack of knowledge of the "rules" when riding with others.
    In my experience, the best thing about riding in a group on public roads is that you're much safer. I believe that motorists can easily be careless and take out a single rider, whereas a large group catches the motorist's attention to a greater extent, and will give a group a wider berth than they will a single rider. Now this may be wholly an illusion, but I know that I feel much safer when riding in a group than alone. In fact, I have an almost pathological aversion to riding on public streets unless I'm in a group.

    The best is a Critical Mass ride when you have those great "corkers" blocking the cross-traffic until the mob gets through the intersection!

  24. #24
    Senior Member DTownDave22's Avatar
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    Hello there. I'm Dave--welcome to the forums and to perhaps a different type of cycling (I don't know how you commute, and as perhaps I'll touch on later, I don't know much about racing nor do I race)?

    I saw this thread probably back in the summer.I think before making a suggestion, Iíd like to know a little more about what type of riding you are suggesting, which I presume for fitness and fun and training perhaps?. You can offer whatever you want, but Iíll say for the purposes of my suggestion and knowing more, Iím asking about your ďfitness ridesĒ, which I presume in your case, are typically a speed that is more in the range of 12-20MPH instead of more like 8-12MPH:



    1.)Range: What is the range of your fitness rides?

    2.)Speed: What is the average speed (estimated or known, if you have a cycling computer) you would be looking to maintain, ideally, if traffic signals and lights were little to no issue in this. Iím talking now and in the near future.

    3.)Distance: What is the range of distance of rides you go on? What is the average distance? What is the distance you go on most (mode) You can give a range, which offers more leeway (say a range of 5 miles). For example, I mine is (educated guess):

    a. Range: 5-60 miles
    b. Average ride distance: About 14-18 miles
    c. Mode: 15-20 miles (I do the route on Jefferson the most often, which is right about 20 miles)

  25. #25
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    Not sure exactly what you're trying to figure out, Dave. Around the area, I typically ride 10-40 miles when I go out. On my road bike, I cruise along at 16-18 with surges to 20+, but on a typical ride with various stops and slowdowns, my complete trip average is more like 14. Likewise, on my hybrid I go 15-18 (slower if on dirt or crushed limestone), and often see about 12mph average for a full ride.

    My most common distance would be about 25 miles, and I'll do a 50-miler when talked into it.

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