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  1. #1
    Senior Member GVLaker09's Avatar
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    Tiger fans - Bike to the Ballpark

    Noticed this event while I was looking through this years promotions. I've always wanted to just ride down to the stadium since I'm only about 15 miles away, but never felt comfortable leaving my bike locked up for 3 hours with over 40,000 people walking by it. For $22 you get a bicycle valet service and a pavilion ticket (left field behind the bullpen).

    If I can get that Sunday off I'm sure I'll be going. I've never ridden in Detroit and would be coming from 12 and John R. Anyone have a route suggestion from that area? I typically drive Woodward or the highway, so I don't know what kind of neighborhood John R. runs through once you actually get into Detroit.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Steve Sawyer's Avatar
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    Don't worry 'bout the neighborhoods. Any time you go from the burbs to downtown, you are going to go through some, shall we say, less developed areas. But that's actually part of the charm - really.

    You could do this straight shot.

    Weekends in the city are quiet and remarkably free of traffic. Great riding.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DTownDave22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVLaker09 View Post
    Noticed this event while I was looking through this years promotions. I've always wanted to just ride down to the stadium since I'm only about 15 miles away, but never felt comfortable leaving my bike locked up for 3 hours with over 40,000 people walking by it. For $22 you get a bicycle valet service and a pavilion ticket (left field behind the bullpen).
    Free Bike Parking @ Comerica Park
    There are bike racks just north of Comerica Park inside gated parking lots (albeit next to the sidewalk). Here is a map of designated bike parking (racks). I called the contact number for Comerica Park, because I was curious, and they are free to use.

    Feeling OK about locking your bike up
    I have felt the same way as you in regards to security--which is why I made the investment in a quality lock (U-lock and a chain lock). I don't know what are some good general rules to follow in regards to your bike's value and lock's retail cost, but I've at least read the amount you spend on security should be about 10%-20% of your bike's current value.
    Especially if selection near you LBS's is limited, online stores are a good way to go and if in no big hurry and on somewhat of a budget, us.camelcamelcamel.com allows you to be alerted when an item reaches a certain price.


    Quote Originally Posted by GVLaker09 View Post
    If I can get that Sunday off I'm sure I'll be going. I've never ridden in Detroit and would be coming from 12 and John R. Anyone have a route suggestion from that area? I typically drive Woodward or the highway, so I don't know what kind of neighborhood John R. runs through once you actually get into Detroit.
    Route Selection

    In regards to route selection, I am located Downriver and am sorry that I can't offer much advice in that regard based on personal experience. Schaefer is a decent N-S route, but is farther west.

    The problem with routes in general, for sure in suburban settings, at least in my experience in metro Detroit is: The greater seamlessness/fewer traffic lights/signs, the greater speeds and more traffic, is generally the case. In Detroit's city limits, that may not apply though except for your major spoke roads and probably others I'm guessing.

    Bike lanes may only be paint, but they serve as a guide to stay in their line of movement, for people in large metal boxes moving at speeds that even at a minimum speed limit of 25 MPH, can do damage and additionally, communicates to those drivers, “Cyclists are important, too and have rights to ride in the road.” Detroit has painted more lanes onto roads, so look for those with the cycling feature on Google Maps.

    The given route by user SteveSawyer appears to be a decent choice. John R. looks good in Oakland County re: physical road conditions, and the lanes appear to be somewhat wide enough for a vehicle to pass (and there are two lanes each way) but traffic seems at least moderate as seen here. Meanwhile, John R. in Detroit looks like it’s fine re: traffic with decent roads, but may have more traffic calming (signs and lights) and somewhat shorter sight lines @ intersections. You may want to take a look for yourself, on Google Maps to see if that really is the case, or just ride all or part of the route one day.

    I-75 Service Drive: You could try looking at the 75 service drive on Google street view. Take that starting in Detroit at about 8 Mile. For the city of Detroit standards, based on Google Maps streetview at least, the physical road condition is average. It’s not smooth, but it doesn’t look all bumpy and potholed up for most of the suggestion I'm making (in Detroit).

    I must say, it's kind of unfortunate, for us as a nation and metropolitan area, given with all of the advancements we have, that riding a simple form of transportation like a bicycle, something that's been around for I don't know how many years, trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B can be work instead of just getting on your bike and going. It's no fun riding on a "road" that feels like you're riding a mountain bike trail or to be harassed by an angry driver, which is the exception rather than the rule, but still is the case often enough that it's more than merely an afterthought but yet a deterrent to ride a certain route or for many, ride at all.

    Good luck though!
    Last edited by DTownDave22; 04-30-13 at 01:18 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member fishtoes2000's Avatar
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    I'm may be the last guy to worry about riding anywhere in Detroit, but I am a bit more cautious riding John R just south of Eight Mile. If time wasn't an issue, I'd consider riding backroads to the Ferndale bike lanes on Hilton, wiggle to Woodward at Eight Mile, and take Sears Road behind the Model T Plaza to John R.

    We may be organizing a group ride from the Trek store in Royal Oak. We did that last year. The Ferndale Bike Shop did the same. Those might be fun options as well.
    www.m-bike.org :: Promoting safe and convenient bicycling in Metro Detroit

  5. #5
    Member djski's Avatar
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    Honestly, i think you'll be fine taking Woodward straight down to the park. The area around the state fair isn't too bad. I'd say the worst part of the ride would be going through highland park. Once you make make it through there, you end up in mid town, which isn't too bad. Then it's just a short ride right to comerica.

  6. #6
    Senior Member GVLaker09's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for the awesome responses, they are very helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Sawyer View Post
    You could do this straight shot.

    Weekends in the city are quiet and remarkably free of traffic. Great riding.
    I think this is the route I will try. I've got some free time in the next 2 weeks, so I'll bike down there and see how I feel about it. Who knows, this could end up being one of my regular routes!

    Quote Originally Posted by DTownDave22 View Post
    Feeling OK about locking your bike up
    I have felt the same way as you in regards to security--which is why I made the investment in a quality lock (U-lock and a chain lock). I don't know what are some good general rules to follow in regards to your bike's value and lock's retail cost, but I've at least read the amount you spend on security should be about 10%-20% of your bike's current value.
    Especially if selection near you LBS's is limited, online stores are a good way to go and if in no big hurry and on somewhat of a budget, us.camelcamelcamel.com allows you to be alerted when an item reaches a certain price.
    ...
    I must say, it's kind of unfortunate, for us as a nation and metropolitan area, given with all of the advancements we have, that riding a simple form of transportation like a bicycle, something that's been around for I don't know how many years, trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B can be work instead of just getting on your bike and going. It's no fun riding on a "road" that feels like you're riding a mountain bike trail or to be harassed by an angry driver, which is the exception rather than the rule, but still is the case often enough that it's more than merely an afterthought but yet a deterrent to ride a certain route or for many, ride at all.
    I got a pretty good chain lock from Kryptonite. I don't usually leave my bike locked up for long, usually the longest is about an hour at the gym and I can see it out the window the entire time. I've been thinking about adding a U-lock as well now that the weather is warming up and I'm driving less and less. I can almost put the car away for the summer and use my bike exclusively.

    I agree with your last point as well. I'm still fairly new to riding, and I'm not comfortable on a lot of the roads that go north-south around here. The half-mile roads going east-west are excellent to ride (Normandy, Catalpa, etc.), but whenever I have to go north or south I'm usually taking convoluted routes through neighborhoods. John R., Dequindre, Stephenson, etc. are all very fast and always busy. Campbell/Hilton seems alright, but only goes as far north as 14 Mile.

    Quote Originally Posted by djski View Post
    Honestly, i think you'll be fine taking Woodward straight down to the park. The area around the state fair isn't too bad. I'd say the worst part of the ride would be going through highland park. Once you make make it through there, you end up in mid town, which isn't too bad. Then it's just a short ride right to comerica.
    Woodward was my first thought. I go to a couple games a month and that's usually the way I drive. I love Midtown and always thought it looked like a good area to ride. I feel like neighborhood-wise that is my preferred route, but the issue I was concerned about with that one was riding Woodward from 12 Mile to 8 Mile and the fast traffic. (Off topic but the mention of Highland Park reminded me of a story. Driving to a game in high school I used to have an old GMC pickup. Stopped at a red light in Highland Park and a guy decided he had enough walking, lowered my tailgate and sat right on it waiting for me to start driving...)

  7. #7
    Senior Member GVLaker09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishtoes2000 View Post
    We may be organizing a group ride from the Trek store in Royal Oak. We did that last year. The Ferndale Bike Shop did the same. Those might be fun options as well.
    Never considered a group ride. That could be a lot of fun and would be a good way to try out biking in the city.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DTownDave22's Avatar
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    You ever make it to Comerica Park on Sunday? Any feedback on the ride/route there and the bike valet? I actually rode there on Sunday. If so, hope it went well.

    I saw a small group riding on Lafayette near the 75 service drive in SW Detroit, going west, but besides that, just a few other cyclists on my way there and a few around the area, but it was 4:30PM when I was down near the ballpark.


    Quote Originally Posted by GVLaker09 View Post
    Never considered a group ride. That could be a lot of fun and would be a good way to try out biking in the city.
    FYI, if you haven't been made aware (maybe I even posted it somewhere), try a group ride in Detroit--there are a few. Critical Mass, Slow Roll, Beat the Train, are three that come to mind. I've only rode the CM ride but Beat the Train is very early (leaves @ 6:30AM).

  9. #9
    Senior Member GVLaker09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DTownDave22 View Post
    You ever make it to Comerica Park on Sunday? Any feedback on the ride/route there and the bike valet? I actually rode there on Sunday. If so, hope it went well.

    I saw a small group riding on Lafayette near the 75 service drive in SW Detroit, going west, but besides that, just a few other cyclists on my way there and a few around the area, but it was 4:30PM when I was down near the ballpark.




    FYI, if you haven't been made aware (maybe I even posted it somewhere), try a group ride in Detroit--there are a few. Critical Mass, Slow Roll, Beat the Train, are three that come to mind. I've only rode the CM ride but Beat the Train is very early (leaves @ 6:30AM).
    I couldn't get anyone to cover work for me . I was pretty bummed, but since I have the days off during the week, I'll have some opportunities to bike to a day game.

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