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  1. #1
    Virtulized geek MsMittens's Avatar
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    Touring: Michigan (Detroit area) and Southwestern Ontario

    Hey everyone,

    Was curious if anyone has done tours near the Detroit/Windsor area? I've biked from Toronto to Niagara Falls so that's not difficult but was curious if anyone has gone down to Detroit or from that area into Canada. Also, where, along Lake Ontario, is the best Customs/border crossing for a cyclist.

  2. #2
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Detroit? You better see that Do you carry a ******* while riding thread in General Cycling.

  3. #3
    Senior Member jnoble123's Avatar
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    Hi.

    I circled Lake Erie in 2003. I returned to Canada via Detroit. To do so I had to talk my way on to a bus against normal "driver" policy with respect to cyclists.

    Since then I've learned that there is a waste barge that periodically crosses the river in Detroit. You might be able to take a bike on that to return into Canada or to go from Canada to the US.

    Crossing at Detroit was NOT easy. Tunnel and bridge are both closed to cyclists.

    ~Jamie N
    Interested in Bicycle Touring? -- Bicycle Touring 101

  4. #4
    Virtulized geek MsMittens's Avatar
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    Hrmm.. perhaps crossing at Port Huron might be better. I did see a Windsor bus go through the tunnel with a bike rack on the front. I'll have to investigate this more. And I'm gonna avoid the *** option

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    Last year I rode from the northern suburbs of Detroit to Windsor the long way - took the ferry across the river in Algonac (Michigan) to Walpole (Ontario), then down the eastern side of Lake St Clair and the Detroit River into Windsor. Information on the ferry crossing is available at www.walpolealgonacferry.com. The ferry runs every 20 - 30 minutes or so, so the wait is minimal. Customs on either side are reasonable as well. Biggest benefit is avoiding downtown Detroit.... This year I am planning on riding around Lake St Clair, and will deal with the tunnel bus for the Windsor - Detroit crossing, and with the downtown Detroit area from the tunnel to Grosse Pointe area. In my mind that area is only marginally bad for a few miles really..... and the rest of the ride along Jefferson along the lake will be worth it.

    I have ridden (long ago) from the northern Detroit area through Niagara Falls and into New York, and also around Lake Huron, cutting across the Georgian Bay via ferry. Thinking about riding to Toronto this summer, stopping in at the Blue Mt area on the way, maybe winding up at Niagara again. Half of the fun is planning!!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    One of my first tours was from Windsor to Toronto via the north shore of Lake Erie. I took the VIA train to Windsor and biked back. Winds are mostly fair westerlies, so it seemed easier than doing it the other way around.

    I have lots of American cousins so I have been west of Detroit. There are some very nice places north and west of Motown, but I'm not sure I'd be up for the bike ride in that 'hood.

  7. #7
    Virtulized geek MsMittens's Avatar
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    Sorry for not being around. That's good info to know about Lake St. Clair and I'll have to get some good maps. Can anyone recommend a specific map or map book for Michigan/Detroit? Ontario I have covered easily but want something on the other side.

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    Windsor to Niagara Falls

    the year of the great blackout i took a trip from windsor to Niagara Falls, along the coast of lake erie. I frequently bicycle in and around detroit, and have lived here for 50 years, never been shot at . I drove over the ambassador bridge and left my car at a hotel, other wise you have to arrange with customs to drive your bike over the bridge. i understand they do this for cyclist. you cant ride across the ambassador.

    Headed for Lake Champlaine June 1

  9. #9
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    Best map I can recommend for Detroit / Southeastern Michigan is the map the Huron-Clinton Metro Parks put out each year. The scale is reasonable, shows all the local roads (except subdivision streets), and covers most of southeastern Michigan. They can be acquired at any one of the Metro Parks, or by mail order (info at http://www.metroparks.com/global/maps.php ).

  10. #10
    Virtulized geek MsMittens's Avatar
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    Well I did it. Well, most of it. I took the back roads north of London towards Sonoma/Marine City, took the ferry across and then worked my way down into Detroit. The way back was harder since my rear rim split when I reached Chatham (I had planned about the possibility of going to Niagara Falls). I took the bus home unfortunately as it would have been too risky to continue and I would have lost too much time if I stayed another day in Chatham. I did find southwestern Ontario far more travelled than expected and the backroads were in worse condition than I had expected (I suspect it was those roads that caused me grief). I'll probably try it again next year but this is probably my last and only tour of the year because of work.

    Sigh.

  11. #11
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    Sounds like it could have been a nice tour - unfortunate that some of the roads were not in better condition. What roads did you take from Marine City to Detroit? I know some of those are currently being worked on, and in pretty bad shape as well - I rode from home to Algonac a few weeks ago, and was not impressed at all. I had even better luck as I rode into New Baltimore, and the main road there was closed because of the Fish Fly Festival parade. Some of the roads heading west out of Windsor are not in the best shape either.... I think my favorite ride from Windsor is heading south along the river to Lake Erie, through Amherstburg - traffic has always been reasonable, and most of the roadway is in pretty good shape. Last year's ride around Lake St Clair I rode 36 along the Thames River, which seemed to be in pretty good shape.

    Sorry to hear that your one and only tour of the year ended the way it did..... better luck next year!!

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