Monday, June 29, 2009

Fred Meijer Millenium Trail System

Happily, I got out for a good 50-mile ride on Sunday. It was sunny and beautiful, but windy! Wow!

I decided to check out the new Fred Meijer Millenium Trail system, the first stage of which was completed this month. So I rode the Kent Trails up to the Millenium Park area and hopped on the new trail. It is really nice! Rolling, curvy, well paved and fun to ride. It goes right through the middle of the lake at a couple points. I felt like the wind was going to blow me right into the water! I've ridden my bike in Millenium Park before, but one bonus for me was that the trail led me to areas of the park that I've never seen. For example, there's a small beach there that I've heard about but never visited.

Josh Duggan of PedalGR did a great job taking photos of the trail, so I don't feel like I need to add any of my own. Check out Josh's post here!

An enjoyable perk of riding the area bike trails is all the woodland creatures that I get to see. Yesterday I spotted squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs, geese, dogs and a turkey. In the past I've also seen chipmunks, deer, snakes, cats, moles, etc. Michigan is fun for all the animals that seem to find their wilderness niches in the middle of urban/suburban areas!

I was impressed by a meaningful little community service project at my mile 43. It was hot, and I was running out of liquids. I was starting to wonder where I was going to find more, when I spotted a little tub full of ice at a road crossing. Posted next to the tub was a wooden sign that said, "Free water." Perfect! Exactly what I needed! Each bottle of water had a sticker expressing the blessings of a local church. What a nice service on a hot day! I'm sure many trail users appreciated that cold water. I know I did.

I'm also still trying to work out this issue with my left hand. I've been moving it around on the handlebars a lot, which seems to have kept the problem from getting any worse. In fact, it is getting better. But I'm still uncomfortable. Maybe I'm leaning too hard on the bars, but it feels like my position doesn't give me much choice. I've also thought about tilting the bars down a little more to change my wrist position, which I really should try next time I ride. I think that might change where the pressure is hitting my hands. But it seems that that would stretch me out even more. I'll just keep experimenting until I figure it out.

Overall, the 50 miles felt great and I'm confident that if I keep it up, I'll really enjoy the Holland Hundred next month. Doesn't riding your bike all day sound like a ton of fun?!


  1. You mean that whole trail is paved like that? Wow, I wish they had something like that around here. What a great place to ride!

    As for your left hand, maybe a doctor's visit is in the future...carpal tunnel maybe? It might be something as simple as wearing some type of a brace while you ride.

  2. i can't believe you went on Sunday, it was really windy! lol I cycle this trail all the time too! usually to warm up for White Pine to Cadillac from G.R. and back, i hope to do Musketawa soon. the weather sure is nice and cool for biking out further but i heard it was going to continue to be windy and maybe rain :( btw John Ball zoo to 84th is 15miles (over 30 round trip) how did you manage to do 50? what route?

  3. To reply to Steven...

    Hey! Great to meet another local cyclist!

    To get 50 miles out of the trail system...I started on the Kent Trail at 36th Street and rode north up to the the new entrance to the Millenium Trail near John Ball Zoo. Then I took the Millenium Trail west, around Millenium Park and then back east to where I originally got on it. I took the Kent Trail the rest of the way to Butterworth near the zoo and rode Butterworth west through Johnson Park and took the one-way road south of the river that runs back into the Kent Trail all the way to the end by Market Ave. I turned around and took the Kent Trail back south all the way to the end in Byron Center. I then went back north to Prairie and over to Ivanrest before turning around yet again to finish at 36th. So I did a lot of looping around to get 50 miles out of about 23 miles of trail/road.

  4. sounds like a fantastic ride! personally, i can't do more than a few KM on an upright bike. since i got my recumbent trike i can ride much further than ever before. one of my issues was wrist pain from holding up my (considerable!) upper body weight.

    when the trail system is completely finished, how long will it be?