Being Mother’s Day I headed over to Richmond to visit my parents. Being a nice day I wanted to get in a bike ride as well, so I combined the two deciding on W. C. Wetzel State Recreation Area as my destination, as I’d never heard anything about it before and it supposedly has trails. I figured that I would ride there, check out the trails, then head back.
Save for the steady, strong winds out of the north/west and the disappointment of the rec area this was a fairly nice ride. It turns out that this is a quite small/flat area consisting mostly of grass and gravel trails surrounding a few ponds in a low-laying piece of typically flat southeast Michigan farmland.
This rec area has odd signs at the trail entrances, some indicating “No Wheeled Vehicles” and others saying “No Motorized Wheeled Vehicles”. I made a point of entering at the ‘motorized’ varient of the sign, did one casual lap of the trails (roughly a mile or two) then headed back to the roads to check out the radio controlled aircraft field further down the road at the park. This ended up being a quite nice place to visit, as it had super-clean portable toilets, nice benches to sit on, and a man to watch as he flew an RC helicopter.
After a brief break to eat a bit (I’d only had two bowls of cereal and two bananas to this point today) I headed back to Richmond, taking a slightly different route due to some dogs that I encountered† on the outbound route. This slightly different route involved 30 Mile Road, one of the many east-west grid roads here in SE Michigan. This one, contrary to what Google has to say, actually is broken in two pieces with a supposedly-out bridge in the middle. It turns out that the bridge (located here) is this one from HistoricBridges.org and is very much passable, but only to foot and bicycle traffic. It’s an old wood surface bridge that I wish I’d spent more time looking at, as it supposedly has quite-rare stone abutments.
Not far beyond the nifty bridge I actually got stopped by a train (CN 8802) at a crossing. With the train traveling particularly slow (~25 MPH) I could have very safely crossed the tracks it if I went around the gates, but I thought it’d be neat to watch the train go by. Unfortunately this train took a bit more than five minutes to pass, so I spent quite a while just standing at a gate watching chemical tankers, wood haulers, car carriers, and steel coil cars pass by with cars stacking up behind me.
The ride after this point was very uneventful, with me taking a quick trip through downtown Richmond then back to my parents house, where I found my mom having brushed and fed Roxie, who I’d brought along with me. We had pizza for dinner, talked a bunch, and then I headed back home right as my dad was laying down to sleep before a midnight shift at work.
† Two Rottweilers who started running towards me and barking. I quickly sped up before they got anywhere close, and didn’t slow down until I could no longer hear them. Having no ready dog defense (OC or ammonia in a squirt gun) I took a different return route to avoid actually meeting the dogs.