August 8th, 2004

Shopping for bike equipment

I decided that I need some bike gear before I ride from Lansing to Mackinaw this September. The stuff I see online and at local stores like Two-Wheel Tango is extremely expensive, though.

So yesterday, as it was sunny and 70, I rode out to flastron's place in Westland, we patched his flat, and then we rode up to Galyan's by Twelve Oaks Mall to check out their selection.

Cherry Hill Road is a dirt road, and although it may be the most direct route from Ann Arbor to Westland, it is not a fun ride.

THe I-275 bike trail was awesome. We got on at Cherry Hill Road and rode up until about 12 Mile. Or maybe it was Novi Road. I don't recall. A lot of the trail was overgrown with weeds and wildflowers. The air was thick with floral scents and pollen, almost oppressively so. flastron said it was like a video game, there were so many obstacles. Downed trees, sinkholes, roots reaching up through the asphalt to try to pull us down. We saw only a handful of other people on the trail, and one guy on a little gasoline-powered scooter that apparently couldn't read the sign that said "NO MOTOR VEHICLES." (I wonder if e-Bikes are okay?)

I spent a lot of time deliberating, but I finally ended up with an inexpensive pair of Shimano shoes to go with my clipless pedals, a pair of padded biking gloves, a Cateye computer, and an Avenir pannier bag that I'm not completely thrilled about. flastron bought a Giro helmet--whether or not this was inspired by the van that nearly clipped him, I don't know.

On the way back we stopped at the Taco Bell on 8 Mile because, as I said, I needed some gas for the ride home. At 5 Mile we took Haggerty to Ann Arbor Trail, where flastron headed east and I headed west. I passed right by extrastout's apartment, but the sun was sinking in the sky and I need a new headlight before I ride in the dark.

Ann Arbor Trail is an excellent road for cyclists. There is a wide paved shoulder, or berm as I've heard it called, from Sheldon Road to Ford Road. It must have been resurfaced in the past few years, because it was smooth sailing.