adrian, michigan — first impressions

After much ado, we’ve finally arrived in Adrian. We pulled into town and unloaded the truck Friday evening.

Saturday afternoon, I took a quick spin around the immediate neighborhood and peeked inside the local bike shop. I was hoping to meet the owner, whom I’ve emailed and even once spoken with on the phone prior to leaving Dayton. But he wasn’t in. It turns out, I have a busted spoke, so I’ll have to take my wheel in for a replacement and to be trued this week. Hopefully, I’ll have the chance to meet him then. While there, I bought a couple of tubes and picked up some info on local rides. It looks like there’s more cycling going on in the surrounding area than I had thought. That’s good, and I’m looking forward to getting a firsthand look straightaway. To wit, I’m joining a group ride this Wednesday evening.

Sunday, I road the Kiwanis Trail bike path. This is the only designated bike path (rail trail) in Adrian. It runs seven miles or so to nearby Tecumseh where it dead ends at the intersection of two country roads. It’s a pretty trail as far as the scenery goes, but the quality of the surface is very inconsistent. You go from intermittent segments of smooth blacktop to river crossings on beat-up old wooden bridges to sagging, cracked pavement peppered with some fairly jarring bumps. I’m going to look into who is responsible for trail maintenance and see if repaving is on the agenda. I also want to find out whether there are any plans or efforts underway to extend the trail.

From what little I’ve seen so far, I think Adrian is a tremendously bike-able city. However, there are a few very busy thoroughfares, one of which I am forced to ride in order to go anywhere. It’s four lanes across with a turn lane running down the middle. Vehicles are moving at speeds of probably 35-45 m.p.h. on average. I’ve already had three yokels in a truck pass me while blasting the horn and offering a free display of their combined intelligence waxing eloquent out the passenger-side window. Here’s hoping we’ll see a bike lane along key stretches of this road before too long.

Stay tuned for a photo-tour … as soon as I find which box we packed the camera in.

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3 responses to “adrian, michigan — first impressions

  1. Are there no alternate paths around the busy street?

    Sometimes, when I’m on my way to get groceries, I take the long way around main st. until I can come out right where the bike path begins, and it’s a little easier than watching for parked people pulling out or incoming highway traffic that didn’t slow down.

    Good luck on the bike path thing. 🙂

    • Alas, there are, in fact, no alternate paths around the particular street in question. I live on a dead-end road off of that street. The only alternative would be to ride through the woods and across a local park. This is certainly doable on occasion and when riding the right bike, but it is far from ideal. It isn’t an option in the winter, or when I want I’m pulling my daughters in the trailer.

      A bike lane on Main St./MI-52 is definitely needed, and there’s more than enough room for it. There is a hugely popular ice cream shop less than 100 yards north of my street. A bike lane running between there and downtown (roughly two miles, I’d guess) would benefit businesses and cyclists along the entire stretch (to say nothing of helping folks work off that delicious ice cream!).

  2. Aw, bummer. Well, I guess put the bug in the city council’s ear & start collecting signatures….