On Sunday May 8, 2005 it was
mother's day and Barry and Carol had invited us over. Barry called
with a good idea of doing a bike ride around his neighborhood.
Diane and Melissa were both working so it was just me , Jonathan and Max
going to make the visit. I stowed away the rear bench seat in the
van and I loaded my bike and Tom's bike for the trip to Huntington Woods.
In addition to riding with Tom and Barry we also had a new member ride for
the first time, Amanda. Amanda is our second female member and by
far our youngest member to date. Welcome to the club Amanda.
Barry was kind enough to write the
story for this ride, and I think he did a great job. I found it very
informative and interesting. Following are the statistics from this
ride; 13.2 total miles, 20.5 max speed, 8.2 mph average speed and a total
time moving on bikes of 1 hour and 35 minutes. The one thing Barry
forgot to mention in his story is the new one lap speed record that was
set by me, on the dirt track around the baseball field at a city park.
I did it in 55 seconds which now stands as the new record. Following
is Barry's story, I'm sure you will enjoy. Thanks again for writing
the story Barry.
Last Sunday, Mother’s Day, David
asked me to write a guest column about the bike ride we took after our
excellent barbecue dinner. He said, “Barry, you know the route we took
and the landmarks we saw, so you can write about them and be our very
first guest columnist.” I agreed to do so, but have been so busy this
week that it took until now to get around to it. Here goes…..
First, let me tell you about the
participants. There was David of course, Tom, myself (Barry), and my
lovely daughter Amanda J. Friedman, M.S., PA-C. Her mom and I are kind of
proud of her. She just graduated from the Physician’s Assistant program
at Wayne Sate University, thus all the letters after her name.
The weather could not have been
nicer. It was probably in the upper 60’s or lower 70’s with a beautiful
We began our journey at my house in
Huntington Woods. Initially, we headed west on Lincoln Dr. into Oak
Park. We then went south on Kipling St., passing the house of my sister
Debbie on Ludlow St. We continued down Kipling until we turned west on
Winchester St. Heading west on Winchester I was pleased to find a shiny
new 2004 “Iowa” quarter. We then got to Balfour park, which goes over
interstate 696. There were some kids playing on the toys there, being
watched carefully by their parents.
We traveled a bit farther along the
freeway (there are parks along the path it takes through Oak Park) until
we reached Rothstein Park. Again we saw kids playing on the toys while
their parents were watching. We then crossed over the freeway and headed
down Church St. On Church St. we coincidentally passed a synagogue and a
temple. The synagogue is where I once attended Hebrew school. Lots of
bad memories there!
After crossing Ten Mile Rd. we came
upon Oak Park Park (now called Shepherd Park). It is named after the
former mayor-for-life of Oak Park David Shepherd. He was an OK guy
though. He used to live right behind me when I lived in Oak Park (more
about that later). My friends and I used to pound whiffle and tennis
balls of the back wall of his family room and his roof. This went on for
ten or twelve years and not once did he ever give us any trouble. Anyway,
back to the park. This is the park that Tom used to call Oak Oak Park
when he was a kid. Tom used to love to play on the train there. So did
Amanda. So, while David, Tom and I rode up Hamilton Hill (a.k.a. Oak Park
Hill), Amanda played on the train. She spent a good fifteen minutes
there, and appeared to make some new friends. All of whose ages added
together would not equal hers. David decided to ride down the steep side
of the hill (used by sledders in the winter). Tom then joined him. They
each did this four or five times. David was unable to ride the full way
back up each time, but Tom made it once. Congrats Tom!
We finally left the park and headed
south on a combination of streets that led us to my old house on Whitmore
St. Oh yes, while traveling down Church St. again we were spotted by a
cop who followed us for half a block. Then suddenly he turned on his
lights, put the pedal to the metal and was off like a bullet. He turned
at the next corner, but we never saw him again. At my old street we
looked at my old house. It still looks pretty much the same, except that
there is now a bay window in the living room. I had a nice few minutes
thinking about all the neighbors I had back then. I pointed out my old
elementary school which was behind the houses directly across the street
from my house. I showed them the secret cut off that allowed access to
the school property from my street. Then we passed the back side of the
old Detroit Artillery Armory. The Armory is long since gone, but not the
memories of sneaking through holes cut in the fence to climb on the
military hardware that was parked there. Or being chased off by the MP’s
and escaping through the holes in the nick of time.
Next we passed the Einstein
Elementary school. Rumor has it that it was named after some really smart
guy. We next headed by my old junior high school, Clinton. David wanted
to know why it was named after Bill Clinton back in the 60’s when nobody
knew who he was until the 80’s. I couldn’t answer that one. Amanda also
attended this school when she was in high school. It was where all the
smart kids went for advanced classes like AP physics and AP chemistry.
Amanda won awards and scholarships for her excellent work in the
The next landmark we passed was my
old high school, Oak Park High School. It still looks the same on the
outside as always. I was inside last September and I must say that it
looks better than it did when I went there. Unfortunately the old passage
at the south end of the football field is now fenced off, so we couldn’t
cut through there and ride around the track. I’ll bet that’s why they
fenced it off, to keep morons like us off the track with our bikes.
We then headed for Coolidge Hwy. On
the way we passed my grandparents old apartment on Geoffrey Ct. They
lived next door to Chuck Zakalik. Chuck is the neurologist who took care
of former Red Wing Vladimir Konstantinov after the limo accident that
ended his hockey career. I wonder how he is doing these days. It has
been a while since I last heard anything about him.
Heading north on Coolidge we passed
several churches, middle eastern bakeries, some other assorted shops and a
shopping center. At the freeway I warned everyone about the nitwits who
turn off of Coolidge at high rates of speed. Luckily they listened. Tom
and I made it across easily, but Amanda and David had a harder time. Four
morons turned in front of them, not yielding the right-of-way. Shortly
thereafter we returned home.
After having a (soft) drink David
and I headed out again. This time we stayed in Huntington Woods (mostly).
We actually were in Royal Oak for a bit as we passed behind the Detroit
Zoo. It was late by then and no animals were seen. But we could hear
them. We chatted briefly about Winky and Wanda, the former residents of
the elephant compound.
Next we passed by the new house
being built at Nadine and Huntington. The old one burned down last year.
This one looks like an office building, specifically a doctor’s office. A
guy driving by Amanda and I at the same place two days later agreed with
The last thing we did was cross back
in to Oak Park again and go to the house of my friend Burt. Burt wasn’t
home according to his son Matt. So, David plastered a PCT Bike Club
Sticker on the storm door and we left.
I probably should mention that all
had a great time at the dinner. We had barbequed steak, hamburgers,
cheeseburgers and hot dogs. We also had potato salad, fruit salad and
corn on the cob. For desert we had lemon meringue pie and brownies.
Well I hope you enjoyed this summary
of the ride we took on Mother’s Day. It has been my honor to be the first
guest columnist. Take that Pete! Keep peddling!