So, after at least five years away from any biking, I accepted an invitation to take part in a 10 mile bike trip through the city of Detroit on Sunday. (It’s like ‘riding a bike’, right?) What a great day. We began at Ste Anne’s which is situated in the shadow of the Ambassador Bridge. Ste Anne has the distinction of being the second oldest parish in the United States. It was founded in 1701 and built just two days after Cadillac landed of the banks of the Detroit River. I’m sorry to say I did not get a picture while we were there.
Our next stop was at St Aloysius located on Washington. Nestled between two buildings it is almost hidden away. We learned that as the congregation grew, the church was unable to grow sideways due to location, so they added a balcony and also opened the floor to add a lower level.
From there we biked to St Peter and Paul, whose front door faces Jefferson. I must say all the churches we visited were just beautiful and awe inspiring. St Peter and Paul is a Jesuit parish affiliated with University of Detroit Mercy. While not the oldest parish in Detroit, it is the oldest church building. It piqued my interest to learn the pillars, which looked like marble, are actually tree trunks that came from my Upper Peninsula. On the front sidewalk a statue of Homeless Jesus.
We learned so much history! I wish I had a better memory. Our next stop was at Old St Mary’s in Greektown. (Let me just say this was one of the few times I was that close to the Greektown Casino and didn’t go in.)
Now it’s time for a little switching of activity. As I said, this was my first bike ride in many years. I was prepared with my helmet and my good spirit and did pretty well. Our next leg of the journey brought us to the Dequindre Cut. This is an old railroad route that has been beautifully transformed into a walking/biking area. I’m not sure where it begins, but it does end at the Detroit River. You enter the Cut like driving onto a freeway entrance. Downhill, I gathered speed to the point I started braking. Age has taken away some of my abandon and I feared flying off the bike at 100 miles an hour. I should have kept up the speed because as we reached the end of our Dequindre Cut experience, I saw the uphill exit. Perhaps the speed might have propelled me to the top. Recognizing that I no longer need to prove anything to anyone, my bike and I separated and I graciously pushed it up to the top.
Our last stop was at St Joseph Oratory which is near Gratiot. St Joseph was founded by German immigrants in 1856 and is listed on the national register as a sit of national importance.We were a part Vespers prayer service in Latin sung in a Gregorian chant. Again, a beautiful and spiritual experience.
After all this we were provided a nice supper with hot dogs and chips and fries and beautiful cold beers of several varieties. There were about 250 of us included in Holy Rollin trip. At this point, we proceeded straight back to Ste Anne’s where our vehicles were parked. So…that would be 4+ miles. By now my banana seat on my borrowed bike had almost become one with my not-banana butt. Have you ever tried to ride with just one cheek on the seat? (Also, did you really think I’d make it through this entire post without a little cheekiness?) Don’t forget, I had to portage the Evil Cut once more. But I made it and I’m so glad I went. It was a great day with great friends. I highly recommend visiting some of the beautiful spots we have here in Detroit. It was like a museum trip. I saved the pictures below because I didn’t want to incorrectly identify them.
This isn’t punch needle, but I hope you enjoyed your visit.