Recently, the Opportunity Detroit Ambassadors asked me to join them for a bike ride on the Dequindre Cut Greenway. As an avid cyclist and all-around bike nerd, I jumped at the chance to see what riding is like in the heart of Detroit.
For nearly 20 years, I have spent countless hours commuting to work in Washington, D.C. on a bike route called the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) trail. A 20-mile, one-way trip that was part logic (beating traffic) and part love of cycling. And while I really do love spending hours in the saddle, I’ve always considered the time spent on the trail as more of a necessary evil than anything enjoyable. What the W&OD made up for in convenience was lost in crowds and, more importantly, a lack of… soul.
Unsure of what to expect, I did a little research and found out that our good friends at the Detroit River Conservancy provide some history and basics on the trail. The trail is the remarkable result of partnership between city, state and federal governments, along with the expertise and passion of a number of Detroit-based organizations.
As we met up and grabbed our rental bikes from Wheelhouse Detroit, I was getting pretty excited to see what was in store. We entered at the trailhead, located on Atwater Street, just north of the Milliken State Park Lighthouse and I took off to see what this ride was all about. I’m fairly certain the Ambassadors were wondering what fresh madness they’d just unleashed on the trail.
What I found was this: the trail is emblematic of the City itself. It had soul. It had culture. And I couldn’t get enough. In addition to the wide trail, the trail users enjoy incredible murals commissioned as part of the Dequindre Cut Art Walk (map). This is a place you could spend hours biking up and down the path, looking at the murals, and knowing that you were a part of a great city.
Huge thanks to the Opportunity Detroit Ambassadors for introducing me to this great trail – it certainly won’t be the last time you’ll see me there!
Aaron Walker is the Chief Communications Officer of Rock Ventures and the Rock Family of Companies. He oversees the strategic communications of more than 100 companies, including Rocket Mortgage, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Shinola, among many others.. Check Aaron out on Instagram @UtahScrum