old gm building
Bartleby the Scrivener vegan27
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critical mass and voyageur encampment
My inability to say no to people resulted in me biking over 15 miles after seriously not having touched a bicycle in three years. Scott made me go to Critical Mass because no one else would go with him. I really dreaded heading up to the meeting point. I don't own any athletic apparel at all (even shorts), or accessories like a water bottle. But it turns out that they don't ride very fast. There were people of all ages, but I wouldn't call it "family friendly", with all the marijuana and all. I wasn't tired by the end, but the seat was killing my ass, despite it being a higher-quality padded seat on a lady's bike. (It was his wife's bike.) Riding with an unnecessarily large group of people makes the experience ***far*** more easy-going than doing it alone, but I think these people also somehow get off on a feeling of empowerment by blocking traffic. I don't think there would be any disadvantage to stopping at red lights and staying in only one lane, but maybe they know something I don't.

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Last weekend Sarah and I went to the "Voyageur Encampment" at Metro Beach. They had historical reenactors representing 18th century people from the Detroit area camp out in the park. I was worried that it would be a lot of kids stuff, but it was perfectly enjoyable for adults--at least for adults who really enjoy 18th century Detroit stuff.





This guy was a descendant of the French fur trappers who worked on the great lakes. And I could tell he was a real Quebecer because he sounded exactly like Anny's dad.



This dude talked about life in Detroit around the time of the Revolutionary War. I don't know whether he was from the Detroit Historical Society. I guess I should have gotten his contact information. They also had munitions demonstrations and reenactors representing the Native American tribes.



Going to Metro Beach was nostalgic for me since my parents and grandparents used to take me and my siblings there all the time. The last time I was there as an adult was probably ten years ago, when kreenut and I were trying to find things to do outside the house when I lived on Kingston and we were avoiding the Dinner Party of Fate.

The things I remember from my childhood were gone, like those giant concrete "TOT LOT" letters by the kids' play area, and the little town you could ride rented tricycles through.

Mostly, though, the beach is just....crappier than I remember it being. After Sarah saw what my idea of a "beach" is, she realized why I seemed so hesitant to visit one on our trip to Lake Michigan, and why I was enchanted by the apparently mediocre beach that we ended up going to. Now she knows!

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Two random positive thoughts for the day:

- I haven't had to drive to Meijer in Allen Park for groceries (or any other suburban store) since Whole Foods opened in Midtown. Even if there is controversy over whether organic foods are better for the environment, this store is helping because I am objectively driving less. Meijer is a 20 minute drive away, and I used to go there at *least* once a week. Thank you, crazy tax subsidies!

- It's been a while since I have seen a Facebook post or meme start with "That moment when..." Also, I think that "Keep Calm and _______" meme is dying too. Good.

I think it is funny that you rode critical mass, I'm supposed to right? The reason it felt so easy going is because riding that slow aimlessly all alone isn't fun. It is really more of a rolling party than a bike ride.

I hate critical mass so hard. There is no lesson to be learned by a giant group of assholes not wearing helmets blocking traffic. I'm usually getting home from work as they get started (after unloading their bikes from their cars), and though I am driving carefully to avoid them, people have purposely swerved in front of my car so I nearly hit them. Yup, good message guys. I sure learned MY lesson about driving carefully into my neighborhood.

It gets even worse! They smoke pot, drink beer, and throw their beer cans right onto the ground. They include a lot of assholes.

It was really weird to witness those deep, tribal instincts surface, where everyone who isn't on a bike is the "other" tribe, the enemy, somehow, and they deserve to be inconvenienced and harassed. I would like to go on another group ride, but more like 20 people instead of a thousand, and not blocking traffic on purpose to feel powerful.

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