Christmas Time Cycling in the Motor City

Due to some last-minute changes to the shipping schedule on my regular dedicated route, I had an opportunity to do some early morning bike riding in downtown Detroit yesterday. My main obstacle was simply finding a place to park the truck, since there are no truck stops anywhere near the downtown area where I was to make my delivery. Since my delivery appointment was approximately 16 hours after the time I was given the load, I was given the unappealing choice of delivering the load late, or taking a chance that there might not be a legal place to park after making a delivery. (Truck drivers are legally required to complete their work day, from the time they begin with their pre-trip inspection until the time they finish driving for the day, within 14 hours.) I ran the risk of breaking my perfect on-time record, or delivering on time only to find out that either they wouldn’t take the load early, or that they would, and that there was no place to park when they were done unloading. If the latter happened, I would be forced to violate federal hours of service regulations looking for a safe, legal place to park. Worse yet, I would not be able to ride my bicycle downtown, which is something that I really wanted to do. As per usual in this industry, even with good companies like my own, my dispatchers had no helpful information to offer.
In the end, Facebook came to the rescue. I asked the members of a bicycle group that I belong to where I could park while I rode around town on my little cycling adventure. They came through within minutes, allowing me to keep my logbook legal, and have some fun at the same time!

20131218_081418This was taken along the Detroit River facing Windsor, Ontario Canada from the William Milliken State Park.

This is the route I took, taking me past Comerica Park, the Christmas tree in Campus Martius Park, down the riverside trail, up the Dequindre Cut Trail, and through Detroit’s Eastern Market. Limited truck parking is available at the my starting point, in the lot next to McDonald’s, at 1000 Mack Ave., which is visible from exit 52 off of I-75. Click here for an interactive map.

Screenshot_2013-12-18-12-21-07

20131218_075820Detroit’s Christmas tree at Campus Martius Park

Christmas lights in Detroit

Washington statue and RenCenGeorge Washington statue in front of the Mariner’s Church and the Renaissance Center

Tiger statueRAWR! (shiver)

Horton statue under snowDetroit Tigers great Willie Horton’s statue still looks impressive under a coat of snow.

Detroit Christmas LightsChristmastime in the city, along Woodward Ave.

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About kevinmckague

I left my former dead-end job in 2006 in order to become a truck driver. I wanted a career that was recession-proof, and that offered more opportunity for adventure. Now I travel the country with my bike in the passenger seat, and look for new places to visit whenever the opportunity presents itself.
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3 Responses to Christmas Time Cycling in the Motor City

  1. Todd McCann says:

    Man that sucks when they schedule a delivery 16 hours from pick up time. That’s just someone not using their noggin. Oh well, like you said, it happens to even the best of companies.

    You mentioned a Facebook bicycling group you are a member of. Is this something new? Sounds like a good resource for bicycling truckers. Didn’t remember you mentioning it in your guest blog post on Trucker Dump.

    http://abouttruckdriving.com/2012/11/26/guest-post-you-cant-see-america-from-the-truckers-lounge-by-kevin-mckague/

    Looks like you had another fun (but cold as crap) day on the bike. Keep up the great work!

    • kevinmckague says:

      The Facebook group is just a bunch of people who arrange group bike rides around southeast Michigan. There might be one other truck driver in the group. I haven’t known about them for more than six months or so. They certainly helped me out this week!
      Thanks for the comment, Todd! I hope you get home to enjoy Christmas soon.

  2. Pingback: March Photo Album | 18 Wheels and a 12-Speed Bike

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