Another ballpark is crossed off the list. Twenty-six down. Four more to go. Can you believe it? It seemed like just yesterday I was a vitamin D deficient Wisconsin boy hopping aboard a train towards Seattle. Now I’m on the tail end of this trip of a lifetime, but there’s still plenty of adventure left to be had. I’ve still got one month on the road, 30 days, with 150 already in the books. You gotta finish strong, right?
I was actually very impressed with Detroit. I had been warned numerous times over and over again of biking into Detroit. Of course, there are some very rough and impoverished neighborhoods of Detroit. That is undeniable. However, that does not necessarily warrant censoring that viewpoint of the world. The truth is, a lot of the kids enlisted and involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters come from these types of areas. Wouldn’t it be hypocritical to purposefully avoid these areas? Sure, I’ll take the necessary precautions when riding through those areas, but avoiding them entirely often is not an option. I will never consider myself too good to go by someone’s home. Their life. Their childhood. I feel that’s the most arrogant viewpoint on life I can have. If the kids I’ve been biking for five months for come from these neighborhoods, then by golly, there’s no way I’m going to detour around them.
Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers is a gorgeous ballpark. Filled with sculpted Tigers all along the facade it was a nice ballpark to ride up to. It sits right next to Ford Field, home of the Detroit Tigers, as my unintentional tour of NFL Stadiums continues. I have to have ridden by about 15-20 of them without even trying to. Husain, who has been following the trip in its entirety, graciously has showed me around Detroit during my time here. He met me at the ballpark, snapped a few photos for me, and even brought me some cliff bars. He knows what a biker needs. The other night, he even took me to a Toledo Mud Hens ballgame, the Triple A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. Sweet! More baseball. I even got to witness Mike Hessman, the Minor League career leader in Home Runs play. That’s an awfully odd title to hold, but you can’t help be proud of the guy. That’s perseverance right there. There’s something about minor league baseball where the talent is raw, the sideshows a plenty, that makes it fun to watch. I realize you won’t see the big names that scatter MLB Lineups, nor will you see as good of talent, but that doesn’t mean it still can’t be fun to watch. These guys grind themselves in attempt to reach their dreams, and that progress is fun to watch.
In Detroit, I’ve been staying with Chase and Deanna Higgins. Chase was one of the 2012 B4B’ers so he knows what it’s like to bike to all 30. He’s been gracious enough to open up his home during these past few days as I’ve relaxed in Detroit. I haven’t done a whole lot of sightseeing, mostly because
I’ve been crazy busy applying for jobs. I’ve literally been applying everywhere. From American Heart Association, to Big Brothers Big Sisters, to a job in Kenya, I just want to land a job by the time this trip ends. Got any ideas of where I might be a great fit? Send them to me! firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve enjoyed these past few days off, a time to relax, and a time to prepare for the post ride career that looms in the future. No longer will I be walking into restaurants in spandex. No longer will I be known for the crazy tanlines. I’ll fall back into the conforms of normality, and ultimately adapt from this nomadic lifestyle I’ve been living for the past five months.
Tomorrow, I depart for Chicago to catch a White Sox game. The three day ride, will be my last centuries of the trip, with 100 and 120 miles each day. Fortunately, I’m done with the rolling hills and mountains that I’ve encountered in previous parts of the trip, so these days shouldn’t be too strenuous. As long as the wind cooperates I’m hoping to finish these next two days without much problem. Before I know it I’ll be back in my home state of Wisconsin after being gone for the longest I’ve ever been in my life! I need some cheesecurds and bratwurst ASAP.
But tonight, I get to do what I love most. Watch baseball. The Tigers take on the Indians. Sometimes there is nothing better than watching a ballgame with a beer in hand. You meet new folks, form new friendships, and take in America’s pastime. It’s relaxing, entertaining, and fun all in one. The peanuts, crackerjacks, and assortment of different aroma’s from that four foot long hot dog that the gentlemen to your left indulged. Baseball is great, and the atmosphere just makes it greater. So tonight, I’m ready to say play ball. Not only to baseball, but to the rest of this trip. Let’s finish strong!
Until next time.