Road cycling is dangerous. Cycling in
close proximity to traffic is dangerous. This information
depicts the ride activities of the author. They are not
intended, nor should they be used, as a guide.
The Greektown ride is a Sunday favorite for us.
The ride is about 30 miles round trip through industrial
Dearborn, Mexicantown in Detroit and then directly
into downtown Detroit past new casinos and remnants
of old buildings.
Our destination is Astoria Bakery in Greektown
on Monroe for their excellent coffee and pastry.
We're leaving Bikesport here headed up Oakwood
Boulevard toward Greenfield Village.
The bricks in Greenfield Village are
set in front of a full sized reproduction of Independence
Hall, complete with the bell. Behind us is the The
Henry Ford IMAX theater.
The gates to The Greenfield Village at The Henry
Ford are in front of us. This enormous building houses
The Henry Ford Historical Museum at Greenfield Village.
We ride over the bricks past geese and deer to Village
Our ride takes us past The Wright Cycle Shop formerly
owned by Orville and Wilbur Wright.
||The Ford Proving Ground is on our right,
Greenfield Village on our left as we head east on Village
Road. The Proving ground used to be an airport where
the Ford Trimotor was built and tested. It is across
the street from The Dearborn Inn, the world's first
airport hotel. This section of the ride is serene and
quiet, except for the occasional sounds of new vehicles
being tested secretly on the other side of the wall
or the train whistle from Greenfield Village.
Turning right or south out of Greenfield
Village our group picks up the Southfield Service
Drive going south. The Ford Proving Ground is to our
This section brings us to roads that will travel
east toward downtown Detroit.
Pavement here is good for us but there is occasional
construction and traffic coming off the freeway is
Mario has made the left turn on Rotunda
and is passing the Detroit Lion's Training Facility
at Rotunda and Southfield. The Lion's Training Facility
is the training center for the Detroit Lion's NFL
Team. We see big Hummers with huge football players
coming and going from here frequently.
We're headed due east on Rotunda here
near the T.P.C. Golf Course and Springwell's Park
That's the bridge over Rotunda. Greenfield Road
is on top of the bridge. The roads are quiet here
on Sunday morning making this a restful, pleasant
ride with some great opportunities for hard efforts
and stretching your legs. We generally have a tail
wind through here during the spring months.
This section takes us toward the Ford F150 assembly
plant at Rotunda and Miller, about three miles east
of where we are here.
The Ford F150 was the top selling truck for Ford
and is built here at the Ford Plant at Rotunda and
Miller. It is a sprawling industrial complex with
a number of industrial complexes nearby. On any given
day youcan see hundreds of new F150 trucks ready for
delivery around the world. There is even a tour of
the factory and assembly plant that leaves from The
We take a short jog on Miller Road in front of the
factory before turning back toward the east and Downtown.
This is the entrance to the section of the ride
known as "Supermercado" for the Mexican
supermarkets along the street.
This section is crowded, busy and dangerous with
pedestrians and traffic darting in and out. Mario
once described this part of the ride as "Being
in a video game". There is a northern variation
of the ride called "El Danger" after graffitti
we saw written on a wall there. We ride with caution
through Supermercado and El Danger.
||After crossing through Mexicantown by taking the Supermercado
or El Danger route we find our way to east bound Fort
Street. Fort Street is abandoned on Sunday morning with
the exception of truck traffic coming off the Ambassador
Bridge and out of the customs offcie on Fort. We head
East here with the Detroit skyline directly in front
of us. This is a fast section of the ride with a strong
tail wind and excellent pavement.
Turning right or south off of Fort Street we can
take a little sight seeing detour down to Hart Plaza,
Joe Louis Arena and the Riverfront Area. This area
is being developed rapidly to include a bicycle through-way
that will connect all the way up to Belle Isle.
We almost always see fishermen along the river and
people enjoying the passing ships during fine weather.
After surfacing from the Riverfront just east of
The Rennaisance Center we make our way north a few
blocks to Greektown. Greektown can be busy on Sunday
morning with people visiting the bakeries for the
famous pastries after church. We are the only cyclists
here as few people ride into the downtown area from
the east or west suburbs.
This is the Astoria Bakery on Monroe, named by "Hour
Detroit" magazine as Detroit's Best Bakery.
We lean our bikes outside the bakery where we can
keep an eye on them. Occasionally men who make their
homes in the streets around Greektown offer to watch
the bikes in exchange for money or food from the bakeries.
We've never had a problem with our bikes disappearing
The Greektown Casino is directly across the street
from Astoria Bakery.
The hardest part of the Greektown ride is deciding
what you are going to eat. Astoria is famous for exotic
and creative baked goods made fresh every day in the
On more than one occasion we've talked about buying
an entire cake and splitting it among the ride group.
The problem is, no one can agree on which one...
Whatever you pick at Astoria you will be delighted
with their wonderful pastery.
Another reason we love Astoria in addition to the
other Greektown eateries is the coffee. Astoria's
staff brews a light, smooth but subversively powerful
cup of java with enough kick to get you back on the
bike to Dearborn to burn off the calories from their
Mario (left) knows the guys who own New Hella's Restaurant
just four doors down from Astoria. We occasionally
ask them to use their bathroom during our breakfast
stop or the bathrooms across the street at the Greektown
The bakers at Astoria are going around the clock
to turn out the fresh cookies, brownies, elaborate
cakes and traditional Greek Baklava dripping in honey.
Astoria is a popular tourist destination and landmark
drawing patrons from the Ren Cen, Cobo Center, The
Fox Theater District and all of the Downtown area.
Sometimes it is tough to get back ont he bike after
a few minutes of relaxing and filling up on Napoleans
and muffins washed down with the smooth black coffee
During the warmer months we often continue east toward
St. Clair Shores. This day we gathered ourselves up
and prepared to ride into a brisk spring headwind
going west back toward Dearborn.
Going the back way out of downtown Detroit North
of the Riverfront takes us through busy traffic in
a urban setting on rough roads. We're careful and
attentive here and stick together in a tight group
to give cars plenty of room.
While the downtown area is busy we find motorists
generally courteous and careful if we are considerate
of them. The unique urban setting makes The Greektown
Ride a true gem among our menu of morning rides.