April 16, 2016
Destination: Thornapple River
Song stuck in my head: Paint Me a Birmingham-Tracy Lawrence
Distance: 24 miles
Bike: Surly Long Haul Trucker
It’s been a slow start to the this year for riding but I finally had a free weekend with amazing weather. Despite working in the area, I have done very little riding on the south side of the city. On this ride, I was able to explore both a new part of town and a small stretch of a a rail trail.
Starting at a trailhead in Kentwood, I began the ride on the Paul Henry-Thornapple Trail. It’s always nice to start a ride on a quiet, low-stress trail rather than a busy road. The trail ends at high-speed, but low-traffic road that I followed east towards the airport. Along the way, I passed the former Steelcase pyramid office building.
Traffic began to pick up as I rode on but luckily there were wide shoulders as I looped around the south and east sides of the airport on my way to the Thornapple River. As I followed the windy, hilly roads along the river’s bank, I took a short break at a small park by a hydroelectric dam on the river.
After a tough climb out of the river basin, I was back on quiet roads with the wind at my back all the way to the trailhead.