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View Full Version : Tail of the Anole!



telecast
07-27-2010, 06:49 PM
Here's an Anole:
http://l.yimg.com/g/images/spaceball.gif
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4013/4492888752_b79d4944d3.jpg

We don't have a Dragon and we never will. After riding Plank Road last weekend I got to thinking about other roads in the same area that are similar in layout. Most of these roads are wagon trails that eventually got paved. Plank Road used to be made of...planks. To be honest it isn't much better now. It happened that I had to travel down there anyway so I thought I'd drive the roads that looked most promising on the map, ie: Not straight.

This area is flat, and I mean flat. It used to be part of Lake Erie back in some pre-human era. It's difficult to find a grade change let alone a hill or a drop off. Most of the roads are narrow, most are in poor condition. Nontheless, they're ridable. There's little traffic and few stops except for a couple of populated areas. We drove it yesterday evening during rush hour. Rush hour in this case is a dozen pickups and some SUV's. A Sunday afternoon would probably yield a bit less traffic. In general, (besides the narrowness) there are no shoulders, some corn fields that come to within 5 feet of the road, and some ungodly ditches. Honest, you ride in one, you ain't riding out.

The ride stays off main roads such as Telegraph or M-50, but you can easily access it from either. In fact, you can access it from US-23, M-50, Telegraph, and from I-75 and I-275 in just a few minutes.
Start at one end, ride it, then ride the hell out of it in reverse.

My kid went with me yesterday so I put him to work. As we drove I called out some things and he wrote them down. For the most part, the bad roads can be made smooth by splitting the lane. Only Bluebush Road was wide and smooth enough (in places) to ride side-by-side or staggered. If you don't mind dealing with that, this'd be a nice afternoon ride. I think the sportbike guys will find it a good alternative to the WSL. Straight sections of the road that I put in are only there to connect curved sections. The following info is 'fairly' accurate.

Please note: IMO this is worth a shot. I am NOT recommending you ride this. If you ride it and don't like it, tough shit.

Plank Road, points A to B.
This is the roughest part of the route. It sucks. And it sucks that it sucks because it could be a really good ride. We've lived here for 15 years and Monroe County hasn't done anything more than throw a couple shovels worth of cold patch on it. Split the lane.

North Custer Highway, points B to C
Flat, straight, and boring. But it's fairly smooth and wide and you get some nice views of the River Raisin.

North Raisinville Road and Stewart Road, points C to D
The one section I didn't drive. But google street level shows it to be paved and not in bad shape. Both are straight but I wanted to get to Bluebush without going on to Telegraph. Plus, continuing on N. Custer just puts you in Monroe.

Bluebush Road, points D to F with a special nod to E
This starts in a residential area but goes country real quick. It's the nicest road, wide and in excellent shape until Sumpter road, then not bad after that all the way through Maybee. Point E, watch for this turn, it's easy to miss. If you followed my suggestion and rode the route once to get used to it then reversed the route to hit it again, you're ready for a beer. Stop at the Little Brown Jug in Maybee. We used to ride down to Maybee for a beer when I was 20 (yeah, I could drink in bars when I was 20) and lived in Belleville. They had good burgers back then, don't know about now. Drink, eat, burp, and head west out of town.

Bluebush and Palmer, points F to G.
Not hard to find, you'll be on Palmer for 1/4 to 1/2 mile before you turn onto Ostrander.

Ostrander Road and Tuttlehill Road, points G to H
Roads are bad, not as bad as Plank, but bad. Split the lane. Even at that they're the bright spot of the neighborhood. This area is a throwback. We're talking American Pickers. We're talking partially built houses that someone stopped working on 10 years ago, but they still live there. We're talking banjos on front porches dueling with guitars. (shudder) This is all intermingled with newer modern housing. Weird.

Oakville Waltz Road and South Stony Creek, points H and G
The turn onto Stony Creek is easy. It's a 3 way stop, veer right. Pavement is decent with a few small bad areas until Sumpter Road. From Sumpter to Exeter is bad, then it gets a little better all the way to Telegraph.

Well, that's it. The map says it's 51 miles and about an hour and a half.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=US-23+S&daddr=Plank+Rd+to:N+Custer+Rd+to:N+Custer+Rd+to:St ewart+Rd+to:Steffas+Rd+to:42.003132,-83.517723+to:Palmer+Rd+to:Ostrander+Rd+to:Oakville +Waltz+Rd+to:S+Stoney+Creek+Rd&hl=en&geocode=FWwUggIdRkgD-w%3BFXh9gAId0lsE-w%3BFW9ngAIdB8gE-w%3BFQ7ofwIdyGgG-w%3BFUcugAIdJi8H-w%3BFaC8gAId9pEG-w%3B%3BFQATgQIdqmQF-w%3BFWIugQId6FQE-w%3BFQQcggIdy6kE-w%3BFUqcgAIdtNUH-w&mra=mi&mrcr=4,5&mrsp=6&sz=12&via=1,8&sll=42.015632,-83.51841&sspn=0.156361,0.417137&ie=UTF8&z=12

Rider
07-27-2010, 07:34 PM
That's over in Gasmans neck of the woods.

RedneckMedic
07-27-2010, 07:42 PM
i actually think im going go make this run in a few just what i needed an idea for somewhere to go. im gunna head out at about 830 if anyone wants to join or go for a ride anywhere else aint nothing else to do

telecast
07-27-2010, 07:55 PM
That's over in Gasmans neck of the woods.

It's actually pretty close to a lot of us. I'm at point A, a lot of downriver guys are just north.

SportstersPaul
07-27-2010, 10:49 PM
Thanks Tim, may have to make a run down and check it out.

Gas Man
07-29-2010, 05:40 PM
Yeah bluebush is down in monroe... about 20 mins from me.

but in Rider's POV, it's all close to me and far from him.

Rider
07-30-2010, 12:44 PM
Yeah bluebush is down in monroe... about 20 mins from me.

but in Rider's POV, it's all close to me and far from him.

We need to do a Leelanau peninsula ride some weekend. That would be an all day ride for you, about 12 hours. Seriously, pick a weekend day and I'm there.

Mudpuppy
07-30-2010, 01:29 PM
Interesting I am always looking for new roads.. I will have to check it out..

Gas Man
07-31-2010, 09:43 AM
We need to do a Leelanau peninsula ride some weekend. That would be an all day ride for you, about 12 hours. Seriously, pick a weekend day and I'm there.
Oh yeah. I have been there. Good place to get slashed on wine and not pay any money. I will take you up on that... but would want to crash up there, either traverse city or near you.

telecast
08-02-2010, 08:33 AM
Went to Monroe to pick up my exhaust tips from the powder coater yesterday. Came back on Bluebush through Maybee, basically followed that leg of the route home. There were a lot of bikes on the roads out there. Sportbikes, metric cruisers, HD's, just about everything.

Rider
08-02-2010, 08:57 AM
Oh yeah. I have been there. Good place to get slashed on wine and not pay any money. I will take you up on that... but would want to crash up there, either traverse city or near you.


You could crash at my place.

Gas Man
08-02-2010, 09:32 AM
Now we're talking Ed... But my problem is I don't have a free weekend till like Nov!! I shit you not!

Rider
08-02-2010, 01:44 PM
Now we're talking Ed... But my problem is I don't have a free weekend till like Nov!! I shit you not!


Ouch!