March 16, 2018

    By Eden Baniel

    For a different experience, I decided to spend one day exploring new places within Michigan using only public transportation. Though I have my own car and can travel across metro Detroit whenever I want, I often find parking to be difficult and sometimes frustrating, in addition to the money t spent on gas. I wanted to opt for a cheaper and more convenient method of getting around that still allowed me the freedom to explore.

    That’s when I decided to look into some bike-sharing services in Detroit.

    I was joined by a friend who was also interested in trying something new and up for an adventure. On a chilly morning in February, I bundled up in several layers, and hit the road. Thankfully, the roads were clear of snow and ice, so I had no reservations about heading toward the city for a biking trip.

    My friend and I hopped on the Detroit Connector and made our way to midtown Detroit. While we were choosing our seats, I insisted on sitting by the window so I could watch the street as we drove by -something I’ve always enjoyed while riding in a car or bus. We didn’t make specific plans for what we would do when we arrived in the city, but decided we would make it up as we went along.

    When we reached the Detroit Center around 2:30 p.m., we got off the bus and stood on the street for a moment. I distinctly remember my friend saying “So, where do we go now?”

    I had a few places in mind (mainly new restaurants that had been on my bucket-list for quite some time) but they were a little farther away than a brisk bike ride in February called for. Although cold, I felt determined not to call an Uber and to only use public transportation for one day.

    We walked less than a block before I found the MoGo Bike-Sharing station I had been looking for. We bought a daily pass for just $8, which was already less than I had spent on parking within the city on previous trips. From the MoGo station we biked for less than fifteen minutes until we reached Campus Martius Park. We parked our bikes and walked inside a restaurant called Parc, a sophisticated New American-style restaurant that I couldn’t wait to try. Let’s just say my kale and arugula caesar salad did not disappoint.

    After we both finished our meals, we picked up our bikes from the station that was directly nearby (there were two right near Campus Martius Park) and continued biking through the city. We made a loop around Grand Circus Park before circling back in the opposite direction and heading toward Greektown. We found a MoGo station where we could park our bikes that was only a block away from Astoria Pastry Shop, which I thought could be a nice stop for us to enjoy some dessert. It hadn’t take long before we became tired from the physical exertion of biking through the city, and after sharing a slice of delicious cheesecake in Astoria Pastry Shop, we welcomed the comfortable and quiet bus-ride back to Ann Arbor with open arms.

    Though I was originally nervous about the experience of biking through Detroit because of the cold weather and my lack of familiarity with the area, I found it extremely fun and worthwhile. I felt great about pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and found that it was actually easy and something I’d look forward to doing again. My time biking in the city, though somewhat short, was well spent.

    What are some of your favorite ways of getting around in the city? Share them with us on Twitter @DetConnector / #FromA2theD or facebook.com/detconnector.

    The Connector Destinations Blog is not an official University endorsement, and is based solely on the opinion of the author.