Windsor 100 Mile Gravel Ride
Ride Recap By Ken Frankenbery:
This 100 mile/160 km route touches the shores of Lake Erie, Lake St Clair and the Detroit River. Between the lakes, the route passes through broad expanses of farmland and small towns. The route is a mix of gravel roads, rail trails, county roads with paved shoulders, residential streets, paved township roads and multiuse trails.
It was unbelievable that we left directly from our Hampton inn motel in downtown Windsor and within minutes our group of 5 were funneled into a city park with a wide paved bike path that wound its way south through the city. The route jumped off the paved bike path several times incorporating dirt trails into the loop that eventually funneled back to bike path. After heading south, the route went on some small local roads before turning East as we paralleled Lake Erie with great views, bathrooms and water fountains to refill bottles. The route jumped from bike paths along the shore to local access roads before turning North on gravel roads. We made a fast stop at local gas station to refuel. We then passed hundreds of acres of giant greenhouses. A local rider we road with told us they grew tomatoes, lettuce and cannabis. It was obvious which one’s held cannabis as they had barbed wire fencing and security cameras were everywhere. We then passed hundreds of giant windmills which should have been a warning to what was to happen when we turned West. A killer 40 mph head wind! Luckily gravel roads went West then shifted North, and then back and forth. This broke up stretches of head wind. Hitting Lake St Clair the route traveled on lake front roads passing giant lake front homes before cutting into a area known as “ The Hillbilly Riviera “. All I will say is it’s a series of old cottages that looked like you were in rural West Virginia. From there more lake front bike paths funneling into a river front path that followed the Detroit River. Views were awesome, and more bathrooms with water fountains before turning South into Windsor. Jumping off the bike path into a industrial parkway had us back at the Motel in just over 7 hours ride time.
A great day and fantastic route!