Forest Parkour

New Signage

The weather yesterday was fantastic, which is good, since today’s forecast goes back to regular winter humbug. Anne and I got out on our bikes again and rode around the park. The bike path was a little drier than Wednesday and it was definitely warmer, what with a high in the sixties. Anne got to wear her new ¾ length tights. A strong south wind was the cause of this warmth and it was also the cause of more exertion on our part, giving us strong headwinds to battle.

This fancy new signage is at the Wells Drive entrance, just off Skinker. I’m glad that it is finished, because it was more than a year in construction. The work site caused a minor detour of the bike path. It looks nice, except that the spacing on the letters is a little funky. While I was lining up this shot, a guy walked into the frame. I thought that he was going to photo-bomb my picture, but he sat down on the benches that are on the other side of the wall.

This is the latest addition to the new signage that has been placed throughout the park. Hundreds of directional maps now make it easier for visitors to figure out where they are and where they want to go. There’s nary a straight road in the park and it is easy for people unfamiliar with it to get lost.

Forest Park Forever, a charity dedicated to park upkeep has shouldered most of the responsibility for doing park maintenance and improvements. On this day, like most days, they have more workers in the park than the city has. The city couldn’t afford to maintain Forest Park and had allowed it to fall into disrepair. Forest Park Forever had a crew out that was managing the savanna around Deer Lake, when we rode by. They were raking the forest. Anne had to laugh. This organization’s work has truly brought back this once decaying gem.

Before the 1904 World’s Fair the park’s land was known as Skinker’s swamp. There’s a reference to this in the movie, Meet Me in St. Louis. Speaking of which, we saw the new Loop trolley entering the park at the History museum. Clang, clang, clang went the trolley!

State Theater

State Theater

So, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. It’s time for my semi-annual clothes shopping spree, part one. Today, Anne and I went to REI. She exchanged some bike shorts for another brand that fit better. I bought a pair of shorts, because it has got to start getting warmer some day. Right? I also bought a pair of sandals. They were Chico sandals, which are new to me. I’ve always used Teva. I’ve tried Keens, but I didn’t like their bumpy insoles. I’m taking the ones I bought back and are going to try the wide ones instead.

Enough of this fashionista stuff. I’m long past my clothes make the man phase.

We were in Ann Arbor last Christmas. Anne and I walked around downtown. It was pretty much a ghost town, with all of the students away for break. The State Theater sits at the top of Liberty. It and the neighboring Michigan Theater are both iconic movie palaces. In the past, I’ve posted pictures of the two, lined up to make a Michigan-State duo, which I have always found to be funny, in this home of the University of Michigan.

I think that the last movie that I saw at the State was the 1979 Sci-Fi horror flick, Alien. I hadn’t heard that much about the movie before we went to see it, except that it was Sci-Fi and was about outer space. We arrived late and the only seats that were available were front row center. It was quite an experience, first not seeing, then finally seeing the alien monster, as it hunted the hapless crew, picking them off, one-by-one. It was thoroughly frightening. 

Ship of Theseus

According to Wikipedia, in the metaphysics of identity, the Ship of Theseus is a thought experiment that raises the question of whether a ship, standing for any object in general that has had all of its components replaced is the same object. I’m pleased that this process has a name, because I have long practiced it.

I bought my Litespeed bicycle new in 2001 and immediately began upgrading it with new parts. I ordered them online and as time went on this practice became so common that the FedEx man once remarked to Anne, “I think your husband is building a new bike.” When I got home, Anne greeted me with a Cheshire grin and announce, “You’re busted! The FedEx man has outed you.”

Eventually, I replaced every part save one, the frame, which I still use. The frame is the heart of the bike. It’s a titanium mountain bike frame. I called the bike a Litespeed, but the only part of it that is truly a Litespeed was this frame.

It’s a Pisgah. It is named after the Pisgah national forest, which is located in western North Carolina. The forest was named after a biblical mountain that is located in the land of Moab (There’s an interesting coincidence.) and it is the mountain that Moses saw the promised land from, before he died, but I digress.

So, my Ship of Theseus, my bicycle, is not truly such, because its key element has never been replaced. It is still original. It looks original too. Its decals are worn, but other than them the frame is as new looking as the day I bought it. I could order new decals. I had to order a replacement emblem, the one on the front of the steering tube, because it fell off, but I don’t think that I’ll ever replace the decals. Their worn appearance is like a badge of honor.