Summer nights in Metro Detroit used to mean Cruising. Driving around looking for friends, or making new friends while racing cars away from the lights on Woodward Avenue. And now the third Saturday in August is the annual Woodward Dream Cruise. It’s a huge event with about a million people lined up for 10 miles along Woodward watching classic cars cruise.
Last Saturday morning as I was about five miles into a fifteen mile run I was heading into downtown Clawson. A small city with a classic downtown Main Street. And Main Street was lined with people in lawn chairs under canopies, to protect from the sun, while they watched classic cars cruise slowly through town in a Pre-Woodward Dream Cruise mini-event. There were bright red ’57 Chevys, a yellow ’70 Dodge Charger, a racing green ’75 Mustang II and dozens more. Someone had the Beach Boys cranked up for everyone within a block to hear. As I negotiated my way through the crowds I was thinking about cruising Woodward in high school with my friend Joe in his 1974 Nova SS. Windows down, wind blowing’ and tires squealing.
Then, about five miles later as I was heading into downtown Ferndale, another small city with a classic downtown, I heard a marching bass drum and saw flags and bicycle riders coming down the main street. I remembered then that Ferndale was holding the “Green Cruise” that Saturday. The Sierra Club was promoting it to get people to give up cars for a morning and walk or pedal to save gas. At least that was my impression of the event. So that got me thinking, yes, I should ride my bike more often. Instead of drivingthe a half-mile to pick up a gallon of milk at the mini-mart I could ride my bike. Or when I just need a small part for a repair project, the hardware store is an easy 10 minute bike ride away.
So in one fifteen mile run I had gone from Dream Cruise and gas-burning muscle cars to the Green Cruise and gas-saving pedal power. I was amused by that and also glad that I’m still able to use good old footpower and log fifteen miles on a Saturday morning.