The 20-mile run part of the play is pretty significant and I had this idea to try and film it on my bike way back last fall when we were first producing this thing. The weekend I wanted to do it back then, I discovered that I did not have the right kind of video camera for this bouncy, jarring ride, and so my plans were dashed. But I really wanted to try and make it work, and so with a borrowed Mini-DV camera and the help of my two lovely assistants, Kelly and Marian, I attempted to film the run today. I have a new-found respect for Pengo after biking his 20-mile trek from Cleve. Hts. to Lakewood. Granted, when he did it, it was in the fall, without 90+ degree heat and Atlanta-level humidity, but still... that's a long trip!
We got off to a bit of a rocky start, with some technical difficulties. The camera kept moving back and forth a lot on the handlebars, and I was not sure how to fix the mount to keep it stationary, especially given the varying road conditions. We stopped on Monticello for about 15 minutes while Marian and I tried different things to fix it. I was afraid for a while that we might have to abort, but then I realized what I had to do to make the mount secure and we were back on the road.
The first leg was really nice. We got to Murray Hill and Marian said, "This hill terrifies me!" But we made it down safely, and all the way around University Circle to the beginning of MLK. We had a brief check-in with Kelly, and then it was on to the lake. The ride down MLK was beautiful - I shall have to do it again some time. We hit the lake and got on the bike/running trail, and all was fine until the trail joined Marginal Road. Then, on the same plane as the water and with no buildings to protect us, the wind picked up and it got really hard going. Plus it seemed to be a on a very slight upgrade. We stopped briefly to drink around CPP, then kept on going. The first tape was about 3/4 gone and I wanted to make the Rock Hall before it ran out.
Nearing Burke Lakefront Airport, we could see that something was going on at the stadium. People were parking in all the municipal and military lots and walking up to East 9th, wearing Browns gear. Turns out today was Browns Family Day. So there was a lot of foot traffic to deal with. In the final video this will only last for a few seconds but it might be weird. I did a quick tape change and we hit the next part of the trail. West 3rd Street was the first real uphill battle and we were already pretty tired, but we made it to Superior without too much trouble.
Having biked over the Detroit-Superior Bridge many times this summer on my way to and from work, it seems to me that going west over the bridge is steeper than going east. Or maybe I'm just more tired in the evening. Anyway, I was expecting a tough ride over the bridge, and we did not hit the traffic lights in an effective manner, so we were stopped just before hitting the bridge. Marian managed to make it over under her own power, but I'm ashamed to say I had to get off and walk about halfway up. After the bridge we stopped to check in with Kelly at the parking lot at Detroit and West 25th. We were both feeling pretty spent and Marian thought she might hurl after the effort of the bridge, so Kelly offered to go get us some more hydration while we rested.
After a 10 or so minute rest, during which Kelly called to ask us what we would like from the limited selection at the convenience store from where she was calling, we decided to push on and meet her on the road. We got back out onto Detroit, and around the Harp tavern Kelly caught up with us and gave us some bottled drinks. We decided to meet her again at the top of Edgewater Park.
Heading out again, Detroit was pretty flat and we made good time. We turned down West 65th and hit the underpass. Edgewater Park was another lovely part of the ride and it was nice to get some shade again. We rounded the beach and hit the hill, and sad to say, we both had to leg it this time. No uphill riding after 14 miles of biking for us. At the top we met Kelly, had a brief rest and then pushed on for the final 5 miles. We were both pretty spent at this point but we could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I have to say, for a "Premier Neighborhood", West Cleveland's sidewalks on Lake Avenue are pretty awful. There was more bouncing and jarring and shocking on this leg than during any other part of the ride. Eventually we moved off the sidewalk and into the street just to save our spines and the camera. I was counting off the miles on my odometer and hoping we could make it to the end before another tape or battery change, but fate conspired against me. About 3 miles from the end we had to stop to change tapes, and then 10 minutes later the battery died. Good thing I brought a spare. With fresh supplies we gamely pushed to the end of Lake Ave, then up to Clifton and down to Pengo's parents' house. Kelly was parked across the street and she turned around and picked us up. We were both pretty dead and after showers and lunch, I came home and took a long, sweaty, uncomfortable nap.
I don't even know how good the video will look. It may not be usable at all. Compressing 2 hours of video into 5 or 6 minutes will be difficult, but at the very least I got a great workout!