Posts Tagged ‘Back Alley Bikes’

Mt. Elliott Makerspace: Tron bikes and more

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Many know about Back Alley Bikes/The Hub of Detroit. It was the City’s first Youth Earn-a-Bike program and it’s been around for over a decade now.

Youth Earn-A-Bike sessions are where youth ages 8-16 are able to earn a single bicycle of their choosing by building and repairing this bicycle with our qualified staff and volunteers for three (3) Earn-A-Bike sessions. Each session is approximately three (3) hours in length, and they are held on Saturday afternoons during the summer.

But there are other Earn-a-bike programs in other parts of the city, including the Mt. Elliott Makerspace located at 231 East Grand Boulevard at Lafayette in the Messiah Episcopal Church.

And the Mt. Elliott Makerspace has some other real interesting programs that focus on transportation, but more specifically:

Human-powered and alternative-energy-powered vehicles designed to enhance mobility, safety, and enjoyability. E.g. bicycles and bicycle trailers, alternative energy vehicles

They also bring in electronics as they build lights and music to create “Tron” bikes.

This video shows more of what they do. It includes a great quote, “I wasn’t getting enough exercise until I earned my bike.”

Detroit bike rides in September – Wow!

Friday, September 9th, 2011

The number and variety of bike rides in the city of Detroit continues to flourish. It seems there are more rides this month then there were all summer long just a handful of years ago. And this list doesn’t include the many fee-based tours offered by groups like the Wheelhouse Detroit.

Saturday, 9/10/2011 – Handlebars for the Homeless

This year the NSO Detroit 5K River run and walk includes a “non-competitive 13-15 mile bike tour” at 8am. This fundraising event is being led by Detroit tour veteran Tom Page and will include Belle Isle, Indian Village and the Heidelberg Project. You can register at the event. More details are on their web site.

Saturday, 9/12/2011 – Full Moon Bike Ride

Fender Bender is hosting this second annual ride that meets at 9pm and starts 30 minutes later. The ride begins in front of the abandoned trail station on Michigan Avenue at 14th. The Fender Bender web site has more information.

Saturday, 9/17/2011 – Celebration of Cycling

This PEAC hosted ride begin in Hines Park and offers a 12, 35, 50, or 100-mile route options. This event is a fundraiser for PEAC amazing programs that help the physically challenged gain greater mobility through bicycling. For more details, visit the PEAC web site. [Yeah, this ride isn’t in Detroit but it’s real close and for a great cause, so we included it.]

Sunday, 9/18/2011 – Tour de Ford

The?Henry Ford Emergency Departments is hosting a fundraiser bike ride for the?Tom Groth Patient Medical Needs Fund. There are 10, 35, and 70 mile options. A custom jersey is available as well. Visit the Tour de Ford web site for all the details.

Sunday, 9/18/2011 – Great Southwest Detroit Industrial Bicycle Tour II

This Detroit Synergy ride begins at 9am at the Rivard Plaza on the RiverWalk. It 18 miles and there is no charge. Here’s the intriguing ride description:

This isn’t your typical suburban ride through pretty neighborhoods with picket fences bordered by flower beds. Rather, this route takes us through much of the industrial underbelly of southwest Detroit. Poetically, residences are sprinkled throughout the heavy industry complexes. When I tested the route last year the imagery of “little houses on the prairie” kept popping into my head. I am confident that you, like me, will ride away from this tour with a new appreciation of the heavy industry that is an integral part of our area’s history and our shared culture.

Got questions? Contact Tom Page at or 313-473-7118.

Sunday, 9/18/2011 – Back Alley Bikes Progressive Dinner

This is a fundraising event for the invaluable Back Alley Bikes program. According to a Detroit News article, “Scheduled for 3 p.m. Sept. 18, the 11-mile route will offer a five-course meal made by Suddenly Sauer, Organaman, Neighborhood Noodle and the Pie-Sci pizza guys at Woodbridge Pub.” REGISTRATION CLOSES SEPTEMBER 11th!

Friday, 9/23/2011 – New Center Bike Tour

This is presented by Bikes and Murder, but don’t be scared off by their name. This ride begins at 7pm.

Friday, 9/23/2011 – UDM Midnight Bike Tour

Yes, this is the 23rd annual University of Detroit-Mercy bike ride, which likely makes this the oldest bike ride tradition in the Motor City. ?This 25-mile casual ride begins at 8pm on the UDM campus and does a tour of the city. ?We agree with Alec Whitfield, assistant director of student life. “This is an excellent opportunity for new students to see Detroit and even native Detroiters to see our city from an entirely different perspective, at night.”

Saturday, 9/24/2011 – Tour de Troit

The 10th year of this ride will be the largest yet with 5,000 cyclists expected. Given the size, it’s more of a bike parade than just a bike ride. Some changes have been made in order to accommodate such a large group. This event raises funds that helped get those new bike lanes and bike routes added to Corktown and Mexicantown. Register at

Friday, 9/30/2011 – Detroit Critical Mass

The group meets at 6:30pm at the corner of Trumbull and Warren. It starts at 7pm. There’s additional information on Facebook

Every Monday – Slow Roll to Slow Jams

This 2.5 hour ride meets at the Woodbridge Pub every Monday at 7pm and leaves 30 minutes later. Details are on their Facebook page.

More August bike events in Detroit

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Just hours after writing about the growing list of bike events in Detroit, we stumbled on some others.

From Detroit Synergy:

August 20th at 9 AM: Pedal Cruise

It’s almost time for that annual north Woodward Avenue pagan festival, the Woodward Dream Cruise! That means it’s also time for the Third Annual Detroit Bikes! Pedal Cruise Bicycle Ride! We’re not anti-car; we’re just pro-bicycles! Many of us firmly believe that the best way to experience our City is on a self-propelled vehicle!

The primary aim of the Pedal Cruise is to bike from our City’s birthplace, the Detroit Riverfront, to the world-famous (thanks to Eminem) 8 Mile Rd. (why isn’t it called 8 Miles Road?) and back. We will parallel as well as cross Woodward Avenue, though only a modest part of the ride will take place on Woodward itself.

More details

From the Hub/Back Alley Bikes:

August 20th at Noon: 3rd Annual Safe Streets Youth Ride

Hey everyone! It is time to get energized for our big annual ride. There are many more people riding in Detroit now than have in recent memory. There are also many more groups doing rides together. On August 20th we will be gathering in our back alley at noon for our big annual ride. What makes our ride different? Well, the primary focus is our youth. We are inviting all our Youth that have completed the Earn-a-Bike program in the past year to bring those bikes out and ride with us. We hope they bring their families with them so they can all ride together. This will be a slow ride so people of all ages can keep up. Afterwards we will have a parent appreciation BBQ.

So what if you didn’t participate in Earn-a-Bike? Well, that is the other part that makes our ride unique – it is a fund-raiser to continue the programming that we provide here in the Cass Corridor. If you would like to ride with our youth, please register at our site. Registration is $25, but if you register before August 13th – registration is only $10. Again, Youth Earn-a-Bike participants and their families ride free.

More details and registration

From the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan:

August 21st at 8 AM: J-Cycle

Hop on! The Jewish Historical Society of Michigan, the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue and the Reconstructionist Synagogue of Detroit are leading the way through the streets of Detroit for a fun-filled morning of cycling, learning and bonding. Our tour travels from the beautiful, new Milliken State Park on the Detroit River, along the Riverwalk and through the Dequindre Cut, a landscaped bike path once the Grand Trunk Railroad line and through the city to see such sites as the Hank Greenberg statue at Comerica Park, numerous former synagogues and buildings built between 1902 and the 1920s such as the United Hebrew School building built in 1922 and the new Moishe House on Ferry Street and the Oakland Avenue Schvitz. Don’t miss this first-time event!

More details and registration

From Bike Tech:

August 28th:Third Annual Bicycle Show & Swap Meet

BIKE TECH (@ Balduck Park) 18401 E.Warren, Detroit, Michigan 48236
From 8am – 2pm

Bring out those Vintage, Classics, Road & Track Bicycles and Parts.
Food & Refreshments Available.
Vendor Space Available

$25. – Early Registration
$30. – Day of Show
Table Rental $5.00 additional

For Additional Information…313-884-2453

Spring means Bicycle Love in Detroit

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Biking on the Dequindre CutThe Metro Times just released their 2009 Best of Detroit lists.

Among the staff picks was Best Place to Break a Sweat with the winner being “bicycling”.

Detroiters have been getting more and more serious about bicycle love in recent years. First came the flirtation. It wasn’t love at first ride. No, it’s hard to fully commit to a self-powered two-wheel approach when you’re dubbed the Motor City, when coney dogs, cheap beer and Flaming Hot Chee-tos are local fare and, well, let’s face it, there aren’t too many bike-friendly paths. But flirt we did. After a couple dates, we started to grope the spokes and pump the brakes. One thing led to another and here we are … With the HUB of Detroit – that funky full-service (not-for-profit) bike shop set in the pit of Cass Corridor – the seed was planted. Then came “bike gangs” such as Ferndale’s Defying The Law B/C, and city-wide races like Alley Cat. Last year (almost to the day this goes to print) we witnessed the birth of Wheelhouse Detroit, a bike retail, rental and repair shop that lives right on the river and offers a wide array of bike tours that take riders through the architectural anomaly that is Detroit, through Corktown, Hamtramck, along the river and a number of others. A missing piece was put into place a couple years ago when the Dequindre Cut project was announced. The Cut runs along the Grand Trunk rail line, through Eastern Market, and ends at Detroit’s riverfront parks. The paved, lit, emergency phone-equipped bike-walk-jog stretch from Gratiot to south of Jefferson will get its grand opening May 14.

In last year’s polling, the Dequindre Cut won for the best project that’s not yet completed. Phase I will be completed this year, and as noted, the grand opening is May 14th at 10AM.

And in the Reader Polls, Best Place to Buy a Bicycle went to The Hub of Detroit.

The Hub of Detroit grew out of Back Alley Bikes, a youth program designed to get low-income youths their very own bicycles. The volunteer organization needed a way to fund their philanthropic endeavors and saw a need in Detroit for a bike shop. So the Hub was born, killing two birds with one ultra-cool stone. Not only do Detroiters now have a place to purchase a used bike, fix up an old set of wheels and to buy biking accessories, but all proceeds from the shop go directly to Back Alley Bikes. The staff which consists primarily of volunteers runs a variety of classes and programs for area youth, including having kids 13-18 clock volunteer hours in the shop to earn their own bike.

To see all the other 2009 “Best Of” winners, check out the Metro Times web site.

Governor Celebrates Detroit Bicycle Volunteers

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

From the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health, and Sports:

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm celebrates volunteers committed to promoting bicycling in the communities of Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing

The Hub/Back Alley Bikes in Detroit, The Motion Initiative in Grand Rapids, and MSU Bikes and Share a Bike in Lansing will host a Day of Action event on Saturday, September 27 from noon to 4 PM to encourage the donation of bikes and bike parts. The events, depending on location, will also offer free maintenance checks, bike safety training and other services and activities.

These organizations work tirelessly to collect, repair and distribute bikes in their communities. Participating residents can support their efforts, donate bikes, and learn more about biking and bike maintenance.

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Here are some of the details for The Hub’s Saturday event:

  • Clean out your garage and donate a bike or bike parts
  • Donated bikes will go through safety checks and repairs, then be distributed to Detroit youth
  • Bring in your own bike for safety repairs including fixing flat tires, chains or brakes
  • Participate in on-bike safety activities to learn proper use of:
    • Hand signals
    • Helmets
    • Lights
    • Locks
  • Put your training to the test with a group ride at 3 PM

Contact Jake VanDyke at 313.879.5073 for further details