Posts Tagged ‘Bike the Bridge’

Ferrying bicyclists across the Detroit River

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

We discussed this last year. Could a new ferry service across the river be the solution for Detroit and Windsor bicyclists wanting to cross the border?

It seems the answer is closer to “yes” these days.

Model D reported on this possibility at the end of last month in a conversation about the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority’s riverfront dock and terminal building construction. They spoke with the Port Authority’s John Kerr who “envisions… a commuter ferry service between Detroit and Windsor.”

Kerr was also on WDETs Craig Fahle Show last week. A podcast of that episode is on-line with the discussion beginning at 0:43.

We are also looking at commuter ferry service. We’ve had some discussions with the Windsor Port Authority and feel like there’s a market for potential ferry service. So, how cool would it be on the RiverWalk between the Ren Cen or maybe you’re at Cobo for a show and you come in and cross the border and to go to Windsor for lunch and bring people from Windsor to come over here for lunch?

That would be cool, especially if you could bring your bike.

But beyond just being able to get your bike across the river without a car, there are three specific projects that could greatly benefit from ferry service.

  1. The Underground Railroad Bicycle Route: The Adventure Cycling Association is working with others to develop a new bicycle route that would connect with their existing route. This new route would come to Detroit and preferably cross the river to Canada, just as thousands of freedom-seekers did. In fact we note that it was easier for freedom-seekers to cross the Detroit River than it is for bicyclists today.
  2. U.S. Bike Route System: Michigan is leading the nation in getting new U.S. Bike Routes closer to reality. Dividing the mitten, USBR 20 is almost ready for final approval. USBR 35 up the west coast is progressing as well. USBR’s 25, 30, and 36 all go through Detroit. It would invaluable if these routes allowed cycling tourists to cross into Canada.
  3. Bike the Bridge: This annual event rides across the Ambassador Bridge in the morning, but its return is via buses and with bikes stuffed in rental trucks. This event would be much more appealing if cyclists could return via ferry at their leisure.

We shared these projects with Kerr and look forward to getting more information on this cross-border opportunity in the near future.

Increased turnout for Bike the Bridge event

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

There were 180 riders for the 2010 Bike the Bridge event this year. One big reason for the increase is Canadian bicyclists could start in Windsor, ride over the Ambassador Bridge to Detroit, turn around and ride back — a neat option.

Once over the bridge, both the U.S. and Canadian cyclists enjoyed a breakfast at Windsor’s Mic Mac Park. Afterwards, 49 cyclists rode to Amherstburg, Ontario for a quick guided tour of Fort Malden. Many of the other cyclists rode to Walkerville where they heard about the local history of prohibition and Hiram Walker — and got to sample some Canadian whiskey.

Both groups re-converged at the Carousel of Nations event held along Windsor’s river front park. The U.S. cyclists then boarded chartered Transit Windsor buses for the return voyage back to Detroit.

The Metro Times provided from-the-saddle coverage and highlighted the uniqueness of this event for cyclists.

A special thanks to Sue Moretto, the Bridge Company, Windsor Bicycle Committee and all the volunteers for helping make this happen.

Register now for the 2010 Bike the Ambassador Bridge

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

The 2010 Bike the Bridge registration closes tomorrow, May 31st, at midnight. Riders must register early for this event so that the roster can be sent to Customs ahead of time.

Last year was the inaugural event and this year will be a little different. Riders can chose between a shorter historical tour of Walkerville or a longer 40-mile round trip ride to Fort Malden in Amherstburg.

Here is the press release with additional details, including a Bridge ride option for Canadians.

Ambassador Bridge Allows Cyclists to Cross For JUST One Day

Border Cyclists to Meet for Bike the Bridge & Area Tour

(Windsor, ON) On June 13, 2010 the Ambassador Bridge will allow a rare occurrence: during a brief window of time, a small group of people will be allowed to cross the bridge on their bicycles for Bike the Bridge 2010.

This is the second year for the tour that was started as a way to bring attention to how difficult it is to get across the river between Detroit and Windsor when riding a bicycle. Currently cyclists can only take their bicycles across the border if they are driving it there themselves or taking a taxi (bicycles are not allowed on the Tunnel Bus either).

Few Canadian riders participated in the past due to the logistics of getting their bikes across to participate but this year, riders from Windsor will be allowed to cross the bridge on their bikes to meet up with the Detroit riders before cycling back over the Ambassador Bridge as a group. After the crossing, the group will stop at a Windsor park for a breakfast catered by Tres Be-An Cafe. From there riders get to choose from two adventures: either a long distance ride lead by Todd Scott (director of Detroit Trails), or a tour of Hiram Walker with a presentation by Marty Gervais followed by a sojourn to the riverfront for Carrousel of the Nations.

Sue Moretto, the Michigan-based organizer of the event, is excited to bring everyone together and return to Windsor with her riders, We had so much fun on the ride last year; the breakfast was delicious and it was a great day.

Moretto has spent several months working with representatives of the Windsor Bicycling Committee (WBC) to finalize plans on the Windsor side of the border.

We are delighted that well be part of this effort. Events such as these are commendable as they help promote our important connection of our regions as well as cycling as a healthy transportation alternative, says Alan Halberstadt, the Windsor city council representative on the WBC.

For $35, Canadian riders get their bridge crossing, breakfast, a commemorative t-shirt and their choice of two cycling tours. Riders must be 16 years and older (18 and older for Hiram Walker tour) and must wear a helmet. Riders must pre-register by May 31, 2010 at