Posts Tagged ‘bike to work’

Parke-Davis in 1899: Bike to work day is everyday

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Here’s an interesting and very short video showing employees walking and biking during a fire drill at the Parke-Davis factory complex on the Detroit River in June 29th, 1899. (We’re not sure why the film says 1903.)

It’s quite the tweed-filled traffic jam. Bicycling was at near its peak and Detroit had not yet gotten the nickname “Motor City.”

While many of the original Parke-Davis building still exist (though re-purposed) we’re not sure the ones in the video remain today.

UPDATE: According to Detroit Free Press article “Biograph in Detroit,” the American Biograph Company shot the film with a “remarkable instrument.” They made a 2-minute film of Detroit Fire Department companies 1, 3, and 5 , which does not seem to be on-line. From the Free Press:

The biograph experts also went out to Parke, Davis & Co.’s works and at noon views were taken of the employes leaving the building. There are over 400 bicycles used by the employes. Nearly 1,000 persons were moving lively while the biograph was in operation. Manager McCutcheon says that all the pictures were first-class and will soon be placed before the public at Wonderland.

The Wonderland Music and Theatre building was located on Monroe Street at Campus Martius.

The film was shown to the public according to another Free Press article on August 20th.

Wonderland’s announcements promise a very good vaudeville show for this week, addition to a lot of new and interesting biograph pictures. Of the latter, no doubt the most attractive will be the view of a fire drill at Parke, Davis & Co.’s big laboratory.

Detroit: Have a great Bike to work day

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Our reprieve from cold rainy weather couldn’t have come on a better day.

And today I’ll be giving ride updates via Twitter (MTGA’s DetroitGreenway account) — but not while in riding.

It’s also worth mentioning that there is a new web site for biking to work, It includes resources for planning bike to work events, a discussion forum and more. The site funded by the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.

Finally, here is a appropriate comic strip for today. It’s actually yesterday’s Frazz. The author, Jef Mallett lives in Huntington Woods which is just off the Detroit bike to work route on Woodward.


Detroit Bike to Work Day is May 20th

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Two Detroit Synergy Bike to Work group rides are planned for the morning of Friday, May 20th, 2011. Both end at Campus Martius in Downtown Detroit.

  • Woodward Ave – Starts in Royal Oak with stops in Ferndale and Midtown
  • East Jefferson Ave – Starts in Grosse Pointe with stops on the East Side and at Rivertown

Showers and Locker facilities will be available at the Boll Family YMCA at (1400 Broadway).

More details, including the routes and scheduling are available on the Detroit Synergy web site.

Can’t ride? Volunteers are needed!

Special thank to the sponsors who make this event possible: Miller-Canfield, American Cycle and Fitness, Giffels-Webster Engineers, Wheelhouse Detroit, and Armadillo Printwear.

Tuesday Media: Bikes in the news

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Let’s Save Michigan

Bike to Work day received some coverage on the Let’s Save Michigan web site, hosted by the Michigan Municipal League.

It was great to see so many people, despite the less than perfect weather, bike to work or wherever they were going and prove that Michigan’s roads aren’t just for cars. Once we start designing our transportation system to accommodate users beyond cars, we’ll be able to develop the more walkable and desirable communities that people want to live, work and play in.

The Let’s Save Michigan campaign is teaming up with the Michigan Complete Streets Coalition to move forward to policy that will help develop the state policies that will develop a better, safer and more accommodating transportation system for Michigan. The Coalition includes groups such as AARP, the League of Michigan Bicyclists, and the Michigan Environmental Council.

The web site includes many photos from events around the state.

The 10 Things You MUST Do

Metromode has a list of The 10 Things You MUST Do Outside In Metro Detroit This Summer. Riding with Ferndale’s Defying the Law Bike Club made the list.

If Marlon Brando in The Wild One got sick of motorcycles, got a bike and developed a taste for garage sales and microbrews, he would so be in this club. It’s a cool mix of professionals, students, blue collar, and artsy types who meet up in Ferndale every Saturday to bike around and see what they can find going on or going down, whatever the case may be.

Worried you’re not exactly in shape for a bike club? No worries. “If anyone wants to ride, they just have to show up,” says Mike Kawamoto of Berkley, who has been a member of the group for three years. “It’s usually a pretty casual-paced ride.”

Ford to measure suppliers’ carbon footprints

The Detroit News is reporting on Ford’s recent announcement as part of their efforts to reduce their carbon emissions by 30% by 2020.

And although it doesn’t mention biking to work, that is one strategy for reducing a company’s carbon footprint.

Ford Motor Co. said today it will begin surveying its largest suppliers to find out how much energy they use and how much greenhouse gases they emit.

It’s part of a broader effort to reduce the carbon footprint of Ford’s global automobile manufacturing operations.

The Dearborn automaker said it ultimately plans to use the data to establish carbon-reduction goals for its suppliers.

“Suppliers play an important role as we look to reduce our overall carbon footprint and drive more efficiency in an energy constrained world,” said Tony Brown, Ford group vice president in charge of global purchasing.

Of course, we would prefer they “bike more efficiency” rather than drive, but it is Ford.

Detroit bike to work in the media

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Detroit’s three major news networks provided video coverage of last Friday’s bike to work day in Detroit. One highlight is the?helicopter footage where we’re taking a lane on a ten-lane main state trunkline during rush hour and there’s only a sprinkling of traffic — a typical Motor City scenario.

Among them, it seems only Click on Detroit’s video coverage is on-line. Our favorite part is the reporter’s surprise in hearing how bike friendly the city of Detroit is.

And they’re telling me that Detroit, believe it or not, is a very bike friendly city. You would think that a city that produces cars would shy away from that. No, no, no. Detroit has wide streets. There’s not a lot of traffic. They do have to dodge some glass here and there, but for the most part, Detroit is a bike friendly city.

It wasn’t me who told them that, but thanks to whomever did.

And did you notice in the video coverage that the DDOT bus had a bike rack? DDOT’s newest buses came equipped with bike racks.

Their web site also had a poll asking, “Friday is Bike to Work day. Did you participate?” The results as of this writing were:

  • 64 (3%) Yes, I rode my bike to work.
  • 476 (22%) No, but I wanted to.
  • 1585 (75%) No, and I won’t.

It would be interesting to know why 22% wanted to but couldn’t. Is it because there’s no safe and convenient route? Too long?

The Metro Times also reported on the event with reporter Sandra Svoboda participating in the ride.

Altogether the three rides organized by Detroit Synergy drew sixty riders. While the morning temperature was warmer than typical, the forecasted rain showers may have dampened the turnout. The longest commuter meeting the group at Campus Maritus was Mike Darga from Northville (a 29-mile ride). Mike works for Giffels-Webster, one of the Detroit bike to work day sponsors. Giffels-Webster was the led firm that developed the city of Detroit’s non-motorized master pan.