Posts Tagged ‘critical mass’

Critical Mass + Pints + Movies

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Tomorrow, August 27th is another Critical Mass Ride in Detroit. The rides leaves at 7 PM from the corner of Trumbull and Warren.

As you may know Critical Mass rides began in San Francisco. On Facebook, 1,233 people like the San Francisco Critical Mass compared with 979 for Detroit’s. It’s surprisingly those numbers are not that far apart.

There are thee other events planned in conjunction with the tomorrow’s ride in Detroit.

First is a Pre-Critical Mass Ride that begins at 5pm at the Rivard Plaza on the RiverWalk.

Second is an Aftermass Firkin Ride with $2 Motor City Brewing Weeks Firkin pints at the Cass Cafe, Park Bar, Foran’s, and Third Street Saloon.

And third is movie night at the beautiful Peck Park. According to Wheelhouse Detroit:

We are happy to partner with Walk-in Theatre to present a double feature of TRON and Breaking Away this Friday night! Come after Critical Mass!

The eminently bikeable city of Detroit

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

The title of this post is a quote from one of the BikeIt cyclists who rode from New York to Detroit for the U.S. Social Forums.

The U.S. Social Forum really put large, diverse group of bicyclists (and pedestrians) on Detroit’s streets for nearly a week. Is this how Detroit could look in the new future after a bit of transportation mode shift and infill?

Another Forum visitor added this excellent write up on Streetsblog: Detroit: The Return of the Repressed (Bicycling Culture). That article includes a photo caption which notes, “Detroit’s once bustling streets are a bicyclist’s paradise now, wide open and empty.”

The author also participated in our monthly Critical Mass ride.

Detroit has had a small-ish Critical Mass going back some years, but this was its biggest ever, about 375 riders. A great route was planned and most followed, which took us downtown, along the riverfront, out into eastern Detroit, through the remarkable Heidelberg Project, and finally back into the center of the City. One of the best parts of this Detroit Critical Mass was the enthusiastic reception by locals all along the way.

Detroit is a city reinventing itself. After a generation of abandonment by business and capital, the residents who have stayed are fully engaged in a process of rethinking what their city should look like, who should have the power to make decisions about it, what kinds of work should be done, and so on. The bicycle is making a comeback too, and though it’s still at the beginning of a regenerative process, the roots are well implanted and it’s very exciting to see what develops in the years to come.

Matt Dughi made this amazing, must watch video of the ride. Critical Mass is looking a little Tour de Troit-ish. Did you see Pingree smile as the ride passed?

Detroit Bike Shorts

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Green Alley construction begins

Model D is provides a significant amount of Detroit biking coverage. Perhaps due to May being bike month, they’ve got even more stories, including this one on Midtown’s Green Alley.

This is Detroit’s first green alley, and like most all things green, it caters to cyclists.

The alley will consist of native plantings and a 6-foot-wide pedestrian and bike pathway constructed of reclaimed historic brick framed by permeable pavement — which ensures emergency vehicle access. It is lit by induction lights, which are more efficient than LED and last for 25 years. “I hope one day to be have to climb up there and change a bulb!” says Tom.

The alley will provide a connection to the Motor City Brewing Works and include bike racks.

Detroit Critical Mass

Here’s a little video of the April 2010 Critical Mass ride in Detroit. Isn’t it ironic that the Motor City’s ride deals with fewer cars than perhaps all other citys’? (via Model D)

Michigan’s Top Five Bike Trails

This is part of a story from Metro Parent magazine’s May issue. This article lists great trails that the entire family can enjoy.

Bike Tent City registration now open

The U.S. Social Forum (USSF) is coming to Detroit this June. Biking is a big part of this event. People from around the U.S. are biking to Motown through the BikeIt project. Registration for their Tent Bike City is now open.

Bike Trailer Building Workshop

On a related note, the Hub of Detroit is hosting a trailer building workshop this Saturday.

When: May 15th from 3:30pm-7pm
Where: Back Alley Bikes space (entrance in alley behind of The Hub of Detroit)
What: The goal of the evening is to use wood and recycled bicycle parts to make simple bicycle cargo trailers. The trailers built will be used to pick up waste during the forum and will be a part of environmental management efforts reduce the ecological footprint of the USSF and beyond!

If you’re interested in volunteering at the Hub, their next volunteer orientation meeting is June 2nd at 6pm.

Vote for a Detroit Bike Video

Bicycle magazine’s video contest has a Detroit-themed entry named Catalyst. Voting ends on June 6th, 2010.

Fort Street Construction in Detroit

Yes, Fort Street in Southwest Detroit is being reconstucted. Yes, the Detroit Non-Motorized Plan calls for bike lanes on this road. Yes, the road is six-lanes but the vehicular traffic levels only require two. Yes, this road would likely be part of the U.S. Bicycle Route 25 through Detroit.

No, MDOT did not include bike lanes in the project.

Why? No reasonable answers have been given so far. MTGA and others are continuing to discuss this with MDOT. There’s no reason why this shouldn’t be a four-lane road with buffered bike lanes.

Detroit Trails on Facebook

Monday, June 15th, 2009

bandThe Detroit Riverfront Conservancy has an active page on Facebook.

Their Dequindre Cut trail opening photo gallery is full of great shots, including this one to the right. It certainly shows Detroit knows how to open a trail will style and enthusiasm.

But there are other Detroit trail- or bike-related groups on Facebook, including these:

Critical Mass Detroit still rollin’

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

photo019For many years now, there’s been a Critical Mass ride in Detroit. It’s always the last Friday of the month and the start time is somewhere between 5:30pm and 6pm.

The attendance has varied with the weather. Sometimes there are fifty riders. Sometimes its just a handful of the usual suspects.

As always, the ride rightfully starts under the watchful gaze of Mayor Pingree, “the idol of the people,” at Grand Circus Park.

Last fall, a cyclist from Toronto was in Detroit for our ride. He was documenting Critical Mass rides from around the world. He was showing photos of thousands of riders taking over streets of other cities.

Detroit’s ride is not like that. Detroit cyclists are not in a David vs. Goliath battle with cars. Goliath moved to the suburbs years ago, leaving behind a great yet underrated place to ride a bike.

It could be argued that Critical Mass rides should be in the Detroit suburbs since bicycles there are often not considered traffic and the roads are not designed to safety accomodate bicycling. It would certainly raise the visibility of cycling and the lack of cycling-friendliness in these communities.

Of course one difficulty in doing a suburban ride is the lower density. To be effective, it would be a good idea having them centered in suburban downtown areas.