Posts Tagged ‘Hot Spokes’

Detroit biking creating service & manufacturing jobs

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Founder of Fossil to make bikes in Detroit

This project has been bubbling under the radar until now. From the Detroit News:

The founder of Fossil Inc. has chosen a New Center site to make bicycles and watches and is close to signing a lease agreement to sell those goods in a West Canfield Street retail shop in Detroit’s Midtown, according to three sources familiar with the dealings.

Tom Kartsotis, founder of Fossil watches, sunglasses and apparel, has signed a lease for a 30,000-square-foot space in the College for Creative Studies’ A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education, according to the sources, who requested anonymity because they didn’t have permission to speak publicly.

Yes, they’ll be building retro cruiser bikes (and watches) in the former GM Research Laboratories. The brand is Shinola and they have some top people from the bicycle industry involved.

Crain’s also offered this insight into why he chose the city of Detroit.

He said Kartsotis commissioned a study of pens in which subjects were asked if they prefer pens made in China, the USA or Detroit at price points of $5, $10 and $15 respectively.

“People picked the Chinese pen over the USA pen because it was cheaper,” he said. “But when offered the Detroit pen, they were willing to pay the higher price point.”

By the end of this year, the city of Detroit may have up to four bicycle manufacturers within city limits.

New bike shop?

This Detroit News article discusses new pop-up retail along Woodward Avenue in Downtown Detroit. One pop-up possibility is a bike shop.

Jon Hughes sees a lane of opportunity in Detroit. As the owner of Downtown Ferndale Bike Shop, he would like to sign a two-month lease in Detroit for space where he can test the urban trails and side streets for interest by city residents and workers in a full-service, cycling aficionados store.

“Everything depends on the size of the store downtown,” said Hughes, 29, who is negotiating a lease on one of two spaces in the Compuware Building and could move into the smaller space as early as July 1. If the store catches on, he said he could renew the lease for a year or more. If the venture goes flat, he only loses two month’s rent money and sweat equity.

Yes, having the Downtown Ferndale bike shop in Downtown Detroit sounds odd.

Food delivery by bike

Business has been picking up (and delivering!) for Hot Spokes. This Detroit News article covers it current growth.

Shayne O’Keefe may not envision himself a businessman, but the 29-year-old drummer for a punk rock band just might be in denial.

That’s because a simple idea a few years ago that would allow O’Keefe to pay his rent on Fourth Street in Midtown Detroit and maybe go on tour here and there with his band, Noman, now supports not only him, but five of his friends as well.

Plus, it fuels his love of biking.

Pedicabs in high gear

And finally, the Detroit News also covered the Rickshaw Detroit‘s pedicab business – a business they hope to expand soon.

And it sounds like they have a supporter in the Mayor’s office.

Detroit Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis admits he’s never noticed the pedicabs, but said it’s a great idea for a new business that can help the city through its transformation.

“As we get more people in the downtown and Midtown areas, you’re going to see more opportunities for the entrepreneurial types in the city,” he said. “We want to have people engaging themselves in Detroit and having fun and enjoying the city.”

That sentiment rings true for all these businesses and new ones that are in the pipeline.

Being involved with biking is fun, but getting paid for it is more fun.


Detroit biking articles all over the local media

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

A couple weeks ago we wrote about seven different biking articles that ran in the Detroit media.

Well here’s another nine!

Cycling for Health

Our friend and longtime Detroit cyclist Cassandra Spratling wrote this article in the Detroit Free Press. The Daley’s adoption of biking as transportation — and how they lost 210 pounds between them — is quite a story.

When Don and Darla Daley dine at restaurants near their Royal Oak home, they no longer drive their car.

It’s the same with quick trips to the store or nearby Royal Oak Farmers Market. They hop on the bicycles they bought two years ago — their favorite form of recreation and exercise.

“I never thought I’d love it as much as I do,” Darla Daley says. “Other bikers wave at you. It’s just fun.”

There are other health success stories included here as well.

Cycling for Green Jobs

The Free Press also ran this story on Vanita Mistry and her Detroit Greencycle company that provides curbside recycling.

Four days a week before heading out to her day job, Mistry straps an 8-foot trailer to her mountain bike and pedals for several hours through a number of Detroit neighborhoods, including Clark Park, the Eastern Market district and Corktown to pick up recyclables and compost from her regular customers.

She totes twelve 18-gallon bins on her trailer, with a capacity to carry up to 300 pounds. Mistry separates plastic, cardboard, paper, glass and aluminum. She also collects composting material.

“I find that I’m driven more by public service and giving back,” Mistry said. “What motivates me is knowing I’m making a difference in the work I’m doing, and I’ve found that Greencycle is one of many ways I strive to make a difference in my community.”

Next, the Huffington Post continues their series on Detroit biking with an interesting look at the city’s bike messenger history.

CBS Detroit also joined in with this article on Shane O’Keefe’s Hot Spokes food delivery company.

O’Keefe said it’s sometimes a challenge to balance several meals inside his thermal bike box and his hands, but he does it. O’Keefe said they’ll deliver in any weather — even deep snow.

The last time they could not make a delivery was more than two winters ago during a major snow storm.

O’Keefe said he does not own a car and he’s glad he doesn’t have to pay for gas while trying to run a delivery business.

Critical Mass

Again, the Huffington Post published this article, Detroit Critical Mass Helps Area Cyclists Find Common Ground On City Streets. It accurately paints a mixed view on how successful this ride is. Interestingly, the critics aren’t motorists, but other Detroit cyclists. We’ve heard from critics of this popular ride as well: it’s too fast, too long, too organized, and it caters too much to suburban cyclists who drive to the city for the ride.

Ironically enough, the Detroit Critical Mass ride was moved to this location in part because of its free car parking. The bike lanes being installed this year eliminate much of that free parking. Will Critical Mass move again because of the bike lanes?

A View from Below

The Lakewood Observer from the Cleveland-area published, The Detroit Comparison: Sam Willsey’s Recent Cycling Experience. It’s an interesting article that gives the impression that Detroit is ahead of Cleveland in terms of adding bike lanes and trails. We’re not sure how both cities compare, but it seems we have much lower traffic on our streets.

The article does get a couple things wrong. We do have a bike advocacy group — the Detroit Greenways Coalition. And, the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is not proposing or significantly funding these projects. Non-profits and the City are the ones proposing, while funding comes from a variety of state, local, and philanthropic sources.

A Bicycle Lending Library

Stories about Fender Bender’s plan for a community-based bike share program were published in both Mode Shift and the Huffington Post.

From Mode Shift:

Like any bike sharing program, The Bicycle Lending Library will rent bikes out from one to four days with the single-day rental being the most “expensive” and adding days will make the rental cheaper. [Sarah] Sidelko says the program is going to be very affordable, but does not have the specific dollar amounts worked out yet.

In addition to renting a bicycle, the Library will also lend out a helmet, a bike light and lock and a map of Detroit, which will have an emphasis on bike lanes and greenways, and will have other prominent destinations peppered in.

Detroit Cycling History

The Huffington Post rounded out their bike series by touching on the city’s rich cycling history. The article is primarily an interview with the Hub’s Jack Van Dyke.

And on a related note, the web site Roads were not Built for Cars ran this story on Henry Ford and his connection to cycling back in the day. The web site’s author Carlton Reid was recently in Detroit. We had the opportunity to give him a bike tour that connected our cycling history. During our ride he asked, “Are we downtown?”. Yes we were. It was midday on a Friday and the streets were ours. There was very little traffic. He was rather impressed and said, “This is the cycling city of the future.”

Metro Times Best of Detroit 2011 awards

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

The Metro Times has a best of Detroit 2011 issue which lists winners based on a public survey and staff picks. As in years past, some of these awards are bike-related.

Readers Poll

Best Bicycle Shop in Detroit — The Hub won this for the third time. “How can you not love a place that’s making a difference on, with and for two wheels?

Best Bicycle Shop in the Suburbs — Downtown Ferndale Bike Shop grabbed this award, which was a bit of a surprise given their that they’re new. Last year it went to Continental Bikes in Hazel Park.

Staff Picks

Best Food Delivery Business — Hot Spokes, the group delivering food on bike in the Midtown/Downtown area, was picked by the MT staff.

Take-out delivered via bike may not be big news in most major cities, but as are many things, it’s a bit of a novelty in Detroit. But novelty or not, it also makes sense — pedaling from Midtown to downtown takes noticeably less time than fighting traffic and hunting down a parking spot (and who ever has change for the meter?)

Best Antidote to a Beer Belly — Staff chose the indoor Roller Races which have been hosted at various bars around the Detroit area. And last week the Hub hosted a very unique tandem roller race.

The new trend that popped up in the last year of racing on stationary bikes in bars allows for just such a thing — drink, race, drink some more. Bikers who usually hibernate during fall rains and winter snows can stay in shape, maintain their skills and show-off in front of bar flies and curious first-timers. It’s a new way to pick up chicks, settle scores and challenge friends and strangers for free beers.

Best Blog for Bicyclists — won. We’re blushing. It’s recognition like this that makes the late-time, labor of love efforts worth it.

The stated goal, says author Todd Scott, is to promote safe and convenient bicycling in metro Detroit. Whether it’s announcements of community forums, analyses of master plans and their inclusion (or exclusion) of cycling, collections of media reports about cycling events and policies or just plain funny cycling tidbits, find it here.

Thank you, Metro Times — and all that you do for cycling coverage in Southeast Michigan.

More on Hot Spokes: Detroit’s bike-based food delivery

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Pure Detroit has a real interesting interview with Shayne O’Keefe and his bike-based food delivery service called Hot Spokes.

We had mentioned this back in January but the interview provides the back story to the operation.

PD: When did cycling become a major element in your life?
O’Keefe: I got into bikes pretty recently. I’d always liked bikes, but I was just at this place in my life where I wasn’t doing anything really constructive…  I had heard about Back Alley Bikes in 2007, which is a volunteer program. You can go in there and do work trades in exchange to learn how to work on bikes. So, I started going there and I loved it. I met all of these strange, exciting people. They weren’t people that looked like they would be in my peer group. It was really great. I eventually earned a bike. I went and picked out this busted old ten speed and started learning how to work on it. It took me months to build it … but it definitely awakened something in me. My friends were all super jealous, wondering where I was and what I was doing.

And it looks like our old article is out of date. Hot Spokes now delivers from Shangri La which  has replaced the now closed Salad CreationsCass Cafe and Union Street still round out the options.

The interview does make the case that living in Detroit can be inexpensive, especially without a car. That’s certainly attracting artists, but also enabling some bike-based entrepreneurs like Hot Spokes and Mr. Bow Tie.

And we learned about Malcolm Carey and his Mr. Bow Tie business from a MetroTimes article by Detroitblogger John.

You can’t miss him because he shouts at passing traffic through a megaphone. Or he dances on the grass, whirling a sign in his hands, volunteering his skills. Sometimes he blurs by on his bicycle, pulling a wagon festooned with two banners advertising his work.

He’s offering a single service — cleaning dirty headlights. Nothing else. Regardless of how the rest of the car looks.

There are more photos of Mr. Bow Tie in action on detroitblog.

Thanks to Wheelhouse Detroit for sharing that Pure Detroit link on Facebook and giving us something to write about.

Hot Spokes: delivering food by bike

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Beyond their little yellow flyer and a sparce Facebook page, there’s been little information available on Hot Spokes: A lunchtime food delivery service in Detroit that uses bikes.

That changed a little today as the operation was featured on WDET’s Craig Fahle show. They are on the pod cast at 1:26.

So how does it work? According to their Facebook page:

Call the restaurant to place your order and Hot Spokes will ride it to you!

  • Cass Cafe (313) 831-1400
  • Union Street (313) 831-3965
  • Shangri-La (313) 974-7669

And yes, they are still delivering in the winter, so tip well!