Posts Tagged ‘pedicab’

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 by Rickshaw

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Detroit News columnist Donna Terek had an interesting article on Detroit’s rickshaws.

We’re seeing more and more bicycles on the streets of Detroit, but the sets of wheels that have been catching my eye lately are three-wheelers. They’re pedicabs or rickshaws, and Mike Rosemond of Detroit is one of a handful of operators pedaling folks around town for modest fares with his Rickshaw Detroit.

“We’re really excited about how the pedicabs are catching on,” says Walker, who was born and raised in Detroit. “We really enjoy changing people’s perception of Detroit.”

“A lot of couples leave here with a really enlightened view of the city,” he says. “I had one couple I was driving when the fireworks started at Comerica Park. They got out and took pictures. They said the ride just made their vacation.”

Jobs don’t get much greener than this.

Also, the Detroit News column included this excellent video. The city and the RiverWalk never looked better.

Detroit Bike Shorts: June 18th, 2010

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Detroit Pedicabs

The Michigan Citizen has an excellent story on some of the pedicabs or rickshaws operating in the city of Detroit. Pedicabs weren’t allowed in Detroit until some entrepreneurs worked with city council to change the ordinances.

After 12 years of traveling with the military, Walker brought back a new perspective on entrepreneurial opportunities. The one he settled on has increased the level of charm throughout Detroit while addressing some complex issues with transportation and the environment. This old method of transportation seems forward-thinking in today’s increasing emphasis on alternative sources of energy.

“This is one of those rare opportunities to start a business right out of the box,” [Terry L.] Walker says. “But ultimately, it adds to the quality of life.”

Detroit Greenways

The Time Magazine blog recently gave coverage to the growing trails and greenways scene in the city of Detroit — something we’ve been bugging them about for a long time. It also gives much deserved mention to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the group that really kicked off the greenway movement in this area.

Recently, I met with the Tom Woiwode, director of the GreenWays Initiative for the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. We took a tour of this project, which is connecting the city, Mexicantown, Corktown and part of Dearborn’s Salina business district. It is one of the first projects these groups have ever worked on together. And, chances are, it won’t be the last.

“It’s always been about the community,” Woiwode emphasized. “You start connecting these groups, and you’ll connect the community.”

And on a related note, an upcoming Detroit City Council agenda includes a resolution to apply for a half-million dollar grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. That grant is “to acquire the Right-of-Way (ROW) needed for the construction of Dequindre Cut, Phase II Project.” Yes, that’s the Dequindre Cut extension from Gratiot to Mack Avenue. One doesn’t apply for such grants until you have a willing seller, so this is positive news.

Detroit’s “Big Bikes”

Detroit makes stuff, so it’s no surprise we have some nice big bikes. Really nice.

We’d previously written about the Dog Sled a couple years ago. That quadricycle has since been transported to Burning Man.

The creator of the Dog Sled now has a new ride — the BigDog — and it will be at the Maker Faire at the Henry Ford at the end of this month.

The Make zine has an interview with the creator.

1. Tell us about the project you’re bringing to Maker Faire.
A wonderfully impractical assemblage of bicycle, go-cart, and golf-cart pieces and parts, drainage pipe, steel tubing, and patio chairs. This four-wheel vehicle allows four passengers to travel in minor discomfort at speeds approaching a brisk walk, for relatively short distances, on completely flat terrain.

There’s also a video of the BigDog roaming Vinsetta Boulevard in Royal Oak. The new bike looks lighter and faster than the Dog Sled.