Posts Tagged ‘public art’

Detroit Bicycle Fest: A week of highlights

Monday, September 17th, 2012

On Thursday, a visitor from San Francisco wrote that Detroit had “no bike/hipster culture.”

True in the suburbs, it wasn’t a good week to stand by that claim in the city of Detroit where eight days of bicycle events drew large crowds.

Unfortunately we were unable to attend all of the week’s events, but here’s what we saw and heard.

Tour de Ford grew by 200 cyclists and broke the 500 mark for the first time. It was encouraging to see Henry Ford Health System’s growing support and enthusiasm for cycling in Detroit.

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) Bicycle Dreams movie attracted a very impressive crowd. Given this response, we can probably expect more bike-related films during the Fest.

With ride volunteers, the 11th annual Tour de Troit sold out and had over 5,000 cyclists. This was the first year that all the streets along the entire 30-mile route were closed to vehicles.

From the Detroit News:

“It really becomes a little community,” he said. “You all have something in common even though you don’t know the person next to you.”

And that is exactly the point, says Bill Lusa, chairman of the board for Tour de Troit.

“For the first timers, especially the people coming from the suburbs, most of what they know about Detroit is going to a game, going to a show, getting off a freeway and going right into a parking lot,” Lusa said. “This is a great way to get out of the car and see the city with others.”

The Detroit News published a second article as well. The Huffington Post and Detroit Free Press also covered the event.

The DIA’s Inside | Out Bicycle tour sold out as well with about 100 cyclists. The Detroit Free Press covered that event.

After Sunday’s ride, bicyclists were invited to go inside the DIA to see the original works.

“It’s a combination of two things we love: art and riding,” said Harley Miah, 39, of Wyandotte.

Besides the movie and tours, the DIA has stepped up their support of bicycling by adding racks near the Farnworth entrance. There are also free bike lockers available just across John R as well.

We also heard good things about the Celebration of Cycling ride and Slow Jams ride, but were unable to attend.

Mike Kiewicz, who helped start the Tour de Troit in 2002, told the Detroit News, “To see what it’s become is absolutely amazing.” That can be said about all of these events. The growing interest and participation is exceeding expectations.

And with the Tour de Troit raising funds for more bike infrastructure in Detroit, we can expect to see even more growth in the years to come.

Detroit group ride reports

Friday, August 26th, 2011

There are a serious number of bike rides occurring in the city of Detroit right now.

We often tell you about them ahead of time, but don’t let you know how they went. While we missed these three rides, they were written up in the media and on the web.

Art Ride

From the Knight ARTS web site:

With Detroit under the national spotlight as a hub for creativity, many people are chomping at the bit to see what the buzz is all about. As Forward Arts rounded out its first year as an organization, it added Art Ride to its repertoire of projects that use art to transform and engage the community. Art Ride is a donation-based public art bike tour that exposed guests to some of the hidden gems of our city, including Recycle Here!, Hamtramck Disneyland, the Powerhouse Projects and Heidelberg Project satellite site “Street Folk 2.”

Jewish History Tour

From the Detroit Free Press:

It was a day to get an up-close view of Detroit while learning about the city’s Jewish history. And for some people, it was a chance to learn more about their family’s heritage while riding bicycles through the streets of Detroit.

Jewish bus tours have been offered in the city for the last decade, organizers said, but the bike tour was designed to give riders a personal experience.

“When you’re on the bus you’re separated from the neighborhood and you’re going fast,” said Jerry Cook, one of the people who came up with the idea for the tour. “I thought, gee, if we were on a bike, we’d really feel it more.”

The Hub of Detroit’s Youth Ride

From the Detroit Je T’aime web site:

Last Saturday, August 20th, the bike organization?Hub of Detroit?had a fundraising event, the Annual Safe Streets Youth Ride. ?For most of the kids in the ride, it was their first time biking around the city; usually, they just bike outside their porch. Some of the children had built their own bike thanks to the Summer workshops of the Hub. The ride (followed by a barbecue) was a precious moment to share with the kids, their parents and friends. When the Eastside Riders joined us on their tweaked bikes, the ride became a happy bling-bling & eco-friendly parade! An unusual mix that only Detroit can cater!