Posts Tagged ‘The Hub’

Exciting January bike events in Detroit

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

CAID Anti-Auto ShowAh, the old days when it was rare to find others to ride with in the winter in Detroit… If you were lucky you might find another couple diehards riding a Critical Mass.

Those days are over and now colder months are getting their share of bike-related events.

Last weekend was The Hub’s 24-hour bike ride fundraiser event.

CAID Anti-Auto Show

Starting January 12th this this interesting Contemporary Aid Institute of Detroit (CAID) event at 5141 Rosa Parks Boulevard:

The Fourth Annual North American International Anti-Auto Show opens to the public on January 13, with a private formal charity Gala Preview on Friday, January 12 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., and open to the public from 9 – midnight.

Tickets to the future-themed Gala include sneak peeks at this year’s rollouts, drinks and hors d’oevres, entertainment, and a chance to say you attended the hippest party of the brutal winter. Last year’s guests are still talking about car karaoke, so this is an event not to be missed!

Tickets are $25 and can be reserved by calling 313-898-4ART.

The preview event on the 12th helps support CAID’s Community Bikes Project:

CAID Bikes Project is run by CAID Board Member Professor Nic Tobier from the University of Michigan. Students at Detroit Community High in Brightmore will build bamboo bicycle trailers and utility tricycles (among them a pedi cab, a recycling business and a landscape/gardening vehicle)!

There’s also this intriguing video about the event.

MLK Ride

On January 21st is the inaugural and free Martin Luther King Jr. group ride.

Join Tour de Troit and Detroit City Council Member Ken Cockrel, Jr. in a cycling celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. This will be a free ride. Families are encouraged. The ride will begin and end at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center on the Campus of Wayne State University.

The route is approximately 10 miles and will take in the length of the 1963 March to Freedom and several historical sites relevant to King and other local activists that were integral to the March and and the impact of the I Have a Dream speech delivered at Cobo Arena afterwards.

Registration is FREE, but required.

Bicycle Bicycle!

The Detroit Creative Corridor Center is opening their Bicycle Bicycle! art show on January 23rd. They are still seeking submissions!

The Huffington Post wrote this article about this event:

Katherine Maurer, curator of the gallery, said the increasing popularity of bikes in the city inspired the show.

“Bike lanes are cropping up, new companies are designing and manufacturing bicycles, while at the same time organizations that have been involved with bicycles for years continue to do their work,” Maurer told The Huffington Post in an email. She added that Detroit’s upcoming annual auto show also played a role because of the dialogue it generates around transportation and vehicles.

“In January so much of the city is all about cars, cars, cars and while given our history I certainly think that is valid,” she said, “it is important to remember that cars are not the only mode of transport that power the city and the people in it.”

Correct, cars are not the only more of transport — even during January in Detroit.

Youth Earn-a-bike in Detroit’s Osborn Community

Monday, August 13th, 2012

This is the fourth week for a youth earn-a-bike program in the Osborn community, more specifically at E. Outer Drive and Van Dyke Avenue. Once again, Mode Shift has covered this program quite comprehensively in this article.

Basically, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy directed a $12,500 grant to the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative (DECC) to run a youth earn-a-bike program that also did community service. This DECC program was 2 two-week sessions for kids 10-14. Thirty used bikes, parts, and tools were purchased through The Hub of Detroit. The youth learned how to repair a bike – which they kept – and did work in the community along with group rides. They also got helmets, bike locks, and bike lights.

Why Osborn? There have been earn-a-bikes in various parts of Detroit, but not in Osborn despite it having a high concentration of youth. And, the Milbank Greenway is located here along with a new segment of the Conner Creek Greenway, which is being constructed this year.

Also, this area was the focus of a series of Free Press articles on Safe Routes to School. For some, being able to bike to school might be a safer, quicker alternative to walking and the DDOT buses. A related note, The Hub of Detroit did a survey of students at the School of Performing Arts in Detroit. Not having a bike was the second most common reason for not riding to school. (Number one was the fear of bike theft and bullying.)

Part of the community service involves a pop-up bike shop where the youth and instructors will do free minor repairs on bikes. The shop be on the Milbank Greenway at Van Dyke (just north of E. Outer Drive) this Thursday, August 16th from 10am until noon.

What happens next? DECC has tools and workstands to keep this program running on Detroit’s east side. More funding would be needed for the bikes, parts, and instructors. Stay tuned.


The Hub of Detroit: Hiring and seeking bike donations

Friday, July 6th, 2012

First, The Hub of Detroit is having a bike drive and is seeking donated used bikes before September 1st.

We are currently trying to get 300 bicycles donated by Sept. 1st to continue our youth programming.

In 2011 alone, the Hub got over 300 youth on bicycles and taught mechanic skills to many more. In 2012 we are
providing more programming than ever in our 13 year history by having youth work in our shop 5 days a week.
This would not be possible without the help from generous people just like you.

The 2012 Bike Drive flier has all the details.

Hiring Earn a bike instructors

The Hub is also helping to hire a couple instructors for a youth Earn-a-Bike program in the Osborn Neighborhood. This program is the result of a grant via the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

We are working on getting an Earn-a-Bike program started in the Osborn Neighborhood in collaboration with the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative as well as the Rails-to-Trails Conservatory and other groups.

If you are interested, just email me ( a resume and cover letter explaining why you would be perfect for this job. You can also drop off or mail a printed cover letter and resume to:

The Hub of Detroit
c/o Jason X
3611 Cass Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201

The Hub will be hiring and training folks for this job, but it isn’t our program, just one we are helping with.

Again, this position is NOT a job at the Hub.?It is a program that will take place in the Osborn Neighborhood near Outer Drive and Connor.

We highly encourage folks of all different types to apply for the job. Get a resume in by July 15th for consideration!

Apply now. It should be a very rewarding experience helping get more Osborn youth on bikes!

Mt. Elliott Makerspace: Tron bikes and more

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Many know about Back Alley Bikes/The Hub of Detroit. It was the City’s first Youth Earn-a-Bike program and it’s been around for over a decade now.

Youth Earn-A-Bike sessions are where youth ages 8-16 are able to earn a single bicycle of their choosing by building and repairing this bicycle with our qualified staff and volunteers for three (3) Earn-A-Bike sessions. Each session is approximately three (3) hours in length, and they are held on Saturday afternoons during the summer.

But there are other Earn-a-bike programs in other parts of the city, including the Mt. Elliott Makerspace located at 231 East Grand Boulevard at Lafayette in the Messiah Episcopal Church.

And the Mt. Elliott Makerspace has some other real interesting programs that focus on transportation, but more specifically:

Human-powered and alternative-energy-powered vehicles designed to enhance mobility, safety, and enjoyability. E.g. bicycles and bicycle trailers, alternative energy vehicles

They also bring in electronics as they build lights and music to create “Tron” bikes.

This video shows more of what they do. It includes a great quote, “I wasn’t getting enough exercise until I earned my bike.”

Detroit bike culture meets agriculture

Friday, October 7th, 2011

This posting is just a quick shout out to Rising Pheasant Farms which uses big bicycle trailers to transport their produce to Eastern Market. This isn’t too surprising given the Jack Van Dyke from the Hub is involved.

Here’s an excerpt from the Makezine blog with our emphasis added.

Leadley and Van Dyke live a few doors down the block from Weertz. Standing in front of their rows of lush tomato plants, the couple present a quirky version of American Gothic: Leadley has a pierced nose and Van Dyke wears a cycling cap and has their 10-month old son Finn in a back carrier. The cherubic toddler keeps whacking his mom as I ask the family to pose for a photo. While Van Dyke is at work fixing bicycles at Detroit’s non-profit bike repair shop The Hub, Leadley farms three city lots — about a sixth of an acre. In addition to cherry tomatoes, she grows ornamental flowers, which are a good cash crop. Leadley calls her business Rising Pheasant Farms because, apparently, pheasants are thriving in Detroit’s growing greenery. Rising Pheasant also has an indoor division: sunflower shoots are grown under lights in the attic of the house they’re renting. Their produce is sold at Detroit’s huge farmers’ market and to local restaurants. The couple doesn’t own a motor vehicle and is proud that they do deliveries by bikes that pull six-foot long trailers. As Leadley put it, “Human-powered transportation is part of our business plan.” Van Dyke is in the process of making a suspension system for the trailers using discarded bike inner tubes so tomatoes are cushioned on their way to market. Leadley marvels at the plight of some at the farmers’ market, who get in their trucks at 1:00 a.m. to drive across the state to Eastern Market, one of the largest farmers’ market in the country. Rising Pheasant has a mile and a half bike ride.

Not only is the market close to the farm, the route is pretty darn flat — another benefit to biking in Detroit, especially while pulling six-foot trailers with produce.