Posts Tagged ‘Tour de Troit’

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.

Register for the Tour de Troit today and save $10

Friday, August 31st, 2012

The eleven annual Tour de Troit is scheduled for September 15th this year. If you haven’t registered — unlike the thousand that already have — you’ll want to do so today. The price goes up $10 after today.

And you can only register for the shorter ride. The Metric Century filled up weeks ago.

Congratulations to the Tour de Troit team for bringing in such a great field of sponsors. This sponsorship means more entry fee can go towards building greenways in Detroit.

We’re also appreciative seeing the WM graphic on the list. That’s a memorial to Woody Miller, a Detroit cyclist and coach that helped lead the Metric and left a positive imprint on many youth cyclists. He passed away a couple years ago and certainly would be excited and proud to see where this event and the entire Detroit cycling scene is today.

Tour de Troit: 4,500 bicycles in the Motor City

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Photo from the Detroit News / Todd McInturf

Another record turnout at yesterday’s Tour de Troit bike ride. This organized ride began 10 years ago with 43 cyclists and has grown to 4,500 this year.

The ride is attracting many riders from Metro Detroit and across the Midwest as well as Ontario.

The Tour de Troit is much more than a huge group ride and a greenway fundraiser. It’s an up close introduction to the city of Detroit — the good and the bad — and one you just can’t get from driving through the city on the expressway or from the media.

Along those lines, the Detroit News quotes Kevin Kerwin of Ann Arbor: “I wish we spent more time in Detroit. We like getting the big city feel.”

The Tour is also kid-friendly. The Detroit Free Press coverage mentions two young Detroit participants turned cyclist enhusiasts.

Just before the race, Tyler Davis, 12, was running from bike to bike, filling tires with air. Along with Naja Nile, 10, Tyler built his bike from spare parts through a program at the All Saints Neighborhood Center. Both kids earned their bikes through sweat equity — 20 hours each. Supervising them was Paul Krystyniak, 27.

“I learned how to repair a bike the right way,” said Tyler, wielding an air pump. “It saves air pollution and money.”

Wayne State University’s South End and Michigan Radio also covered the event.

Governor Synder rides

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was encouraged to join the Tour de Troit on Twitter, but he had a ride of his own. At the Michigan Republican Conference on Mackinaw Island, the Governor led a group of 100 on an 8-mile ride.

Billed as part of his recent Michigan health push, we wonder if he was just training for next year’s Tour…

Detroit bike rides in September – Wow!

Friday, September 9th, 2011

The number and variety of bike rides in the city of Detroit continues to flourish. It seems there are more rides this month then there were all summer long just a handful of years ago. And this list doesn’t include the many fee-based tours offered by groups like the Wheelhouse Detroit.

Saturday, 9/10/2011 – Handlebars for the Homeless

This year the NSO Detroit 5K River run and walk includes a “non-competitive 13-15 mile bike tour” at 8am. This fundraising event is being led by Detroit tour veteran Tom Page and will include Belle Isle, Indian Village and the Heidelberg Project. You can register at the event. More details are on their web site.

Saturday, 9/12/2011 – Full Moon Bike Ride

Fender Bender is hosting this second annual ride that meets at 9pm and starts 30 minutes later. The ride begins in front of the abandoned trail station on Michigan Avenue at 14th. The Fender Bender web site has more information.

Saturday, 9/17/2011 – Celebration of Cycling

This PEAC hosted ride begin in Hines Park and offers a 12, 35, 50, or 100-mile route options. This event is a fundraiser for PEAC amazing programs that help the physically challenged gain greater mobility through bicycling. For more details, visit the PEAC web site. [Yeah, this ride isn’t in Detroit but it’s real close and for a great cause, so we included it.]

Sunday, 9/18/2011 – Tour de Ford

The?Henry Ford Emergency Departments is hosting a fundraiser bike ride for the?Tom Groth Patient Medical Needs Fund. There are 10, 35, and 70 mile options. A custom jersey is available as well. Visit the Tour de Ford web site for all the details.

Sunday, 9/18/2011 – Great Southwest Detroit Industrial Bicycle Tour II

This Detroit Synergy ride begins at 9am at the Rivard Plaza on the RiverWalk. It 18 miles and there is no charge. Here’s the intriguing ride description:

This isn’t your typical suburban ride through pretty neighborhoods with picket fences bordered by flower beds. Rather, this route takes us through much of the industrial underbelly of southwest Detroit. Poetically, residences are sprinkled throughout the heavy industry complexes. When I tested the route last year the imagery of “little houses on the prairie” kept popping into my head. I am confident that you, like me, will ride away from this tour with a new appreciation of the heavy industry that is an integral part of our area’s history and our shared culture.

Got questions? Contact Tom Page at or 313-473-7118.

Sunday, 9/18/2011 – Back Alley Bikes Progressive Dinner

This is a fundraising event for the invaluable Back Alley Bikes program. According to a Detroit News article, “Scheduled for 3 p.m. Sept. 18, the 11-mile route will offer a five-course meal made by Suddenly Sauer, Organaman, Neighborhood Noodle and the Pie-Sci pizza guys at Woodbridge Pub.” REGISTRATION CLOSES SEPTEMBER 11th!

Friday, 9/23/2011 – New Center Bike Tour

This is presented by Bikes and Murder, but don’t be scared off by their name. This ride begins at 7pm.

Friday, 9/23/2011 – UDM Midnight Bike Tour

Yes, this is the 23rd annual University of Detroit-Mercy bike ride, which likely makes this the oldest bike ride tradition in the Motor City. ?This 25-mile casual ride begins at 8pm on the UDM campus and does a tour of the city. ?We agree with Alec Whitfield, assistant director of student life. “This is an excellent opportunity for new students to see Detroit and even native Detroiters to see our city from an entirely different perspective, at night.”

Saturday, 9/24/2011 – Tour de Troit

The 10th year of this ride will be the largest yet with 5,000 cyclists expected. Given the size, it’s more of a bike parade than just a bike ride. Some changes have been made in order to accommodate such a large group. This event raises funds that helped get those new bike lanes and bike routes added to Corktown and Mexicantown. Register at

Friday, 9/30/2011 – Detroit Critical Mass

The group meets at 6:30pm at the corner of Trumbull and Warren. It starts at 7pm. There’s additional information on Facebook

Every Monday – Slow Roll to Slow Jams

This 2.5 hour ride meets at the Woodbridge Pub every Monday at 7pm and leaves 30 minutes later. Details are on their Facebook page.

Organized bike rides in Detroit continue to grow

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Participation in bike rides within the city of Detroit continues to skyrocket.

Bike the Bridge had 180 riders last year and over 300 riders this year.

Colin Hubbell ride more than doubled last year’s numbers with over 200 cyclists.

The Tour de Troit started with a few dozen riders is now having to close registration with over 3,200 riders last year.

And if the weather holds out, this Friday’s Critical Mass ride could be the largest yet with nearly 700 people attending or maybe attending on the Facebook page.

Like most U.S. cities, there is no reliable data on how much people are bicycling, but these rapidly climbing participation rates show Detroit’s heading in the right direction.

Cycle-friendly City

A Christopher Tremblay of Canton, Michigan recently wrote in to the Detroit News with his recent experience.

When I just returned from a 33-mile bike ride throughout downtown Detroit — it was the Bike the Bridge event that linked us to our Canadian neighbors, I was reminded how great Detroit is. We saw some incredible sites of the city and learned about some historical locations, which made me an even prouder native Detroiter. Events like Bike the Bridge and the fall Tour de Troit remind us of how bike-friendly Detroit is and how it is becoming even more receptive to cyclists. To everyone who is advancing the bike trails and mission, thank you!

Colin Hubbell Ride

And speaking of last Saturday’s ride, the South End has written a real good article about it.

“This event had two purposes,” [Trish] Hubbell said. “First, to give the riders a glimpse of Detroit — because being on a bike is a much different experience than being in a car — and second, to promote Midtown and support small businesses and entrepreneurship. In Midtown, everybody comes together to help one another and we want to keep that spirit going.”

“These routes give people a flavor of the good, the bad and the ugly of Detroit,” Trish Hubbell said, “but mostly the good, aiming to take the scaryness out of the city and change how people view it.”

Fortunately I had the opportunity to ride with Trish she shared a great number of stories about Colin and his love for bicycling as transportation.

One has to imagine that he’d be quite thrilled to see more and more people on a bike in Detroit.