It was a beautiful morning as we all headed out for a comfortable
cruise which kept a steady pace of about 10 to 12mph (with some
folks traveling on the 8mph end and speedsters going as high as
16 mph!) The Detroit Police escorted us the entire way, herding
us like Australian sheep dogs. They were efficient and a joy to
have around. With sirens blaring, they'd speed past on their Harley's
to secure the next intersection in order to ensure that our ride
would not be interrupted!
In only four hours, we still managed to tour a large span of the city.
This included: Clark Park, Fort Wayne, Mexicantown, Mt. Elliot & Elmwood Cemeteries,
Belle Isle, Downtown, WSU, Indian Village, East Ferry Street, New Center, the
Detroit River, the Renaissance Center, and much more.
supporters of the event provided bananas and water at designated (and much needed)
breaks along the ride. The first stop was at Earthworks
Garden Urban Farming Project where we learned about the amazing projects
that stemmed from educating urban people about the land that our food comes from.
Those Franciscans know what they are doing and they offer a fabulous soup
The second stop was at Back
Alley Bikes. This is Detroit's only free bike repair shop. (Detroit only
has three bike shops
yep, this is the motor city!) These volunteers teach
kids how to maintain and work on their own bikes and offer service to the public.
In addition they hold a bike
art auction every year to support the shop.
Both organizations rely
heavily on volunteers, so if you have some free time!
Another supporter of the tour was Honest John's Bar & Grill,
which supplied a van the whole trip to help out riders who were
struggling with the route. For those few who had to stop, they were
given a lift back to Roosevelt Park where the rest of us ended up
for entertainment, drinks, and a feast put on by newly opened Slows
Bar BQ of Detroit all in the shadow of the Train Station.
the best thing about Tour de Troit was that it was not a race, this was a group
of people dedicated to the city and willing to show it together.
sponsors include: Greater
Corktown Development Corporation, Mexicantown
CDC, the League of Michigan
LLC, State of Michigan
Cool Cities Initiative, Grinnell
Place Lofts, Bike
Tech, Elite Brands, Greenways
Initiative, Woodbridge Neighborhood Development Corporation,
New Center Council,
and (the very cool guys of) Beat
The Train in Detroit. All of which should be given a big
thanks for such a great event.
While this event has come and gone until next year, bike
season in Detroit is far from done! The organization Critical
Mass has a ride the last Friday of the month. After this month's ride
they will be showing two films ("Widdershins" and "Napoleon Dynamite")
at Back Alley Bikes.