For many years now, there’s been a Critical Mass ride in Detroit. It’s always the last Friday of the month and the start time is somewhere between 5:30pm and 6pm.
The attendance has varied with the weather. Sometimes there are fifty riders. Sometimes its just a handful of the usual suspects.
Last fall, a cyclist from Toronto was in Detroit for our ride. He was documenting Critical Mass rides from around the world. He was showing photos of thousands of riders taking over streets of other cities.
Detroit’s ride is not like that. Detroit cyclists are not in a David vs. Goliath battle with cars. Goliath moved to the suburbs years ago, leaving behind a great yet underrated place to ride a bike.
It could be argued that Critical Mass rides should be in the Detroit suburbs since bicycles there are often not considered traffic and the roads are not designed to safety accomodate bicycling. It would certainly raise the visibility of cycling and the lack of cycling-friendliness in these communities.
Of course one difficulty in doing a suburban ride is the lower density. To be effective, it would be a good idea having them centered in suburban downtown areas.