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.”
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.
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.