A couple weeks ago we wrote about seven different biking articles that ran in the Detroit media.
Well here’s another nine!
Cycling for Health
Our friend and longtime Detroit cyclist Cassandra Spratling wrote this article in the Detroit Free Press. The Daley’s adoption of biking as transportation — and how they lost 210 pounds between them — is quite a story.
When Don and Darla Daley dine at restaurants near their Royal Oak home, they no longer drive their car.
It’s the same with quick trips to the store or nearby Royal Oak Farmers Market. They hop on the bicycles they bought two years ago — their favorite form of recreation and exercise.
“I never thought I’d love it as much as I do,” Darla Daley says. “Other bikers wave at you. It’s just fun.”
There are other health success stories included here as well.
Cycling for Green Jobs
The Free Press also ran this story on Vanita Mistry and her Detroit Greencycle company that provides curbside recycling.
Four days a week before heading out to her day job, Mistry straps an 8-foot trailer to her mountain bike and pedals for several hours through a number of Detroit neighborhoods, including Clark Park, the Eastern Market district and Corktown to pick up recyclables and compost from her regular customers.
She totes twelve 18-gallon bins on her trailer, with a capacity to carry up to 300 pounds. Mistry separates plastic, cardboard, paper, glass and aluminum. She also collects composting material.
“I find that I’m driven more by public service and giving back,” Mistry said. “What motivates me is knowing I’m making a difference in the work I’m doing, and I’ve found that Greencycle is one of many ways I strive to make a difference in my community.”
Next, the Huffington Post continues their series on Detroit biking with an interesting look at the city’s bike messenger history.
CBS Detroit also joined in with this article on Shane O’Keefe’s Hot Spokes food delivery company.
O’Keefe said it’s sometimes a challenge to balance several meals inside his thermal bike box and his hands, but he does it. O’Keefe said they’ll deliver in any weather — even deep snow.
The last time they could not make a delivery was more than two winters ago during a major snow storm.
O’Keefe said he does not own a car and he’s glad he doesn’t have to pay for gas while trying to run a delivery business.
Again, the Huffington Post published this article, Detroit Critical Mass Helps Area Cyclists Find Common Ground On City Streets. It accurately paints a mixed view on how successful this ride is. Interestingly, the critics aren’t motorists, but other Detroit cyclists. We’ve heard from critics of this popular ride as well: it’s too fast, too long, too organized, and it caters too much to suburban cyclists who drive to the city for the ride.
Ironically enough, the Detroit Critical Mass ride was moved to this location in part because of its free car parking. The bike lanes being installed this year eliminate much of that free parking. Will Critical Mass move again because of the bike lanes?
A View from Below
The Lakewood Observer from the Cleveland-area published, The Detroit Comparison: Sam Willsey’s Recent Cycling Experience. It’s an interesting article that gives the impression that Detroit is ahead of Cleveland in terms of adding bike lanes and trails. We’re not sure how both cities compare, but it seems we have much lower traffic on our streets.
The article does get a couple things wrong. We do have a bike advocacy group — the Detroit Greenways Coalition. And, the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is not proposing or significantly funding these projects. Non-profits and the City are the ones proposing, while funding comes from a variety of state, local, and philanthropic sources.
A Bicycle Lending Library
Stories about Fender Bender’s plan for a community-based bike share program were published in both Mode Shift and the Huffington Post.
From Mode Shift:
Like any bike sharing program, The Bicycle Lending Library will rent bikes out from one to four days with the single-day rental being the most “expensive” and adding days will make the rental cheaper. [Sarah] Sidelko says the program is going to be very affordable, but does not have the specific dollar amounts worked out yet.
In addition to renting a bicycle, the Library will also lend out a helmet, a bike light and lock and a map of Detroit, which will have an emphasis on bike lanes and greenways, and will have other prominent destinations peppered in.
Detroit Cycling History
The Huffington Post rounded out their bike series by touching on the city’s rich cycling history. The article is primarily an interview with the Hub‘s Jack Van Dyke.
And on a related note, the web site Roads were not Built for Cars ran this story on Henry Ford and his connection to cycling back in the day. The web site’s author Carlton Reid was recently in Detroit. We had the opportunity to give him a bike tour that connected our cycling history. During our ride he asked, “Are we downtown?”. Yes we were. It was midday on a Friday and the streets were ours. There was very little traffic. He was rather impressed and said, “This is the cycling city of the future.”