Posts Tagged ‘critical mass’

Detroit biking articles all over the local media

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

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.

Critical Mass

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.”

Haunted bikes tours show Detroit isn’t that scary

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

This is a really interesting article from Wayne State University’s The South End.

While the article is primarily about the haunted bike tours offered through Wheelhouse Detroit, there is also a commentary on how bike tours can dispel Detroit stereotypes.

Scott Galbraith and Cathy Kester, who participated in the Haunted Detroit tour, come from the Lansing area to visit Detroit about once a week.

“We had been to a number of those places (on the tour) or driven by them and just seeing them at a different perspective outside on your bike and what not — they were all fun,” Kester said. “I think it’s good for the city, absolutely. It gives something else for people to do besides the sporting events and bars and restaurants, or casinos.”

Biking through the city on a tour also helps to defeat Detroit’s stereotype as being unsafe or completely rundown, Galbraith said.

“Detroit has a reputation,” he said. “The Cass Corridor is not the safest area, but to go through and feel safe and feel at ease and go through the park there, things like that, I guess it just gives you a new perspective that not everything you hear is always true and give it a chance.”

This Friday, October 28th is the next Detroit Critical Mass ride at 6:30pm from the corner Trumbull and Warren. Costumes are recommended.

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 pagete@gmail.com 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 www.tour-de-troit.org

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.

Detroit Bike Shorts for the start of summer

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Put it in Gear

Portland puts a bird on it. Detroit puts a fist. PassingLeft has an neat Detroit bike T shirt for sale on Etsy.

Green Garage Update

Final construction is underway with the Green Garage in Midtown. The Garage will make it easy for tenants to bike to work.

The Green Garage added an indoor bike rack and a shower to their building plans as well. “If we are encouraging employees to bike into work here, it only makes sense that we give them everything they need to truly be green” Mrs. [Peggy] Brennan told me.

Could they become another Bicycle Friendly Business in Detroit?

Hostel Detroit Bike Pavilion

We saw this interesting slideshow about a Detroit Bike Pavilion and we had to learn more. They were good enough to write a summary of the project:

The Detroit Bike Pavilion is a Design/Build project run as a summer graduate studio as part of the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. The project team consists of two professors and 9 graduate students, including myself. Our mission is to design, fabricate and install a (roughly) 300 sq/ft pavilion in Detroit which will act as a place to store bikes, hold concerts and other various community events.

Our client is Hostel Detroit, which is a non-profit organization recently established in the corktown region of Detroit. In addition to serving as a youth hostel, they routinely rent out bikes and thus are in need of a place to store them.

Detroit Bike City

Jason Hall from Bikes and Murder posted this article entitled Detroit Bike City. It highlights some of the Detroit bicycle scene.

We sometimes forget what the world is really like outside of our little bubbles. What I mean by that is when you’re in a car driving with your music up, it’s easy to forget to look around you and see what’s really going on. I had become a victim of that very thing. I would drive my car three blocks for a soda, a mile to see a friend. When I got on a bike I had to face realities and fears that keep us grounded. I saw neighborhoods I hadn’t EVER seen. Went places I had never even gone in a car. I soon became a converted bike rider.

Suburban Critical Mass

Yes, the Detroit Critical Mass is a great time. This Friday’s event already has 401 attending and 227 maybe attending on their Facebook page. It’ll be huge, but it’s not making much of a statement. It’s a city that’s already super bicycle friendly with city staff are becoming quite supportive of biking as transportation.

It’s quite the opposite story in most of the Detroit suburbs. That’s where a Critical Mass ride could serve its original intent.

So on July 22nd there will be the first Suburban Mass Ride starting at Royal Oak Farmers Market parking lot. It meets at 6:30pm and rolls out at 7pm. There is additional information on Facebook.

New Pistons owner

At a recent press conference, Piston’s owner Tom Gores noted the difficulty (Okay, near impossibility) of inner city families getting to the Palace of Auburn Hills without a car. He said he couldn’t see Piston games as a kid because he only had a bike to ride. Though Gores didn’t mention it, if the stadium was in Foxtown, those transportation hurdles go away.

Chicago’s mayor wants more bike lanes

Chicago’s new mayor, Rahm Emanuel is also a “bike enthusiast” and wants to add 100 miles of protected bike lanes in Chicago — the first of which just opened. He also wants Chicago to be the “bike friendliest city in the U.S.”. He cited bike facilities as an essential tool for quality of life and economic development.

Mopeds are the “ultimate gas savers?”

According to Tom Greenwood’s column in the Detroit News, mopeds are the ultimate gas savers. Really? More than bicycles, walking, electric vehicles, and public transit?