Posts Tagged ‘Wheelhouse Detroit’

Detroit bike lanes in the news

Monday, October 10th, 2011

The new bike lanes in Southwest Detroit have been getting of media coverage lately.

The Detroit News ran the article “Detroit becoming friendlier to bicyclists” last month.

Sarah Pappas, 27, who lives in the city’s Woodbridge neighborhood, commutes by bike to work in Corktown several times a week.

“Riding here is wonderful. There are hardly any cars around,” said Pappas, who moved to Detroit from New York earlier this year. “Even downtown after a (Tigers) game gets out isn’t bad compared to riding in lots of other places.”

The Detroit News article also included this video.

Yesterday, the Associated Press released an article on the bike lanes as well. It’s was picked up by the Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, Fox 2 Detroit, and Crain’s Detroit.

[The bike lanes are] the first large scale segment of the city’s Urban Non-motorized Transportation Master Plan to be completed, said Scott Clein, executive vice president of Giffels-Webster, the civil engineering and surveying consulting firm on the project.

“Detroit has a strong bicycle community and there are a lot of bikers in this region,” Clein said. “You’ve got flat streets and the spirit of freedom to go wherever you want.”

BikeRadar.com also covered the story.

And while not about the new bike lanes, this article from Akron’s Beacon Journal covers bicycle touring in Detroit. It really highlights the bike tourism potential for Detroit, which is largely being driven by Wheelhouse Detroit.

The Motor City rocks but it really rolls. On two wheels.

Pedal power is surprisingly big, and it’s growing in Detroit. And, no, bicyclists don?t have to speed to get away from roving gangs. That image of violent Detroit won?t die.

One way to see the new Detroit is on bicycle. It offers a way to get an intimate look at the Motor City with its great neighborhoods filled with stylish buildings.

New Underground Railroad Bicycle Route map released

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Adventure Cycling has just announced a new addition to their Underground Railroad Bicycle Route (UGRR). Currently the route begins in Mobile, Alambama and heads north to Oberlin, Ohio before turning east and crossing into Canada at Buffalo.

MTGA worked with Adventure Cycling and others folks — including descendants of those who used the Underground Railroad — to add a 281.4-mile route from Oberlin, Ohio to Detroit, Marine City and Sombra, Ontario.

The map for this route is now available. The cost is $11.75 for Adventure Cycling members and $14.75 for non-members.

This alternate, beginning in Oberlin, Ohio, takes cyclists around the western side of Lake Erie through historically rich Michigan. There are many sites to visit in the towns that the route goes through. In Michigan the route becomes much more urban. Because there is no bicycle-friendly connection between Detroit and Windsor the route crosses into Canada north of these cities, which were both important sites to freedom seekers.

The route does offer a balance between connecting the many historic UGRR sites while also providing a reasonable bicycle route. In other words, it doesn’t visit all the historic sites nor is it the most direct.

Within the city of Detroit, the route takes advantage of the new bike lanes installed on West Vernor and Michigan Avenue. It passes many historic UGRR sites, including the Finney Barn, Second Baptist Church, and Elmwood Cemetery.

The route also passes near the Hostel Detroit, which is expected to be a popular lodging option for cycling tourists.

MTGA continues to push for passenger ferry service to Windsor, Ontario that will accommodate cyclists. Currently cyclists need a motor vehicle to get to Windsor via the Tunnel or Ambassador Bridge. The route does provide an option for continuing north to Marine City where existing ferry service can transport cyclists to Canada.

A companion map showing the route through Ontario is under development now and is expected to be available by February 2012.

For those seeking a less ambitious bicycling tour, a 13-mile UGRR route within the city of Detroit has been developed. Brochures showing that route are also in the works.

And, the Wheelhouse Detroit offers UGRR tours throughout the summer as well though this year’s remaining tour is sold out. (Disclaimer: I lead those.)

Detroit Cycling and Underground Railroad tours this weekend

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

There are two Wheelhouse Detroit bicycle tours this weekend in Detroit which are both fundraisers for MTGA.

The first is Saturday, July 9th at 1pm and its theme is the early cycling history in Detroit.

Detroit’s automotive history was made possible by its deep roots in the world of bicycles! Visit the home of Horatio “Good Roads” Earle, the site of both Detroit Wheelmen clubhouses, the Metzger bicycle shop, the Morgan & Wright tire company, the Bicycle Pavilion on Belle Isle and the home of Fords Quadricycle. Tour will be led by Todd Scott, the Detroit Greenways Coordinator for the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance. Community Partner: Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance.

The second is on Sunday, July 10th at 1pm and will tour Detroit’s Underground Railroad historic sites.

Detroit was an important station on the Underground Railroad, and the final American stop prior to freedom across the River in Canada for many escaped slaves. We will visit the Underground Railroad memorial sculpture on the Detroit RiverWalk, historic Second Baptist Church, and the Underground Railroad Living Museum at the First Congregational Church.

For more information on these tours and many others, visit the Wheelhouse Detroit web site.

Busy Saturday at Detroit’s bike friendly businesses

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

All three of Detroit’s three Bike Friendly Businesses are hosting events this Saturday, April 23rd.

10am until 1pm

OmniCorpDetroit has their Uber Back event at 1501 Division in Eastern Market — and they’ll have frankenbikes.

Come give us a look and make yourself some swag at OCD’s first UBER HACK! There will be music, our very own Tesla Coil, Paper Helicopter workshops, Seed Bomb demonstrations, Frankenbikes and other fabulous disruptions. Curious about our space? Come and check it out, we’ve spring-cleaned just for you! You can even bring the wee ones, as there will be plenty for all to make and enjoy.

They’ll have some pickle lights, too.

12pm to 3pm

The Wheelhouse Detroit has already kicked off their bike touring season. This Saturday is their Belle Isle tour ($25 or $35 with bike rental)

Explore the architecture of Detroits island gem, including the Eero Saarinen-designed Flynn Pavilion, the Albert Kahn-designed Aquarium, the Boat and Yacht Clubs, the Casino and Livingstone Lighthouse. A sampling of the parks numerous statues will be discussed, including General Alpheus Starkey Williams and his famous horse Plug Ugly and Scott Fountain. The tours includes stops at the Conservatory, Nature Center and Dossin Great Lakes Museum.

4pm to 7pm

The Hub of Detroit is having their Spring Open House.

This basically gives everyone a chance to come by and see our space, ask questions and find out how they can link into what we do. If we’ve ever been too busy to answer a question of yours, now is the time to come ask. We will also have many of our community partners on hand to tell you about their projects as well.

We’re not sure if the scheduling of these events was intentional, but one could certainly do all three.

Two more Bicycle Friendly Business awards in Detroit

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Via the Hub of Detroit

The League of American Bicyclists recently recognized the Wheelhouse Detroit and OminCorpDetroit for being Bicycle Friendly Businesses. Both were given Bronze awards and join the Hub of Detroit, who received a Gold award last year.

Detroit now has three recognized Bicycle Friendly Businesses of the seven in Michigan. Nationally, Detroit is now tied with cities like Austin and Boulder, but notably behind the leading cities like Portland and Minneapolis.

Businesses in the cities of Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park that are interested in knowing more about this program can contact the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance (MTGA). MTGA can provide training and assist with the application.

Having recognized Bicycle Friendly Businesses also helps cities earn Bicycle Friendly Communities awards. Applying for such as award was discussed at the last Detroit Non-motorized External Task Force meeting. The city is interested in applying once some additional bicycle infrastructure projects are completed.