The Motor City is finally getting in tune with its non-motorized vehicles. Detroit’s resurgence is reaching the cyclists who call the city home, and the local government and cycling groups continue to make improvement plans. The city already boasts 68 miles of bicycle lanes, the nationally-recognized Slow Roll, and the highly successful MoGo bike sharing program unveiled last year, but it’s still not enough for many. More greenway plans are in the works, MoGo is already expanding from 43 stations and 430 bikes to include 30 more stations and 150 more bikes, and cycling events like Tour de Troit and the Slow Roll keep adding to their numbers.
Detroit is home to bicycle manufacturers Detroit Bikes, Detroit Bicycle Company, Shinola, and AutoBike and the much-awarded bike shop Wheelhouse Detroit. Over 1,200 pedestrians and cyclists use the popular Dequindre Cut every day and the ambitious Joe Louis Greenway will provide a 26-mile loop to cyclists around the city once completed. Massive parks like Belle Isle (designed by New York City’s Central Park designer Frederick Law Olmsted) and Rouge Park offer miles of uninterrupted cycling in beautiful natural environments.
Detroit Bike City advocacy group regularly draws over 1,500 cyclists to their weekly Slow Roll on Monday evenings from March to August. An event that has spawned similar rides throughout the country, the Slow Roll is a leisurely ride through 12 to 15 miles of Detroit neighborhoods that looks more like a Mardi Gras procession than a bike ride.
The 30-mile Tour de Troit held every September has raised over $360,000 since 2005 to support cycling infrastructure improvements. The Tour de Troit organization also hosts an MLK Memorial Ride in January, a Tour d’Eastside in June, and a Bike The Bridge ride in October across the Ambassador Bridge to Windsor, Ontario. With more and more millenials moving to the city and alternative forms of transportation gaining traction in Detroit, you can expect to see the city’s biking trend continue to grow.