This Friday is National Bike to Work Day, a day when veteran cyclists and bicycling advocates pull out all the stops trying to persuade people to ditch the car for a day and head to work via pedal power.
Their inducements will work best for those who have a traditional commute — that is to say, those who live on the periphery and use Detroit’s spoke thoroughfares to get to a job near downtown. Bike to Work Day organizers are better able to sweeten the deal for these commuters, organizing convoy rides from specific places, and offering “pit stops” that feature snacks, water, and even some showering facilities.
Those convoys should confer some safety for riders. They’re captained by “ride leaders” and will depart from Royal Oak taking Woodward, from 16 Mile Road taking Gratiot, from the Villages taking the Dequindre Cut, from Hamtramck, from Plymouth, and from Dearborn and Oakman. Pit stops will operation 7-10 a.m. at New Center Park (Second & West Grand Boulevard), at Cass and Putnam, and at Spirit Plaza downtown, where Mayor Mike Duggan will for the first time address the assembled cyclists.
Several of these routes have been a regular feature of the ride since its inception here more than a decade ago. Organizer Todd Scott told us last year, “In the beginning, it was more long-distance suburbanite routes bringing people downtown. But now we’re seeing more people bike to work within the city, doing their own thing. I think that’s a big positive change.”
Riders can expect to find such amenities as free snacks, coffee, vendors, local
discounts, and giveaways at these locations for those participating. But cyclists who register their pledge to ride on the May 18 will receive a commemorative custom embroidered Bike to Work Day patch. You can make your pledges here.
Todd Scott reminds us all, “The most important thing is to make sure bike is in working order.” If you haven’t ridden your bike in a while, take it to a bike shop and make sure it’s ready to go.
More information is available here.
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