You can tour Detroit’s neighborhoods by bike for a good cause — to help people experiencing homelessness

The NSO Handlebars for the Homeless Bicycle Tour returns Sunday for the first time since 2019

Bike riders in Detroit. - Ray Rushing, Detroit Stock City
Ray Rushing, Detroit Stock City
Bike riders in Detroit.

This weekend, you can help Detroiters experiencing homelessness by joining a bicycle tour of Detroit’s neighborhoods.

The Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO) is hosting its annual Handlebars for the Homeless from 9 a.m.-noon on Sunday, Aug. 14. It’s the first time the event has returned in-person since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 15-mile guided tour will take participants through neighborhoods like Boston-Edison, Piety Hill, Virginia Park, Poletown, and the North End, and Milwaukee Junction, as well as the murals of the BLKOUT Walls project.

It also includes a stop at NSO’s new Clay Apartments, the first of two phases of a $25 million “Healthy Housing Campus” that will include an emergency shelter and health care services for the neighborhood.

Proceeds raised at the event will support NSO’s programs.

“Our community that makes up Detroit is only as strong as our most vulnerable members who are a part of this community,” says Handlebars for the Homeless founder David E. Rudolph in a statement. “Handlebars for the Homeless exists to engage and educate cyclists, and the community at large, about the challenges that faces nearly 10,000 homeless individuals living on our streets, while also highlighting some of Detroit’s most beautiful, thriving historic and up-and-coming neighborhoods.”

The last in-person Handlebars for the Homeless ride in 2019 drew about 400 cyclists, organizers say.

Participant check-in and on-site registration starts at 7 a.m., and includes light refreshments, a T-shirt, and raffle entry. The ride begins and ends at the NSO Bell Building at 882 Oakman Blvd., Detroit.

After the ride, refreshments like ice cream and shaved ice will be served.

Participants must be at least 14 years old and all bicyclists must wear a helmet.

Registration is $60 per person or $40 for a group with a promo code; more information is available from nso-mi.org.

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About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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