Work cycle: Riding bikes to the office

Converging on Campus Martius in a wave of bright colors, helmets and two wheels, about 60 people took part in the National Bike to Work Day May 21.

Among them: Mark Rionda, a Merrill Lynch financial advisor who, though an avid rider, had never commuted to his downtown Detroit office by bike from his home in Grosse Pointe, nor had he done a group ride.

“I just saw it was going on and thought I’d participate and get to meet some people,” he says. “I always see the group rides going and never get time to participate. I saw this one, it fit into my schedule and I decided to come down.”

Three groups of riders followed routes roughly along Michigan Avenue from Dearborn, Woodward Avenue from Royal Oak, and Jefferson Avenue from the Grosse Pointes. Along the way they hoped to remind motorists that cyclists are out there and to share the road and to promote cycling in the Detroit area.

Bike to Work Day, now in its fifth year, is part of the 2010 Commuter Challenge, organized by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. The month-long event encourages carpooling, riding public transportation, walking and cycling as a way to “go green,” says Iris Steinberg, SEMCOG spokeswoman.

She rode to work on her cruiser bike, complete with a basket on the front. Other people pedaled road bikes, mountain bikes and city cruisers with trailers.

Organized rides were home were scheduled to leave Campus Martius at 5:30 p.m. — Sandra Svoboda