Ride the rush

May 15, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Bike to Work Day participants take a break on the way in.


Two wheels good: Cyclists ride together to make a point.

As he thought about his late afternoon appointment today, Michael Beaton had a big decision to make: Should he take his bicycle along on his sales call at the RenCen to head home from there, or should he walk back to retrieve it from his office at Compuware Corp. headquarters after the meeting?

Such “problems” arise when you bike to work, the senior product manager discovered.
Beaton, who lives in Grosse Pointe Woods, was part of today’s Bike-to-Work Day, organized by Detroit Bikes! It’s part of a national week of encouraging commuting under your own power. (Do we really need to list the benefits of that?)

Along two routes, about 50 cyclists joined at different points, beginning as early as 6:15 a.m. The east side group wound through the Pointes, along Jefferson Avenue and through Indian Village, while the other group started in Royal Oak and pedaled down Woodward Avenue.

The 8 a.m. convergence of the two “pelotons” in Campus Martius included pastries and coffee from Au Bon Pain, massages from the Spinal Aid Center in Berkeley, and souvenir T-shirts. (Thanks, sponsors!)

The riders included first-time bicycle commuters as well as veterans of the rush-hour routes. Emily Shefferly, a media planner at Starcom Mediavest Group, tries to bike from her Grosse Pointe Park home at least once a week and sometimes sticks to the sidewalks because of the traffic.

“The ride was a fun experience because it allowed us to interact and engage with other commuters in a positive, non-road-rage way,” Shefferly says. “It’s undeniable that Detroit, today, exists as a commuter city.”

Joann Jeromin, who works in the Detroit planning department, shed her four-wheeled transport for the first time. “It was fun and it didn’t take as long as I thought it would,” she says. “I plan to do this again.”