Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 National Bike to Work Day in Detroit Previous Next
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E_hemingway
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Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 656
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.42.176.123
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 9:53 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Big story about this in the Freep today. My question is how many forumers or people they know have a comute where this is possible? It seems that sprawl would make this much harder to do in Detroit than in other major cities, like Chicago.

DETROIT'S FIRST BIKE TO WORK DAY COMING: Motor City commute without the motor

Riders say cycling keeps them fit, clears minds

www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar ticle?AID=2006605150405
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Bob
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Username: Bob

Post Number: 978
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 205.188.116.137
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 10:02 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They forgot to mention the bike rack on the front of SMART busses in the article.
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Jtw
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Username: Jtw

Post Number: 81
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 12.159.32.66
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 10:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

how many offices in detroit have showers?
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E_hemingway
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Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 657
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.42.176.123
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 10:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You don't necessarily become a sweaty mess just from riding a bike. As long as people aren't obese or peddling up steep hills that shouldn't be a problem. You just have to give yourself a little extra time for a somewhat liesurely ride.
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Jams
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Username: Jams

Post Number: 3287
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.79.119.13
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 10:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The ride is actually the easy part. Finding a secure place to lock a bike is the challenge.

The ironic thing I find about riding a bike to work is the offers by co-workers to drive me and my bike home, as if my choice of transportation was a hardship.
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Gravitymachine
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Username: Gravitymachine

Post Number: 1054
Registered: 05-2005
Posted From: 198.208.159.18
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 10:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I would totally do it......but riding to warren from midtown is not my idea of a nice ride
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Hochi
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Username: Hochi

Post Number: 72
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 63.85.190.226
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 10:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I live about 17 miles from work, and regardless of what the weather is like I always end up a sweaty mess after 10+ miles. I've considered trying to bike to and fro work, but the lack of a shower is the downside.
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Bvos
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Username: Bvos

Post Number: 1439
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.238.170.39
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 10:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jams, I love your comments!

When I worked within biking distance I got the same thing. I'd bike to most meetings around the city and folks would always want to give me a lift back to the office, which would have been several miles out of their way. I was talked to like I was poor or something (I wasn't making big bucks, but I wasn't living paycheck to paycheck). The only time I'd accept a ride is if it was raining/snowing or if it was exceptionally cold. And these were relatively liberal people I was working with/meeting with!

I agree with finding a place to park your bike. If you're lucky your employer has a place to store your bike inside when it's wet out. Otherwise you have to trust your bike to being outside. However I've found most work places in Detroit aren't bike friendly. Many sign posts, etc. don't work well to lock your bike too since they're too big.

I rode to work by bike for several years in all sorts of weather and never got to work sweaty or stinky. As stated above, go at a comfortable pace and you'll be all right. Folks in Detroit don't see enough people biking to work to know how to dress, follow the rules of the road, etc. to know how biking to work works. Other cities like Chicago, Minneapolis, etc. have lots and lots of people biking in.

(Message edited by BVos on May 15, 2006)
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Lowell
Board Administrator
Username: Lowell

Post Number: 2608
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.167.58.162
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 11:14 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Another sublte issue about riding a bike is some will not only think you are poor, they may suspect that you have a DUI and lost your license. Most people, especially here in car-intoxicated Michigan, are dumbfounded as to why anyone would ride a bike, particularly on a day like today.

On the plus side I have found biking faster than car-ing particularly in congested areas. I would frequently bike from Highland Park to Wayne State / Cultural Center.

In terms of getting to the actual destination doorstep I was aiming for, it was always quicker because I could lock up right in front of where I was going or very nearby. Searching for parking and walking from parking to the doorstep wipes out a lot of time advantage of cars [not to mention the occasional ticket].

I could always beat the bus mainly because I could cruise stop lights with no cross traffic.

The best advantage? A good workout, better view, and the ability to cruise into places where cars can't go.
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E_hemingway
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Username: E_hemingway

Post Number: 658
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.42.176.123
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 11:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I personally would bike to work if I didn't work from my home. However, whenever the weather is nice I go peddling off for just about anything within reasonable distance. I love the conevience of bicycles. I just wish there were more bike lanes and racks in the city. Aren't Corktown and Midtown pushing for more bike lanes in their areas?
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Jsmyers
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Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1702
Registered: 12-2003
Posted From: 209.131.7.68
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 11:44 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

I would totally do it......but riding to warren from midtown is not my idea of a nice ride




You might want to bus it back, do to the elevation, but that is about the same ride as RO to downtown, which is what the Friday organized even will be.

But that is actually a fine ride.

(You could also drive or bus it over to RO and then ride down with the group.)

Friday I'm planning on taking smart and my bike on my reverse commute. Cass Corridor to Novi.
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Aarne_frobom
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Username: Aarne_frobom

Post Number: 23
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 162.108.2.222
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 11:44 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is downtown Detroit so prone to bicycle theft that you'd hesitate to park a bike there? On a vacation to New York City I pitied the cyclists who had to lash their rides to lampposts with ship anchor chains. I would like to think things aren't that bad in Detroit, at least not in neighborhoods that don't have an unusual burglary problem. Potential riders to work might find that their employers have a loading dock, storeroom, or other disused space off the sidewalk where a bike can be left.
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Gravitymachine
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Username: Gravitymachine

Post Number: 1055
Registered: 05-2005
Posted From: 198.208.159.18
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 11:53 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

You might want to bus it back, do to the elevation, but that is about the same ride as RO to downtown, which is what the Friday organized even will be.

But that is actually a fine ride.




I am considering it, but I also reverse commute...going TO warren in the morning ;)

I've considered the smart bus up woodward to royal oak then over on a mile road, or taking a route through the i-75 corridor > through hamtramck > mound road north to 12 mile

I work at a the tech center so its reasonable secure in general and there is a bike rack outside my building, so I have that going for me

If I do it, I'm going to wear my "my gas is free" shirt from last year's tour de troit :-)
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 104
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 63.85.13.248
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 11:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I would think that thieves around here do not even think about bikes. I see kids leaving bikes outside of party stores all the time, even in my modest-income neighborhood. No one seems to care or to bother stealing them.

My sister moved to Chicago after college. She would bike to work, as the commute from Lincoln Park to the Board of Trade was very condusive for such trips. She would get bikes stolen all the time and only drive used ones she would buy from garage sales. She was also sent to the hospital on more than one occaision due to some guy in the parking lane flinging open his tinted glassed door into her path, knocking her @$$ over t!t and onto the pavement.

I would agree not many places provide the bike infrastructure in this town. Even pro-Detroit places with great alternative commute programs such as Compuware do not have easily apparent bike facilities. I know some building provide parking, but it is few and far between.
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Bvos
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Username: Bvos

Post Number: 1441
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.238.170.39
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 12:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As long as you have your bike locked with a good lock (U locks are good enough in Detroit), you should be fine. As Aarne_frobom said above, bike theft is not a big thing in Detroit. I don't think thieves see the value in them like they do in Chigaco, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, NYC, etc.

I left my seat, fenders, tire pump and underseat bag with tools on my bike. I'd lock it up to smaller sign posts all over downtown with no problems what so ever. I always felt nervous leaving the tool bag and seat on my bike and would bring them in from time when possible, but when going into government buildings that wasn't possible. I never had anything taken off or tampered with.

I did have my bike stolen from my garage in Rosedale Park while getting a new roof on my house. The roofers were using it for storage and left it open all day. Someone (maybe the roofers?) came by and helped themselves to it. I know lots of folks who've had their bikes and their kid's bikes stolen from garages in residential neighborhoods in Detroit. I've never talked to anyone who's had their locked bike, nor any accessories, stolen in Detroit.
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Fishtoes2000
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Username: Fishtoes2000

Post Number: 98
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 69.14.26.135
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 1:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

Another sublte issue about riding a bike is some will not only think you are poor, they may suspect that you have a DUI and lost your license.



Another subtle issue about driving a car is some bicyclists will think you're lazy. ;)
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Dougw
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Username: Dougw

Post Number: 1140
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 136.2.1.153
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 1:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Aarne, I agree with others on this thread that bike theft is pretty nearly non-existent in downtown Detroit. There aren't really enough bike riders for a thief to make good money stealing locked bikes. Car theft is a much bigger problem around the city.

(Bikes being stolen from garages is a different matter... we had two bikes & a lawn mower stolen from our garage, but that was more of a garage security issue.)

Anyway, I have a 13-mile commute to Dearborn from the eastside... a bit long for me to ride to work on a regular basis, but I'm seriously considering riding to work this Friday at least. We don't have showers here, but if I bring a change of clothes I should be alright...
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Dougw
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Username: Dougw

Post Number: 1141
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 136.2.1.153
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 1:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

Even pro-Detroit places with great alternative commute programs such as Compuware do not have easily apparent bike facilities.



Not quite true, Detroitplanner. Witness the plethora of bike parking in front of Compuware... :-)
bike rack
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Valkyrias
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Username: Valkyrias

Post Number: 248
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 66.238.129.197
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 1:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

detroit synergy is having a big event this friday for the bike to work day. they have a whole route planned starting in royal oak, making several stops along the way in ferndale, hamtramck, new center, midtown, among others and then ending downtown. it sounds interesting, although i won't be able to participate since i work in troy...i may still ride my bike to work that day, assuming it doesn't rain.

there's more info on the detroit synergy website. http://detroitsynergy.org
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Valkyrias
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Username: Valkyrias

Post Number: 249
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 66.238.129.197
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 1:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

heh, might have helped if i read the article first...alex is the one coordinating the detroit bikes/detroit synergy event i mentioned above...although they didn't really mention where to get more info...
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Gravitymachine
Member
Username: Gravitymachine

Post Number: 1056
Registered: 05-2005
Posted From: 198.208.159.18
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 1:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

there is more info in the print version
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Jams
Member
Username: Jams

Post Number: 3293
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.79.119.13
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 2:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

BTW Always wear a helmet, and I recommend padded bike gloves.

I learned the value of a helmet, when on a bike camping trip when a car forced me onto the gravel sideway and I went over the handlebar.
The helmet was DOA but I was still able to pedal.
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Dougw
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Username: Dougw

Post Number: 1142
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 136.2.1.153
Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006 - 2:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

I just wish there were more bike lanes and racks in the city. Aren't Corktown and Midtown pushing for more bike lanes in their areas?



There is a pretty big effort recently around creating new bike lanes and greenways in the city, see this thread for more details: https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/mes sages/62684/69606.html

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