Tour de Troit keeps rolling
In 2002, while having a drink at Detroit’s Baltimore Lunch, Mike Kiewicz and Edward Potas, dreamed of organizing a bicycle tour of Detroit. They had recently ridden a borough tour of New York City on bikes and thought a similar event would be perfect for their hometown. Their daydreams realized within the year, the inaugural Tour de Troit introduced 50 riders, from the U.S. and Canada, to the grandeur of the Motor City.
Over the next decade, the Tour became a city institution with more than 5,500 participating in 2012. “Each year the number of cyclists who participate in this ride has grown, and we cannot help but be excited that early registrations are already ahead of last year at this time,” said Bil Lusa, Chairperson of the Tour de Troit Board of Directors. “Every rider who joins us is another person who gets to experience Detroit from the unique perspective that comes from riding a bicycle through the city.” By the time this goes to press, over 5,000 riders will be registered for the Tour.
Although Tour de Troit only became a standalone a non-profit organization this year, the ride and related activities have raised nearly $160,000 to support greenway and non-motorized transportation projects since 2005.Tour de Troit Co-Director Vittoria Katanksi says, “Greenways are very important pieces of infrastructure that help to improve the quality of life for people living in urban cities. In addition to making neighborhoods easier to navigate on foot or by bicycle, they also serve as connective tissue that brings communities together.”
Cyclists can register for the 2013 30 mile leisurely-paced ride through Southwest Detroit, Corktown and Indian Village online until Sept. 13 and onsite the morning of the ride. Three additional 100km rides have already sold out.
The Tour de Troit bicycle ride/organization is not related to Tour Detroit the underground moveable dance party, says one of Tour Detroit’s DJs, Erno the Inferno.
City resident and member of Omnicorp Detroit Achille Bianchi has ridden the Tour many times. “Tour de Troit riders come from all over the region; it’s a great way for them to get a street-level view of the city, including gems like the Heidelberg project and Belle Isle,” he said. For riders who want to keep touring Detroit, Bianchi also recommends a weekly ride called Slow Roll which delves into the “ real nooks and crannies” of the city.