There promises to be a caravan or convocation of cyclists there. (We’re not sure what you would call the more than 7,500 people expected to ride in this year’s Tour de Troit on Saturday, September 17, but we know it’s not a gaggle because that is an unorganized group doing nothing.)
That certainly won’t be the case at the 15th year for this annual ride. Those participating will ride 30 miles – the very energetic will do 62 – and raise money for a great cause. Tour de Troit has raised more than $250,000 to support greenways and non-motorized transit projects in Detroit since Michigan’s largest cycling event started in 2005.
Funds raised from the Tour de Troit have helped develop more than 17 miles of bike lanes as part of the Southwest Detroit Greenlink. It has also raised money for the Villages of Detroit Community Development Corporation, the Connor Creek Greenway and other non-motorized projects.
“Our 15th anniversary is a real milestone,” said Kelli Kavanaugh, ride director, Tour de Troit. “Detroit has seen amazing growth as a bike city with the number of rides and events multiplying in the last decade-and-a-half. We’re proud to have been a catalyst to all this growth while remaining the leading ride in the state.”
The 30-mile ride starts in Roosevelt Park, 2200 Michigan Ave. in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood at 9 a.m. It will pass through several city neighborhoods before concluding at Roosevelt Park.
If you’re up to it the 62-mile metric century ride for advanced riders starts between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
To celebrate this year’s event, Tour de Troit and presenting sponsor Flagstar Bank launched the Detroit Rides Detroit Sweepstakes. The Grand Prize winner will receive a Shinola Detroit Arrow bike, valued at $1,000. To enter, visit http://www.tour-de-troit.org.
The Detroit Arrow is Shinola’s single-speed bicycle, streamlined for urban riding and hand assembled by bike specialists in Detroit. The bike is available in black and white in both men’s and women’s frame styles.
Winners will be announced on September 9, just in time to ride the new bike in the Tour de Troit.
If you get lucky you might just get to ride alongside longtime Detroit booster Emily T Gail, who has been named Grand Marshal of this year event.
“Emily started promoting running and cycling through Detroit’s neighborhoods in the late ‘70s,” says Vittoria Katanski, executive director, Tour de Troit. “She was a pathfinder and role model for many of the city’s biggest boosters.”
Gail, who is now a resident of Hawaii, is best known for her “Say Nice Things About Detroit” movement that appeared on t-shirts, bumper stickers, posters and an aerial banner campaign across the country. She owned the iconic Emily’s at Shelby and Congress in the ‘70s and ‘80s and her Emily Detroit Runs in the ‘80s attracted more than 20,000 participants.
“I am so proud of what Detroit has become and to lead the Tour de Troit in my hometown is going to be a blast,” says Gail. “I told my friends at Shinola that they needed to find a beautiful bike for me to ride on Tour de Troit day.”
After the ride, cyclists will be treated to food from local restaurants, including Slows to Go and Organaman, beer from New Holland Brewing and entertainment from local bands.
Registration for Tour de Troit is $50 through August 31; Sept. 1 to Sept. 9 $60; Sept. 10 to Sept. 17 $70. The metric century is $60 until it sells out at 500 riders. Registration includes one food ticket and one beverage ticket. Additional tickets are available for $5.
For registration and additional information, visit http://www.tour-de-troit.org.
For the third consecutive year, Flagstar Bank is the presenting sponsor.
“This is Flagstar’s third consecutive year as presenting sponsor of the tour, and it just keeps getting better,” “We’re proud to sponsor an event that puts the spotlight on Detroit in such a positive way,” says Beth Correa, director of community affairs and quality at Flagstar Bank. “Tour de Troit is a great partner—they not only promote a healthy lifestyle but also raise funds to make the city better for biking. It’s a win all around.”
The bank’s support helps Tour de Troit make a “difference in the city’s biking infrastructure while presenting a fun, safe ride for the community to enjoy,” says Katanski.
Registration is now available for Tour de Troit’s international Bike the Bridge ride, taking place Saturday, October 9, 2016. The ride is limited to 750 people, and a valid passport is required. Registration information is available on the Tour de Troit website.
– Photos from Tour de Troit.