Thousands of cyclists from across Michigan are expected to pedal their way across Detroit at the 16th annual Tour de Troit, Michigan’s largest bike ride, on Sept. 16.
Colleen Robar, who is in charge of public relations for the event, said more than 5,000 riders are anticipated to participate this year, including national cycling champion Frankie Andreu of Dearborn.
“[Tour de Troit] celebrates the excitement and energy that cycling brings to the Motor City,” Robar said. “The money raised helps fund bike lanes and greenways for the city.”
The Tour de Troit is a yearly bike ride that passes through several historic sites around Detroit and allows cyclists from different places to enjoy a social and leisurely bike ride across the town or to test their physical limits.
“The Tour de Troit brings out what Detroit is really about. [It’s courses] include Belle Isle and other sites Detroit has to offer, all while bringing the community together in a healthy way. I think it's great,” said Wayne State University freshman and kinesiology major, Stephanie Ene. “When I heard about it, I really wanted to do it because it seems like a great way to get familiar with the city I now call home.”
There are two different courses to choose from at the Tour de Troit.
The Main route is a 25.6 mile police escorted ride that starts at Roosevelt Park and makes its way across Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Rosa Parks Boulevard, Belle Isle, Lafayette Boulevard, Jefferson Avenue, and eventually back to Roosevelt Park. The Main ride begins at 9 a.m.
The second option is the Metric course which is geared towards extremely experienced cyclists. This ride is 62 miles and does not provide a police escort. The Metric ride kicks off anytime between 7 and 8 a.m., depending on the desired pace of the cyclist, as they are expected to be back at the park by 1 p.m.
“Tour de Troit promotes a healthy lifestyle for citizens while simultaneously increasing the social positivity within the community,” said WSU sophomore and electrical engineering major Hunter Thornhill.
Thornhill added that the pathways the Tour de Troit funds “are essential to the development of the city of Detroit. They allow for greater access to experience all that the city has to offer.”
WSU freshman and nursing major Jade Nguyen said, “I think the Tour de Troit is a fun and healthy way to allow the residents of Detroit to participate in physical activity, all while experiencing the beautiful city around them.”
Nguyen added that she also appreciates the work that Tour de Troit is doing with greenways and bike paths.
“Bike paths are very convenient and helpful to Detroit residents who either don't have motorized transportation or who just enjoy taking a bike instead. Not to mention, the paths are a much safer option compared to a bike lane on a heavily trafficked street,” said Nguyen.
Online registration for the Tour de Troit closes Sept. 10. It costs $55 for people under 21 and $60 for those over 21. Registration is also available on the day of the Tour de Troit at Roosevelt Park for $70. For more information or to register for the ride, visit tour-de-troit.org/tourdetroitride.