Associating Detroit and the auto industry is similar to pairing cookies and milk, but a whole community of folks are set on establishing Detroit as a hub for a different kind of transportation: bikes. Detroit Bike City has developed at a rapid speed in its short life (it just began in 2012), and the group is only picking up more steam.
On March 16, Detroiters (and bicycle enthusiasts from all over) will gather in the city’s huge Cobo Center from 10a.m. to 6p.m. to celebrate bikes and experience new products, watch BMX demonstrations, and join the growing Detroit bicycling community. The night before the big expo, the Detroit Bike City folks are thrilled to party down with event goers and vendors alike at Tweed City, a charity pre-party event. On March 15 from 7 to 11 at The Fillmore Detroit, attendees will experience musical stylings from DJ Richie Wohlfeil, The Juliets and The High Strung all while rocking their classiest tweed digs.
What is more awesome in the bike community than tweed? Proceeds from the party will go to Bike MS. Jakki Kirouac, Project Coordinator for the event explains, “The charity, Bike MS, was selected for personal reasons: My mother was diagnosed with MS when I was a child, and while she has remained strong for a long time, we want to see a world free of MS.”
Ready to peddle to Detroit for a fantastic couple of days dedicated to bikes and the awesome role they play in communities like Detroit? Jason Hall and Mike MacKool, Co-Founders are examples of what it means to have a passion for the city and its ever-evolving culture. The community they have begun to create around bicycles is daily inspiration for positive experiences. The expo is their largest event, but they also schedule weekly rides such as a “Slow Roll” on Mondays and a tour of the World Famous Street Art Project: The Detroit Beautification. Hall and MacKool explain part of their affinity for the bike community in Detroit, “The ability to come together and celebrate all the things we love, bicycling and the city of Detroit. This event has tripled in size in one year and it this energy wouldn’t be happening without this community.”
Preparing for the influx of bicyclers, the organizers have been diligently working to prepare both the Bike City Expo and the Pre-Party for an event to remember. Kirouac smiles, “The overall response has been amazing! Our event partners have been very generous and creative. People started purchasing pre-sale tickets the moment they were available. We’re looking forward to two great events!”
The Pre-Party will be in the lobby of The Fillmore Detroit and the State Bar. It is an evening of leisure, music and celebrating what once was. Guests will be transported to an era of refined style and purposeful living, an embodiment of what bicycles can mean to communities. Sponsors like The Detroit Mercantile Co. and Swoon Rentals & Design will supply vintage bicycles, penny-farthings, and classical style to complete the event’s ambiance. All of the organizers are eager for the event, and Hall explains, “At the party I’m looking forward to the opportunity to meet all the sponsors, vendors and comrades all in one place. A place where there’s no business, just a good time. The fact that we were able to get three of our favorite local music entities in the city to perform helps, too.”
Both events will be an awesome celebration of bikes, community and the city of Detroit. What are your favorite things about bicycles and the biking community? Do you love celebrating Michigan with awesome Michigan bands? Check out Detroit Bike City and Tweed City on Facebook–heck, visit Detroit and experience it all firsthand (or peddle).