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Motor City Rides


Last April, Eugene Strobe and Carey Gustafson birthed the idea for Detroit’s Defying the Law Bicycle Club ( over beers at a Blonde Redhead show. Why? Cause, Strobe says, he “thought it would be funny to have a bike gang mocking being in a motorcycle gang.”

See, Gustafson and Strobe have been in every single Detroit rock band that’s existed in the past decade. Well, almost. So it’s through DIY rock ’n’ roll attitude and good “old”-fashioned online networking that the bicycle club now boasts 50 members. Its first official ride was on Cinco de Mayo ride.

The club convenes in Ferndale each Saturday around noon where new members get “initiated” into the gang. And typical group rides stick close to Ferndale, and include stops at such biker-ready hotspots as garage sales and Dairy Queen. This gang of rock ’n’ rollers, crafters, artists and fellow Ferndalians have rolled to Comerica Park for a ball game, and ambitious future plots include a jaunt to the Ford-Wyoming Drive-In for a feature. DDLBC plans to turn up at the Dream Cruise, a harmless but symbolic fuck you with a message about reducing one’s carbon footprint.

But not all is smooth road: There’ve been a few hospital trips born of spills: stitches for Gustafson, a broken elbow for another.

The gang’s manifesto?

Says Strobe, “We want to celebrate Detroit and it’s surrounding cities, to slow down and not zoom past things, to stumble across hidden gems you wouldn’t see otherwise, to stop and say hello to people you pass by &mash; a bike club for those who celebrate local culture and progressive awareness with a hint of outrageous fun.”