There are all sorts of reasons to bike to work, exercise at the beginning of the day, enjoying the spring weather, improved cardiovascular health and weight loss, and even just saving on gas money being just a few. But if you've never done it before, it can be a bit intimidating.
That's why National Bike to Work Day is in the spring to help show those dusting off their old Huffy how to use pedal power properly. The thinking goes that if you can persuade people to leave the car at home for one day and feel the thrill of cycling in to work, they might get hooked on it all year long (or at least until the ice sets in). In Detroit, the May 20 event offers a helping hand for people starting their workdays on two wheels, and gives the morning and evening commute the feel of one of those increasingly popular group rides.
Those working in downtown Detroit are in the best position to experience something like a mass ride, as a half-dozen or more routes will converge on the three locations in the city center.
Google My Maps image courtesy Detroit Greenways Coalition
One west side route runs for 22 miles, starting in Plymouth and winding along Hines Drive, finishing up down Michigan Avenue. A 19-mile route runs from downtown Farmington, and another route arcs through Berkley, Royal Oak, and Ferndale before plunging down Woodward. There are also three east side routes sketched out. One begins in Sterling Heights, jogs four miles east, then follows Gratiot Avenue down for 23 miles. Another begins in Saint Clair Shores and wends its way through the Pointes. Yet another route, the shortest, starts in Hamtramck.
There will be even be a few stops open between 7 and 9 a.m., at New Center, Old Main, and the Spirit of Detroit, with complimentary snacks, coffee, and more. Fitness Works gym in New Center will even offer free one-day passes with photo ID so you can hit the showers (bring your own lock, though).
Detroit Bike to Work Day is May 20. For more information, including an interactive map of the routes, click here.