A century ago, bustling Detroit was dubbed the Paris of the West.
On the morning of Sept. 25, that comparison may again feel appropriate as bicyclists stream through city streets for the ninth annual Tour De Troit.
Though the 30-mile ride is brief compared to the 2,235-some mile Tour de France, which concludes in Paris, cycling does provide a closer view of the city’s vintage architecture and streetscapes, which is what earned Detroit the Paris label so many years ago.
That morning, at the foot of the old train station in Corktown, coffee, carbs, and helmets will fill Roosevelt Park. From there, the police-escorted ride begins at a leisurely pace of about 11 mph. More experienced bikers may do the Metric Century route (100 kilometers sans police).
The event is staged to promote awareness of greenways and gas-free transportation in the city. Proceeds benefit the Corktown-Mexicantown Greenlink, a project of the Greater Corktown Development Corp. The project seeks to develop greenway paths linking neighborhoods along the Detroit River. They include the Greater Corktown and Mexicantown/Hubbard communities.
Event planner Bil Lusa says the tour also offers cyclists an opportunity to view Detroit from a different angle. “The tour is both recreational and practical cycling,” Lusa says. “It shows people a different perspective of the city — from a bike, not a car.”
Tour De Troit begins at 10 a.m. at Michigan and 14th Street. Music, food, and drinks will be provided at the park from 2-6 p.m. Registration Sept. 1-11 is $30 ($25 for students). Registration Sept. 12-18 is $35/$30. Day-of fees are $40/$35. Information: 313-962-2425, firstname.lastname@example.org. Helmets are required.