Today the city of Detroit in partnership with Detroit Greenway Coalition celebrates ‘Bike to Work’ Day. Beginning with a gathering downtown at Spirit Plaza and appearance by Mayor Mike Duggan at 8am, riders soon spun off in groups thereafter heading up the spokes of the city’s main streets to collectively begin their commutes. Along the route up Woodward Ave. were organized pitstops which offered water, snacks and some other freebies for participants that chose to stop.
A couple employees at Rebuild Group participated in today’s ride, including Nick Van Huis who rides his bike into work on a regular basis. We caught up with Nick about the event and he gave us 5 solid reasons why he’s made riding to work a part of his everyday lifestyle:
- Practicality: it’s expensive to have two cars in the city. When I started working at Rebuild, my wife and I decided that I would sell my car and I would bike to work. We’re extremely lucky that we are able to do this and that I live close to work. Metro Detroit is such a big area, and jobs are far flung throughout the region, so the fact that we are able to have one car and it’s not a huge hindrance to our lives is great. If everyone had the commute that I have, I would advocate that everyone ride their bike to work, but I understand that’s not possible for everyone.
- Exercise: I don’t like gyms and I don’t like exercise that doesn’t have a purpose. Sports and biking are the only forms of exercise I get because there is an end goal to them. To win or get to your destination.
- Environment: it is important to me that to try and be as environmentally conscious as I can be. Again, I am very privileged that I can make the choices in transportation that I have and that I don’t have to drive miles and miles to get to work. Because of that, I make an effort to limit my carbon footprint as much as I can.
- Community: When you use a bike as your main form of transportation, it shrinks your community. It is a conscious limiting of where you can go. I’m not able to bike out to the suburbs to get groceries so I go to the store nearest me, for example. This in turn allows me to get to know my neighbors and local businesses, which is very important if you’re trying to be part of a community.
- Enjoyment: I love riding my bike. I ride it everywhere I can for as long as I can. It’s something I really enjoy.
The future also looks bright for cyclists around the city. From the new MoGo bike share expansion to the planning of a 26-mile Joe Louis Greenway and the many new miles of protected bike lanes, its increasingly clear that Detroit is a bike city and that community is only getting larger.
If you rode your bike into work today (or do regularly) let us know here or elsewhere; we’d love to hear your story!