Tour de Troit 2012

Tour de Troit 2012

A 30-mile ride with a sea of cyclists
A rider in the 2012 Tour de Troit rides in Roosevelt Park.
Cruisin' along
From high-end road bikes to classic cruisers, all types of bicycles are seen at the Tour de Troit.
Riding in the Tour
There were 5,000 riders in this year's Tour de Troit.
See the city
Riders in the 2012 Tour de Troit rode 30 miles around the city.
PHOTO: J Singleton

DETROIT — In Detroit's Roosevelt Park on Sat., Sept. 15, 5,000 cyclists gathered and rode a 30-mile course around the city and toured some of its most beloved landmarks as well as great, and not-so-great, neighborhoods.

Now in its eleventh year, the Tour de Troit raises awareness for cycling, as well as funds for the Southwest Detroit Greenlink, including construction, administration and wayfinding, and other greenways and cycling projects.

Starting humbly at around 20 riders in 2000, it has grown tremendously in the past decade, ever seeing more riders than the previous year.

“Over the last few years we’ve seen crazy growth,” says co-founder and self-proclaimed "cruise director," Bil Lusa. “It is … a collaborative effort with some very dedicated volunteers.”

Organizers Lusa, Vittoria Katanski executive director of Hatch Detroit, and Wheelhouse Detroit co-owners Karen Gage and Kelli Kavanaugh, work hard to maintain that quality. 

“It’s a lot of work but it has the potential to be a good draw for recreational tourists,” Kavanaugh says. “[People’s] experiences are positive. It is and will be a great reason to visit Detroit in the years to come.”

In 2011, Kavanaugh says the Tour team experimented with eight miles of closed course and it went well. For 2012, organizers worked extra hard to develop a fully closed, 30-mile course, complete with police escorts.

Kavanaugh says although it's a lot of work, the closed course is worth it, because it’s easier to manage the volume of riders and allows them to travel at whatever pace is comfortable. Kavanaugh says the new course infrastructure could  potentially accomodate Detroit Marathon-like attendance, which saw almost 20,000 runners in 2010.

Proceeds from Tour directly fund projects the Corktown-Mexicantown Greenlink, part of Detroit’s ongoing work to increase sustainable neighborhood connectivity. 

To see more tour photos, check out our Flickr page and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Contributing Writer
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Transportation Bikeability People Detroit | September 18, 2012 | Tour de Troit Wheelhouse Detroit bicycles