Twelfth annual Tour de Troit beats rain, attracts over 6,000 riders

After a night of heavy rain, over 6,000 people and their bicycles gathered under steely gray skies early Saturday morning in Roosevelt Park for the twelfth annual Tour de Troit bike ride.

Despite the weather, riders were in a jovial mood as they stretched their muscles, checked their tires and were treated to snacks and coffee by Café con Leche and Great Lakes Coffee.

The riders were released in three cohorts starting at 9 a.m., passing through the Vernor Highway viaduct at Michigan Central Station on a 30-mile ride weaving through Southwest Detroit Greenlinks, Clark Park, Fort Wayne, Woodbridge, New Center, GM Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly, Packard Plant, West Village, Indian Village, and Belle Isle, before heading back through downtown and Corktown to Roosevelt Park. Detroit police, who frequently shouted words of encouragement to riders, escorted the entire closed route. Rides of the 62-mile Metric Century rode ahead of riders.

By mid-morning, the skies were clear and the sun was shining.

Upon returning to Roosevelt Park, cyclists were greeted with an after-party featuring music by Lac la Belle and food and beverages by Amicci’s PizzaSlows Bar B QThe Original GonellasOrganamanHoney Bee MarketThe Majestic CaféMillKing It ProductionsAbsopure and Alley Wine.

"We are so pleased with the results of this year’s Tour de Troit," said Bil Lusa, chairman of the Tour de Troit board of directors.  "What we have been able to achieve with this year's ride would not have been possible without the support of tremendous sponsors, eager volunteers, and thousands of cyclists who believe in Detroit as it is today and the potential it has for tomorrow. As an organization we couldn’t be any prouder."

This year’s riders numbered over 6,000, surpassing last year's total of 5,500. Proceeds from the Tour de Troit and other biking events held by the organization support the planning and implementation of greenways across the City of Detroit.

Tour de Troit enthusiasts can get back on their bikes Sunday, Oct. 13 for the second annual Bike the Bridge event, which will start at Clark Park, ride across the Ambassador Bridge and back, and circle another 20 miles through Southwest Detroit before returning to Clark Park for a boxed lunch provided by Armando’s Restaurant. The ride is limited to 150 people; registration is $65.

Photos of Tour de Troit 2013 courtesy of Trevor D'Silva, Ashley Hennen, Amy Hubbarth and Olivia Rainey

Read more articles by Nina Ignaczak.

Nina Ignaczak is a metro Detroit-based writer and the editor of Metromode. Follow her on Twitter @ninaignaczak.
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