What better week than this to celebrate independence from oil? In a breezy 14-minute video, “Detroit Bike City,” Alex Gallegos has captured the breadth of the Motor City’s expanding bicycle culture. From the East Side Riders to Critical Mass, from The Hub to Corktown Cycles, people are taking to pedal power as a way to save money, lose weight, and just get around in style. “I actually started riding when gas prices got too high,” says Stacy Jones, seen trolling the RiverWalk with a giant stereo, fishing pole, and canine companion on a pink Schwinn, “and I just fell in love with it.”
“We try to teach the kids, ‘don’t go the way that we went,'” states the East Side Riders’ Mike Neeley. “We want you to go another way.” He’s speaking of staying in school and out of trouble, not transportation choices. Still, it’s tempting to wonder whether Detroit, after giving the world the automobile and suffering so much from the momentous changes it brought to the metropolitan landscape, may yet point Michigan and the nation towards a wiser transport model as well.
If you enjoy this piece, also make sure to check out Matt Dughi’s marvelous time-lapse film of last fall’s Tour de Troit.