Hi Think Tank,
There's a bike rental place out there in Detroit, for sure, and they've got lots of great deals on tours of old buildings, and validation for car parking structures, but they're also not collectively operated/owned, for-profit, not really community-based (some proceeds of the tours go to friends of theirs in the communities they operate tours in), and only open during warm months.
The place that provides year round volunteer opportunities, youth programming (including 1st job apprenticeship programs and youth earn a bike), retail and bike shop service, as well as outreach programming with schools, and cross-pollination with the urban ag community, local elementary/middle/high/and post-secondary schools is *The Hub of Detroit* ( www.thehubofdetroit.org)
It's kind of a non-standard idea, to think that Downtown Detroit's nationally recognized, state leading bicycle friendly 'business' is a bike co-op, and does much more than sell people bike-related stuff. I would wager that most bike collectives exist in an "alternative" context, upon a background of bicycle shops, infrastructure, and otherwise. This is not so in Detroit.
We're it, year round, downtown.
Don't just take my word for it though, check out what the League of American Bicyclists has to say: http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bicyclefriendlyamerica/bicyclefriendlybus...
Granted, accolades and pieces of paper only mean certain things to some folks, though I'd put that in context with someone this past week who mentioned to me that "Detroit might be the only big (we're still big, right?) city in the world whose primary downtown bike infrastructure was supported by a community-based organization."
That was pretty powerful for me to hear, especially with lots of types of folks in for the 2nd US Social Forum. A lot of folks don't hear about us because we don't spend money on ads and so on, but a lot of bike collective type folks were able to see our facilities and what we do during this past weeks US Social Forum. It really starts to get heavy to think that, for many people who don't travel outside the city, a bike collective is their only experience with a bicycle-based institution.
Many folks have seen all sorts of articles and the like about bicycling in the Detroit area, and as much attention as Detroit might get from print/web media, it's really really difficult to gain a ton of perspective on the full context of our situation here without visiting.
If you know anyone from your community that's visited and spent time riding around here, please ask them what their experience was- I'd imagine it's unlike anything you've read/seen in the media, but that's just my guess. Or come visit! Stay, even!
Like with many things in Detroit, we're a work in progress, and our website could use a bit of updating here and there for sure. I hope when folks think of Detroit and bicycles, they keep The Hub in their thoughts!
-Joe, The Hub of Detroit
On Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 2:05 PM, Rich Points email@example.com:
-- Rich Points Community Cycles Executive Director http://CommunityCycles.org Rich@CommunityCycles.org 720-565-6019 (W) 303-589-0597 (C) Donate your old car to Community Cycles http://communitycycles.org/get-involved/donatecar.html Volunteer orientations are held 6p.m. on the 4th Tuesday of each month.
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