In an effort to encourage Dearborn businesses to become more bike-friendly, the cycling group Bike Dearborn is now meeting at local businesses rather than parks for its weekly rides.
This is the third season for the weekly Healthy Dearborn Walk n Roll event, which opened its season the first Wednesday of May. More than 100 bicyclists and 45 walkers gathered at Brome Modern Eatery for the opening ride.
Healthy Dearborn Walk n Roll events take place every Wednesday, May through October.
By meeting at local businesses, Bike Dearborn co-founder and ride leader Tracy Besek hopes that business owners will see the purchasing power of bicyclists. The simple installation of a bike rack can make a business bike-friendly, she says.
It’s a move that benefits both sides.
"The Walk n Roll events introduce riders to new businesses, and it shows business owners the positive impact of having bicyclists as patrons," Besek says. "And it showcases the sheer amount of potential customers."
Bicycle parking options also benefit employees, she says.
Bike Dearborn lists bike-friendly businesses on its website, including Blick Art Materials, Dearborn Brewing, Downey Brewing Company, Ford’s Garage, and Jack’s Bicycle & Fitness. Each has bike parking available.
Dearborn’s size and infrastructure barriers, like the Southfield Freeway, can hinder biking options in the city, but Besek is undeterred. And she believes it’s getting better, too.
"I’m optimistic about biking in Dearborn, but we have a ways to go. You can get anywhere by bike; it’s not easy sometimes, but it’s doable," she says. "Hopefully the city’s multi-modal transportation plan will help improve everything."
Visit Bike Dearborn online for a full-lineup of Healthy Dearborn Walk n Roll events and locations.
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