Cycling group Bike Ypsi is organizing its fifth annual pedal mash-up in Ypsilanti. Starting at 9 a.m. on May 6, all cyclists are invited to convene in Recreation Park for the Bike Ypsi Spring Ride and Festival
Cyclists can join 15-mile and 30-mile group rides, as well as a barbecue and bike parade. Bike shop representatives will be on hand to look bikes over and suggest any necessary repairs. There will be bike decorating and games for kids, and bike polo in the parking lot.
"We're trying to get as many people to pull bikes out of their garages as possible," says Bike Ypsi spokesperson Natalie Holbrook.
The group formed in 2007 in response to the Ypsilanti police department's decision to issue tickets for riding on the sidewalk. It aims to make people more comfortable riding in the street. "So the impetus was this ticketing thing and then it just took off from people wanting to get together and ride."
The 30-mile route hasn't been confirmed yet, but Holbrook thinks it will likely go towards Belleville and Lower Huron Metropark. The 15-mile route stays within the bounds of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, and is meant to get riders comfortably in synch with vehicle traffic.
"You can ride down Michigan in Ypsi, and you can ride over on Grove Road and around Ford Lake, and you can ride your bike to Whittaker Library. It's doable, and there are ways to get there that aren't super-scary," she says.
Year-round, Bike Ypsi also has group rides at 1 p.m. every Sunday from Recreation Park and a Friday morning "Ride to Work" leaving Beezy's Cafe at 8 a.m. Photos from previous events are available here
Source: Natalie Holbrook, Bike Ypsi spokesperson
Writer: Tanya Muzumdar