Imagine the absurdity of somebody saying, “Detroit can’t handle 6,000 Tigers fans flooding downtown with their cars anymore, this has to be put to a stop!”
You’d be laughed out of town. But say the same thing about people on bicycles and somehow many nod approval.
That’s essentially the hack job Model D shat upon the internet this week in an unresearched rant titled ‘Slow Roll Has Lost Its Way‘. Right out of the gate the author even admits he’s never ridden the wildly popular and now world famous weekly Slow Roll bicycle ride, now a staple of Detroit’s come-back experience.
The best way to pick this eye-roller apart is to go through it line by line, condensed for brevity of course. Author’s original post appears in italics, my rebuttals in plain text.
Model D: If you didn’t know otherwise, you’d be forgiven for mixing up two major Detroit bike rides: Slow Roll and Critical Mass. The former is ostensibly a leisurely pedal for all age groups through a different neighborhood every Monday. The latter is a monthly ride designed to snarl traffic and raise awareness of the need for better cycling infrastructure by deliberately clogging city streets and tying up intersections.
Rebel Metropolis: I doubt the author has ridden either in Detroit. Critical Mass had its roots in snarling traffic for political reasons (as though bikes weren’t also traffic), but in the D, Mass is also a leisurely ride, albeit at a crisper pace than Slow Roll. CM’s size here is vastly smaller than Slow Roll, too. So nobody is going to mistake a swift group of 300 with a snail crawling 6,000, especially in a city that’s 138 square miles of flat, open, over-capacity surface streets.
— Karen Chambers (@Kamjers) April 14, 2015
MD: The events of the Monday, June 6th Slow Roll began and ended in Hamtramck [an unincorporated city within the boundaries of Detroit] and have left me, and many others with a bitter taste in my mouth. Slow Roll didn’t inform anyone with the city at any time before the event. The only warning for residents and officials came from a Facebook post a few hours before the ride, written by a Hamtramck resident who happened to find out about it. Continue reading