On a recent visit to my home state of Michigan, I was lucky enough to be able to check out Detroit’s ‘Slow Roll‘ mass ride. Started five years ago by two friends, Slow Roll has turned into a thousands-strong spectacle that takes over Motown streets for 30 weeks out of the year, with the city’s blessing.
Apparently this year organizers were asking folks to fork over ten dollars for an annual membership, though it was made clear nobody would be turned away for lack of funds. Speculation was that the opening day ride would draw around 2,000 riders, though top end estimates were likely between three and four thousand, the procession stretched for at least a mile.
No corkers were used, as Detroit police did the job of controlling major intersections. Riders thanked the officers as they rolled by, slowly, of course.
A dedicated ‘Squad’ of yellow-shirted volunteers did their best to keep the ride as far to the right of whatever multilane surface streets they occupied. I don’t think anyone felt like arguing with them that all traffic lanes are open to bicycles by state law.