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“I got lights on my Bike”

LeBron James Bikes Home From Games

Huffington Post:Sun Sentinel  |  By Shandel Richardson

MIAMI — LeBron James at some point lost count.

Actually, he never started keeping track. At some point this season, he occasionally began riding his bicycle to practice instead of driving.

Then it turned into riding to morning shootarounds.

And then games.

Suddenly, James was spending more time on the bike than driving around in expensive cars. The added conditioning is why he seems to have no problem logging 42 minutes in the most routine of games. That was James’ stat line in the Heat’s 103-92 comeback victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Check out Lebron and Dwyane Wade at Miami’s monthly Critical Mass ride:


From bike club to bike city

By Achille Bianchi | September 14, 2012

DETROIT — Detroit Bike City organizers are at it again, this time with new developments that solidify their existence as permanent stakeholders in the city’s bike scene.

On September 9, Jason Hall and Mike MacKool announced at their weekly Bike-In Theater event they would be taking over the beloved Shack space near the Woodbridge Pub and Woodbridge Community Garden.

Their plan for the former event space? Turn it into a full-service and retail bicycle shop and possibly even develop a bike rental program.

“It came out of the fact that tons of people nowadays e-mail me needing to find a bike for our rides,” says Hall. “It’s about our rides. If we grow into renting bikes city wide, that’s great, but our main concern is our situation.”

Hall says they would like to partner with Detroit Bikes, which makes simple, one-size-fits-all commuter bicycles for $500, both for retail and rentals. As far as other cycling companies, Hall says they’re still looking for dealers to work with.

The Shack

Woodbridge Pub Owner Jim Geary recently purchased the building and with the help of Hall and MacKool, is looking into zoning requirements for the space, which will likely take shape sometime in the spring of 2013.

Until then, MacKool says they’ll use the space mostly for creative ventures, fundraising and as a home base to do business over the winter.

Detroit Bike City 2013

Now is an especially good time for them, considering the duo is about to launch their sponsorship packet for the 2013 iteration of Detroit Bike City, which is going to be much larger and more elaborate than last year’s event.

They say the inaugural show, which was March 24, 2012, was a huge success despite having only two months to organize it. They drew more than 1,500 attendees.

“It was a terrific first-year event in terms of organization and community response,” says Thom Connors, general manager of Cobo Center.

MacKool and Hall think reaching auto- and boat-show status is attainable. “I’m thinking 30 years ahead,” MacKool says. “I see it eventually growing beyond us — we’re building the show for the city.”

Hall says they want to be the bike show of the Midwest.

While Hall and MacKool have grown bigger than Bikes & Murder, they are still employing it as an apparel company and source of revenue, because, they say, some people love it.

Now that Detroit Bike City has a year to plan, they say they’re going to expand the show and add an area of custom bike builders, expand the Detroit swap-and-sell marketplace, and add a charity event the night before to raise money for local charities, among other things.

And in 2013, the bicycling convention will occupy the larger upstairs exhibition space. “[This year] we have 100,000 square feet and 30-foot ceilings,” MacKool says. “[BMX team Rise Above] will be able to bring thebike swing.”

Detroit Bike City says they’re working with many of the same sponsors as last year, including Tree Fort Bikes and Velocity Wheels, but are also dealing with bigger entities like the “HAPs and Blue Crosses” of the area. While they’re growing in both power and strength, MacKool ensures the convention is still about Detroit cycle makers and organizations. He says they’re not going to leave anybody behind.

“A lot of this stuff we’ve done is to make the cost easier on [the vendors],” says Hall. “Last year we needed that money for the event, but if we get enough sponsorship we’ll pass that on to them. The goal is to help everyone flourish. Our idea is to bring everyone together and fulfill everyone’s needs.”

Small Beginnings and Organic Growth

Hall and MacKool founded the Bikes & Murder bike group in 2011 and started a few rides, including Slow Rolls to Slow Jams, which initially saw attendance of 10-15 people, as well as a handful of other bicycle-inspired events.

According to Hall, Slow Rolls to Slow Jams is a casual, “nice-paced” ride through the city, which showcases a lot of Detroit areas people may not have seen otherwise. MacKool says it’s a way to see the city on a bicycle, “which is the best way to see anything.” He says it’s a great way to connect to the city and it’s an “awesome, friendly group activity.”

“I can hear the connections being made,” MacKool says. “I can ride through the crowd and hear everybody introducing themselves to each other.”

Hall says the ride’s participation went from 20 to over 100 riders in a matter of weeks.

“Our peak was 130. All of a sudden we have T-shirts showing we’re sweeping this ride and we have to talk about the rules. Everything has become more official,” he says.

Their Bike-In Theater events went from 20 to 80 people in a relatively short time span as well.

Quick growth or not, the two social entrepreneurs are modest fellows and attribute their organic and healthy growth to the eager community of cyclists, both inside and outside of Detroit, for their success.

While Hall and MacKool have grown bigger than Bikes & Murder, they are still employing it as an apparel company and source of revenue, because, they say, some people just love it.

Quick growth or not, the two social entrepreneurs are modest fellows and attribute their organic and healthy growth to the eager community of cyclists, both inside and outside of Detroit.

Recently awarded a fellowship in the Detroit Creative Corridor Center’s Creative Ventures Program, these guys are becoming strong leaders in the cycling community. They’re looking forward to Detroit Bike City, a bike shop, and more exciting plans they have yet to announce.

“Everything is about the city. We’re trying to put people in neighborhoods or get people out to festivals or raise awareness,” Hall says. “But without all of us pitching in, this wouldn’t be happening. We went from a bike club with T-shirts to an organization that doesn’t really have any boundaries — so we started just rolling with it.”

If you’d like to sponsor Detroit Bike City this year, keep an eye out for their sponsorship packages as they’re sending them out at the end of the week or send an e-mail!

Community Manager and Staff Writer
Follow Achille

Bikeability Economics People Detroit | September 14, 2012 | Detroit Bike City bike-in theater Detroit Creative Collaborative Corridor Cobo HallBike Shop

From rock spot to bike shop

The Shack: Detroit Bike Shop To Replace Former Underground Music Hotspot

Detroit Bike Shop

Jason Hall is one of three entrepreneurs setting up a bike shop in a former DIY music venue called “The Shack.” (David Sands/HuffPost)

It’s known as “The Shack.” For nearly seven years, the little carriage house located on Merrick and Trumbull in Detroit’s Woodbridge neighborhood has served as an underground music venue for DJs and rock-and-rollers.

But now the space is getting retooled as a venue with a little less music and a little more clangs and bangs — a bicycle shop specializing in custom and vintage bikes.

Jason Hall, Mike MacKool and Mike Sheppard are the three young men behind the building’s reinvention. The trio runs an annual bike expo called Detroit Bike City, which drew 1,500 people to Cobo Hall this past March. They’re also members of Bikes & Murder, a local bicycle club that sponsors a popular weekly bike ride, dubbed “Slow Rolls to Slow Jams,” at theWoodbridge Pub, located across the street from the space.

The pub’s owner, Jim Geary, recently purchased the building to get the project off the ground and is renting it to the entrepreneurs. Jason Hall told The Huffington Post that the decision to acquire the space was a “no-brainer.”

“The pub has always been our home,” Hall said. “One day we had 130 people out there and our whole crew was changing tires and pumping stuff up, and I’m like ‘Wait a minute, The Shack is available.’ Why wouldn’t we open a shop where we’re already every Monday, doing a pop-up shop?”

Although there are already a number of other places in the area that sell rebuilt bikes, like The Hub of Detroit and Third Avenue Hardware, Hall isn’t worried about fighting over clients. His shop will be oriented towards a pricier market, and he plans to refer people looking for an inexpensive bicycle to other local vendors.

Bikes at the new shop will range from about $500 to a couple thousand for some of the hand-crafted ones. The proprietors plan to carry cycles from local factory-owner Zak Pashak’s Detroit Bikes brand, but their focus will be on remade vintage and custom designs. Hall said his partner Mike Sheppard already makes bikes from his home under the name 313 Bicycle Works. Plus, plenty of the bike club’s members are gearheads who will gravitate toward their creative efforts.

“Our shop came really from our group of people needing a creative outlet for what they do. We’re going to have wheels and tires and things like that, but we’re really trying to be a boutique shop,” he said. “It’s not about making bikes to sell. It’s about the originality.”

The shop will offer drop-in repair service and rentals for their weekly ride. In addition, it will serve as a base of operations for the Detroit Bike Cityexpo and a clubhouse for the Bikes & Murder bicycle club, which gets its name from its members love of cycling and video games.

There’s still a lot of work to do before the shop can get up and running. Hall and his crew want to add new walls, bathrooms and a second floor. The work will be nothing new for Mike MacKool, who was friends with The Shack’s original owners and helped with past renovations. Once the work is done, the crew hopes to open the storefront by Spring of 2013. As for its name, for now, they’re are sticking to what works.

“It’s still called The Shack for right now, because the name has such a connection to a lot of people in the community,” said Hall.

In its heyday, the space served as the headquarters of Woodbridge Records, which put out music by local groups like I,CrimeThe Summer Pledge and the house band,Noman. Shayne O’Keefe co-founded the record label with The Shack’s former owner Andrew Beer, who recently moved to New York, and played drums with him in Noman.

He has fond memories of the place, which, while influential in the neighborhood, probably only hosted about 100 shows during its run.

“It’d usually be rock bands, touring people and then late night dance party ragers with DJs,” he told The Huffington Post. “Andrew Beer got a house and just maxed out his credit cards trying to fix the stupid place up so we could have a little chunk of this town.”

O’Keefe, who works at The Hub and is a founder of the bicycle-based Hot Spokeslunch delivery service, said he wishes the new crew good luck with their venture.

“I hope it does well. It’s a popular little corner. A lot of those people have been around The Shack and come to parties and shows and stuff there for years,” he said. “I think it’s great they’ve already been involved when it was The Shack and now they get to have a stab at it.”

Detroit’s new bicycle economy

by Dennis Archambault

Like the growth of the monthly bike ride known as Critical Mass, the two-wheel economy has reached its own critical mass in Detroit. Though minuscule compared with Detroit’s car companies, the manufacture, sales and service of cycling is gaining legitimacy as an industry.Perhaps most symbolic, two months after the 2012 North American International Auto Show, Detroit Bike City was inaugurated, the region’s first annual bike show and swap meet.
A century after Henry Ford transformed the quadricycle into an automobile, urban Detroit is re-discovering two-wheelers. Roads are becoming bike-friendly and people are taking cycling seriously as a means of transportation as well as leisure.In the first floor of his carriage house in the historic Boston-Edison neighborhood — two blocks from the original Henry Ford mansion — Zak Pashak built the prototype for a bike he intend

The Hub

s to manufacture for $500: one style,
one color, much like Ford’s original Model T: a vehicle common folks could afford. Pashak’s company, Detroit Bikes, purchased a factory on the West Side and expects to begin mass production in late 2012.Shinola, a national firm that makes fine watches, leather goods, and high end, stylish cycles, located its assembly facility in Midtown. The bikes will have a vintage aura with modern mechanisms, marketed in the range of $2,500 to $3,500. By coincidence of their shared location in the Argonaut Buil
ding, Shinola struck up a relationship with College forCreative Studies. One of the Shinola models, The Flattop, was designed by a CCS student.
The Detroit Bicycle Company, which builds high style, retro bikes fit for a gallery, reflects its founder’s trade. That’s Steve Bak, a clay model builder in the auto industry. Currently

based in Royal Oak, Bock is looking for a production facility in Detroit.
The aura of Autorama is reflected
in bike tricksters like Danny Smith, who customizes bikes for show. Smith customized a bike for an Autorama event a few years ago and clients followed. By day he’s an insurance claims adjuster, but after work he’s in his basement shopworking on bikes. He’s built or customized 12 bik
es to date, ranging in price from $500 to $1,000, with some jobsfalling into the $100 range. He plans to exhibit at the 2013 Detroit Bike City.
“The market is growing, and the culture is too,” he says. “There are several classes of cyclist in Detroit: the young guys on the fixies (fixed gear bikes) and the guys who ride the old school custom bicycles, the road riders who are in the large groups, then you have your novices (and commuters) who just want to ride.”
Cycling sales, service, and education Kelli Kavanaugh, with partner Karen Gage, established Wheelhouse Detroit at Rivard Place on the Detroit RiverWalk at a time when there were few cyclists downtown, and even fewer bike tours or bike shops selling and servicing bikes. In its four years of operation,business at the shop has grown steadily. An organizer of the Tour-de-Troit, Kavanaugh says the ride, which drew 5,000 riders this year, has raised over $85,000 for greenway development in Detroit and has gained recognition among cyclists throughout the Midwest.
The Hub, a nine-member collective in the Cass Corridor, demonstrates how social entrepreneurship melds cycling education with retail. Back Alley Bikes, established in 2000, has been introducing bike maintenance and riding skills to young people for severalyears. It operates on the second level of a
warehouse behind a the Hub retail shop. A gathering spot for urban cyclists, the Hub is the cash cow of the enterprise, nearly doubling its income annually since its inception in 2009.
Delivering court papers, hot food, and recyclablesCouriers are transporting legal papers, food, and even recycled goods on two wheels — and making money. Rock Dove Couriers, founded four years ago, has profited largely from transporting legal documents. But email has diminished that market, forcing owner Joel Landis to consider collaborating wi
th Shayne O’Keefe, owner of Hot Spokes, which transports edibles from 10 restaurants and food shops in the Downtown/Midtown area.
Bike culture drives the market and entrepreneurs, even
a show
Gradually motor vehicles are yielding to other ways of movement in Motown — not without tension at times, but a transition is underway. Following the national trend of eco-friendly options to getting around cities, Detroit streetsare more bike-friendly than ever as the market for
Most two-wheel entrepreneurs aren’t going to quit their day jobs any time soon, but they’re making money and expanding. Ideas are flowing, things are being made, businesses are being formed, finding success and improving the overall quality of life. Excitement is growing around designing, building, selling, and playing with machines that move people and products — something very much Detroit in vision and practice.riding and acquiring bikes grows.There may only be a few new jobs on manufacturing, customizing, repairing, selling, and showing bikes, and it probably won’t do much to stabilize Detroit’s budget, but the cycling culture has become a way of life for a lot of people.

Nearly all of the businesses interviewed have noted steady growth, and those who haven’t project a promising future. There’s some talk of collaboration, possible mergers, new businesses popping up and more people shopping for and buying more products — the stuff of an evolving industry, as much a cultural statement as it is a symbol of economic vitality.
Freelance writer Dennis Archambault is a longtime contributor to Model D. His last story was on a key Midtown rebuilding block. 
Photos by Marvin Shaouni

The Future of Detroit Biking

By Jennifer W On October 20, 2012

In the future, Detroit may be known for more than its automotive achievements. Motor City is becoming more bike-friendly and commuting by bicycle is now a real possibility for many residents of the D. The popularity of this healthy, green and affordable way to travel is growing not only in Detroit, but nationwide.

Detroit BikesSmall businesses like Detroit Bikes are trying to make their start in the industry. According toa story on Model D, owner and founder, Zac Pashak, plans to build an affordable commuter bike in a factory he purchased in the city.

In another story written about him in Canada’s Globe and Mail, Canadian-born Pashak shared his reason for locating his factory in Detroit.
Detroit Bike City

“Detroit is attracting risk takers and a lot of creative people right now. It has a Gold Rush feeling to it. … People want to see positive change in Detroit, so they are deeply invested in what is happening there. They want to hear new ideas. It’s a great atmosphere for business.” – Zac Pashak, owner and founder of Detroit Bikes

Detroit has many cycling groups, organizations and events available for bike enthusiasts. Detroit Bike City offers Monday night rides and has a yearly bike show. The Tour de Troit is an annual bike ride that helps raise awareness of biking as transportation and raise funds for the greenways of Detroit.

On top of the many bike shops, groups and events, Wayne State University is researching a possible bike share program. This would be idea for commuters who don’t want to invest in purchasing their own bike.

bike sharing

Lots of large cities, including New York City, have seen success with bike sharing programs.

In the not-so-distant future, it looks like Detroit could be known more for its two-wheel, man-powered forms of transportation, rather than the four-wheel, horse-powered kind. Motor City? More like Bike City!

- Jennifer

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