Last year, Slow Roll co-founders Jason Hall and Mike MacKool launched North American Bicycle Week (NABW) here in Detroit! The event was a smash hit and culminated in the Slow Roll season kickoff. They’re bringing it back this year starting today, March 25, and running through Sunday, March 29.
Detroit’s Bike Culture
It’s undeniable that the bike landscape in the city is changing. It’s no longer uncommon to see Detroiters riding into work on a Monday morning or biking to their favorite spot on a Friday night. Even city officials have noticed and are revamping roads to make them friendlier to cyclists.
Hall and MacKool have certainly played a role in this shift. From the creation of Slow Roll in 2010 to the development of NABW, they’re making cycling easy, accessible and cool again. So what prompted these two cycling Detroiters to reintroduce the city and surrounding areas to biking?
According to MacKool, “You notice more on bikes. It’s the best way to see and visit the city.” Hall, a lifelong Detroiter, just wanted to be a part of the city’s history.
It’s safe to say that the two have succeeded in making their mark on Detroit’s history. Slow Roll now draws upwards of 3,000 people to each ride. “It’s a testament to the city that this event [Slow Roll] can happen. Detroit let this event happen,” says Hall.
North American Bicycle Week
After the success of Slow Roll, how do you keep the excitement and energy going? You could do a small bike show and invite everyone down for that.
But in Detroit, we don’t do anything small.
Hall and MacKool wanted to do something that would showcase Detroit- and Michigan-based bike businesses, allow people to experience the relationship between bikes and art, and still showcase all the greatness of Detroit. So they came up with NABW, a five-day festival that celebrates bicycling.
“We were just having so much fun! We wanted to let other people in on that fun. We wanted to give people the chance to see the business side and see the cool things we do every day,” says Hall about NABW.
From now until Sunday, March 29, you’ll find bike-themed events all around the city! From a kickoff party at one of Detroit’s hottest new restaurants to a movie night and more, there’s something for every bike lover during NABW.
The event hits its high point this weekend with a massive bike show at Cobo Hall on Saturday. Over 120 vendors will be represented, including Detroit favorites Shinola, Moosejaw and Detroit Hustles Harder.
The five-day festival ends on Sunday with the Slow Roll season opener. Riders will meet at Eastern Market at 11:00 a.m. and head out on a 12-mile bike ride around the city at noon.
But those aren’t the only ways to get into the bike week spirit. Check out the complete schedule now!
Are you planning on buying a new bike at the bike show? Gearing up to hit the streets for the Slow Roll season opener? Ready to engage and get new perspectives at the caucus? Let us know what you’re looking forward to in the comment section!