Fun Things To Do In Detroit: Slow Roll
2017 Inaugural Slow Roll: HandleBar Detroit leads the first Slow Roll of the season.
Did you know, the largest weekly bicycle ride in the world happens right here in Detroit? It’s called Slow Roll, and over 2,000 people turn out each week during the summer to participate.
What is Slow Roll?
Slow Roll is a bike ride for everyone, regardless of age, skill level, or type of bike; the purpose of the slow roll is to get people outside and biking. Some participants live downtown and ride their bike to the starting point and others travel from the suburbs to participate. The Slow Roll takes place on Monday nights throughout the summer. The ride was founded by Jason Hall and Mike MacKool in 2011 as a way to reconnect with the city that they love, Detroit. Jason and Mike weren’t trying to start a movement, rather they were just trying to enjoy the city and get others out to enjoy the city with them. In fact, last year Slow Roll hosted 23 rides from the East Side to the West Side, the North Side, and all parts of Detroit in between. In 2018, Slow Roll will partner with nearly 50 Detroit Non-Profit Organizations to build awareness and invite HandleBar Detroit pedal pub riders to participate in community service throughout Detroit.
To participate in the Slow Roll, you do have to register. However, the Slow Roll stays true to the community by being accessible to all, as they offer free memberships or memberships that require a donation but come with a sweet t-shirt.
How are The HandleBar Detroit’s pedal pubs involved?
One of the founders of Detroit’s Slow Roll, Jason Hall, drove our pedal pubs on tours for our first 2 years of operation and has become a close friend. The first time The HandleBar Detroit’s pedal pubs participated in Slow Roll was in 2015, when the Detroit Pistons called us to book one of our pedal pubs to ride during Slow Roll. Just two short years later, in 2017, we led the inaugural ride, and have dubbed ourselves, “The Slowest Roller”, because even Slow Roll passed us by within a mile or so
Tweet from Detroit Pistons: Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons center, participates in Slow Roll.
We’ve participated in Slow Roll with The HandleBar Detroit’s pedal pubs for the first mile or so a couple times, but to be honest, taking our pedal pubs isn’t the best fit (we’re slow, big, and get in the way). You might see us at a Slow Roll event enjoying the scene, taking the entire Slow Roll squad out for a tour on our fleet of 16-passenger pedal pubs, or just riding parallel to the ride if it’s within our footprint of downtown. We do this because we love the idea; people staying active and enjoying and appreciating our city together.
If you want to get to know Detroit there is no better way than in the open air on a bicycle (or pedal pub). The slow pace keeps the group safe and gives riders a unique perspective of our great city and its neighborhoods. Do yourself a favor and check out Slow Roll this year; with all the changes happening in Detroit there’s always something new to see.
HandleBar Detroit cruising through Detroit during a 2017 Slow Roll.