My 3 Favorite Places to Bike in Downtown Detroit

I’ve frequently spent time at Atomic’s Detroit office this summer, and I’m excited by downtown Detroit’s cycling opportunities. So far, my 3 favorite places to ride in downtown Detroit are:

1. The RiverWalk

I’ve been rinding the RiverWalk between 6am-7:30am. During that time period the RiverWalk has light traffic and the early-morning crowd is usually cheerful and friendly. The RiverWalk has been a great place for cruising, warming up, or easy spinning.

Riding Detroit RiverWalk
Cycling Detroit RiverWalk

2. Belle Isle

Belle Isle is a beautiful island park located on the Detroit river. Belle Isle has 6 miles of road with a bike lane around its perimeter. You’ll be able to catch very scenic views of the Detroit and Windsor skylines as you ride around the island.

Cycling Belle Isle
Cycling Belle Isle

You can get to Belle Isle by riding the RiverWalk to its eastern end, riding a brief stretch of Jefferson Ave, and then crossing the MacArthur Bridge. The MacArthur bridge even has bike lanes.

Belle Isle is quite flat so it’s a great place for a light cruise or interval training. There’s also plenty of play equipment and picnic spots if you want to go as a family.

3. Riding Michigan Avenue to Slows

Downtown traffic is quite light when there’s not a game in town. Riding out of the core of downtown is easy and enjoyable. There are beautiful buildings to observe and wide, open roads. I’ve never been heckled by or harassed by drivers downtown.

Cycling Downtown Detroit
Cycling downtown Detroit

There’s a bike lane on Michigan Ave all the way down to Slows BBQ, which has an excellent food and beer menu. I’ve enjoyed riding out to Slows for dinner and then riding back into downtown to cruise around the Campus Martius Park and Harmonie Park areas.

I’ve always felt safe locking my bike outside of Slows after I discovered that RoboCop is still helping patrol the neighborhood.

My Next Goals for Cycling in Detroit

I still need to check out Dequindre cut and I’d love to find any area that offers even the slightest hills. I’d also like to plan a few longer road ride routes that get out of the urban setting.

Do you ride in downtown Detroit? If so, please share your experiences or questions.

  • Bill Barnett says:

    Great post, Shawn. I had just finished blogging about a recent ride in Cincinnati when a colleague mentioned your post. You’ve got me itching to check out Detroit’s urban biking opportunities. I’m getting into the habit of bring my bike with me on trips now. I’m putting Slow’s on my list!

    • Shawn Crowley Shawn Crowley says:

      Thanks for your comment Bill. I enjoyed your post about riding in Cincinnati.

      Several of us at Atomic enjoy commuting to work frequently. It’s quite enjoyable and easily becomes routine.

      I’ve recently been considering a retrofitted travel bike with steel couplers from Bilenky’s so I can fly with a bike more easily and inexpensively.

      Stop by for a visit when you make it to Detroit.

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