You and your bicycle are invited to come out for the inaugural Flint Township trail run. Now that I have your attention, I regretfully must confess that the event does not actually exist yet. I am throwing the suggestion out there to see if there is any interest.
The idea first came to me a few years ago. I drive by Flint Township’s six-yearold Genesee Valley Trail every day. I see a few people on bikes and once saw a woman pushing a stroller. It looks lonely out there and frankly I have concerns about how safe it is to be out there alone.
But there is safety in numbers. So, my idea is to set up a regularly scheduled ride. It could be a formal annual event with potential to grow to the scale of the Crim, Back to the Bricks and other local events that involve government and business sponsors and draws people from miles around.
Or it could be an informal group of regular riders who agree to meet let’s say at 4 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of the month, in season. Call it 4 @ 4, or something like that, to help people remember when to come.
That idea blossomed this summer when I learned of an organized bike ride held in Detroit on the first Monday of each week from about May through Halloween. Their website and Facebook page gives all the details. As the name implies, it is not a race. They ride at a slow pace to give bicycling enthusiasts a chance to leisurely tour different parts of the city. They meet at different locations, riding for about ten miles.
Now in its seventh year, Slow Roll brings together people of all ages, races and skill levels.
As of 2016, they had 12,000 registered riders coming in from as far away as Canada and Ohio. And they put on quite a show. Some bikes are pimped out with special lights, tires, neon colors and other custom accessories. Riders wear colorful outfits to match their bikes. Some club members wear matching t-shirts. Check out some of the photos on their Facebook page at facebook.com/groups/146048678917990.
Slow Roll helps create a sense of community while offering a fun way to exercise, meet new people and experience new things. Imagine bringing some of that fun and camaraderie right into our own backyard.
The trail in Flint Township is about three miles long, running from the Flint Township Park on Norko Drive to Ballenger Highway. The location makes it easy to stage the ride from the back parking lot at Genesee Valley Mall, with permission. Or it could start at the Flint Township Park pavilion near the police station.
The trail is open from April 1 through November 30 so there still is time to organize a casual ride before the snow flies. What do you think?