DETROIT — Thousands of bicyclists pedaled across Detroit on Saturday as part of an annual event designed to increase public awareness about the benefits of bike riding and to give people a better sense of the city.
The 13th Tour de Troit offered two routes — one 62 miles long and another 30 miles long — that took riders through some of the city's historic neighborhoods.
More than 6,000 bicyclists took part, organizers said.
"This is unlike anything we've ever experienced before," Tanya Rodgers, of Ann Arbor, told The Detroit News. "It's nice to feel part of the community."
The event has raised nearly $180,000 since 2005 to support nonmotorized transit projects. More than 17 miles of bike lanes have been developed as part of the Southwest Detroit Greenlink with money raised by Tour de Troit events.
Only 30 people were involved at the first Tour de Troit, and as recently as 7 years ago, having 1,000 people was a pipe dream, said Bil Lusa, chairman of the board.
"It's easy; everyone remembers how," Lusa said. "And in a place like Detroit where we have the infrastructure with lots of extra lanes and not a lot of road traffic, it's perfect."