Detroit Gets Back to Its Pre-Motor City Roots With Bike Manufacturing

In all the havoc this latest recession has unleashed upon Detroit, a few refrains have been echoed repeatedly: recapture the city’s entrepreneurial spirit, embrace the green economy, and reduce dependency on the auto industry.

Detroit Bikes is helping to keep manufacturing jobs in the Motor City. Photo: Detroit News

There’s no better example of Detroit taking those recommendations to heart than Detroit Bikes. Todd Scott at M-Bike.org has this report:

They are creating simple, low-cost, practical urban bikes that should retail for just under $500. And they expect to be building them in the city of Detroit – up to 100 a day if all goes as planned.

Detroit Bikes is starting to get noticed. The Detroit News and Crain’s Detroit Business both wrote about the new company and its founder, Zak Pashak, an entrepreneur from Calgary. Pashak told the News, “Henry Ford’s goal was to create affordable, reliable transportation. That’s my goal.”

This is really exciting. We’re not sure the last time bicycles were built in earnest within the city of Detroit.

Pashak told Detroit Make it Here that “it’s possible to produce affordable, American-made bikes in volume, especially in Detroit,” due to the city’s low cost.

Little known fact: Henry Ford tinkered with bicycles before getting sidetracked with that whole cars-and-assembly-lines business.

Elsewhere on the Network today: The League of American Bicyclists looks at a study finding that men are overrepresented on local bicycle and pedestrian advisory panels. Streets.mn examines how certain transportation projects can detract from local wealth, despite local leaders’ expectations to the contrary. And Cap’n Transit observes how drivers tend to see their vehicles as extensions of themselves, and how that can have deadly consequences for those without tons of metal protecting them.