Bicycling means business and friendship in Wayne, Michigan

Community: City of Wayne
Population: 10,000+

Established in 2016, the Wayne Bicycle Club has become a popular activity with the residents. Founder Brian Ewanciw is a local business owner who wanted to find ways to get his neighbors more involved in their community. He approached the City of Wayne in 2016 and asked if a Bicycle Club would be an activity the city could get behind. The city said “of course!” Many cities across Michigan and the U.S., have bicycle groups and this isn’t a new concept. But what is unique about the Wayne Bicycle Club is that when the city reached a point where it had to start eliminating many historical events due to the lack of staffing and funding, Brian stepped up and decided he was not going to give up on his community. What started off as a small group of bicycling aficionados has turned into a favorite pastime.


Replicability:

The project is replicable and scalable. It could be reproduced in a small community just as easily as in a large community. All that are needed are volunteers who are willing to plan weekly bicycle routes and publicize the efforts. Social media and word-of-mouth promotions are key. The benefits—increased community pride, increased civic volunteerism, increased physical fitness, increased commercial activity—would transfer to other communities undertaking such an effort.

Creativity and Originality:

The club travels all over Southeast Michigan throughout the week touring throughout the region. Thursdays are dedicated to Wayne. Rides are approximately two hours long. The Wayne Bicycle Club has created bike tours in Wayne that focus on historic home tours and, more recently, the Detroit Institute of Arts Inside/Out Program. The Club has also created t-shirts and sweatshirts that are worn to show the pride they have for their group and their City. Because the Wayne Bicycle Club is free and open to the public, they have grown to more than 70 members. The City of Wayne helps to promote the rides through Facebook and other social media avenues. To learn more about the Wayne Bicycle Club, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/waynebicycleclub/

Community Impact:

Community involvement! The Wayne Bicycle Club has created a sense of pride within the community and it promotes community involvement. It also encourages its participants to explore their region during organized rides. This includes Huron Clinton Metroparks, Open Streets Detroit, and Belle Isle as well as the Detroit Institute of Arts Inside/Out Program. This sense of community and community investment has led to an increase in volunteerism among the members of the community as well as boosting the physical fitness of participants. It has also led to an increase in business activity along the route, as riders will pause to buy a beverage, snack, or shop. The theme of this submission is “Bicycling means business & friendship in Wayne, Michigan”. The Wayne Bicycle Club’s activity has received the attention of bicycle shops across the region that are closely watching the City of Wayne and looking for an opportunity to make the City a potential destination for their next business location. It is also important to note that City employees and members of the City Council have also become members of the Wayne Bicycle Club. Both groups have stated that this experience has provided them with a tremendous opportunity to become more involved in their community and has opened up another avenue to communicate with other members who they represent in the City, creating an important personal connection. The Wayne Bicycle Club has shown that even when a community doesn’t have funding to expend, there are ways to engage the citizens without spending a single penny. But more importantly, this club is bringing back a sense of pride that has not existed for some time.

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Project Multimedia:

Wayne Bicycle Club from Lisa Nocerini on Vimeo.