It was a perfect spring weekend in Detroit for bicycle enthusiasts and for those attending a Mardi Gras style parade through the Cass Corridor. The weekend kicked off Saturday with the first annual Detroit Bike City bicycle show and swap meet. It was held at Cobo Center downtown. Sunday was the third annual Marche du Nain Rouge, and that event took place in the city’s mid-town neighborhood.
Detroit Bike City
The Detroit Bike City show and swap meet, the first of its kind in the city, showcased a variety of cycling vendors. They were selling everything from collectible 1960’s-70’s vintage bikes, priced upwards of $350, to all types of new bikes. These included mountain, hybrids, road bikes and retro cruisers, and they were selling for substantially more than the used bikes. The new bikes I looked at were considerably lighter and technically superior to my 15-year old, steel framed hybrid. As compared to them, my bike is as heavy as a 1950’s Buick.
In addition to bicycle vendors, there were a variety of used parts, bike accessories, and other cycling related sellers offering items such as helmets, t-shirts, stickers, etc. There were other vendors present who were promoting organized tours, trails and bike safety. They offered information on the Tour de Troit and the Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance, among other things. The event also showcased stunt riders zipping off ramps and twisting and turning in the air.
I arrived in the early afternoon and there was still a good size crowd wandering from table to table checking out the goods and services. The event seemed to be well-organized, and free secured parking was available to those riding to the show.
Marche du Nein Rouge – 2012
On Sunday, the third annual Marche du Nein Rouge was held in Detroit’s mid-town neighborhood. The annual event is held the first Sunday of spring. It’s an event designed to banish an evil 300 year-old Red Devil from Detroit, and by doing so, lifting a curse from the city for the upcoming year.
After a rousing opening ceremony in the parking lot of Detroit’s Traffic Jam Restaurant, where the Devil himself made an appearance, costumed revelers and parade watchers marched their way through the Cass Corridor to the imp’s place of eventual demise, The Historic Masonic Temple. The stylish Mardi Gras type parade, led by the swinging Detroit Party Marching Band, included those dressed as unicorns, Christian brothers, angels, pilgrims, assorted monsters and other bizarre characters (some without costumes).
At the Temple, the Devil taunted the crowd by spewing out evil doings that all Detroiter’s should partake in. After a few minutes of listening to that madness, people in the crowd had had enough and began booing and pelting the Devil with what appeared to be tomatoes, driving him away for another year.
For more information on the myth of Detroit’s Red Devil, you can click here to read my blog entry on last year’s Marche.