Bicyclists ride north on Bermuda from 9 Mile, just east of Woodward in Ferndale. (Todd McInturf / The Detroit News)
Ferndale— A week before the rumbling engines of classic cars and hot rods take to Woodward Avenue for the annual Dream Cruise, a group of environmentally conscious individuals gathered Saturday to promote human power.
The Green Cruise began 10 years ago as a response to the gas guzzling, noisy vehicles that clog the roads around Woodward on the third Saturday of every August. Although the two cruises have completely different purposes, in a way they complement each other.
“I personally love the Dream Cruise, but people who live around here hate it,” said Phil Crookshank, outings chair for the Sierra Club of Southeast Michigan, which put on the Green Cruise.
“The Dream Cruise celebrates automotive history and driving and the Sierra Club encourages people to use efficient cars or take public transit.”
The beauty of the Green Cruise is that there is no one way to get moving. In the morning, about 160 people participated in two bike rides; a 42-mile trip down to Detroit and Belle Isle and back and a 22-mile trip north to Birmingham and beyond. A 4-mile family ride begins at 1 p.m. A 3-mile historical walk tour through Ferndale left at 10 a.m.
“We really want the exercise,” said Mrs. Fern Dale, a 26-year resident of Ferndale and the local historian who led the tour. “And some of the young folks around here aren’t as tuned into this as us old timers.”
A noon parade steps off from East Nine Mile Road and Woodward and will feature an assortment of human powered vehicles and testaments to alternative transportation options. Last year, a Michigan musician showed up riding a piano.
“Their message is very positive,” said Michael Lary, director of special events for the city of Ferndale. “There is more to motion than vehicles...There’s room for everyone.”