Cyclists take Slow Roll to Grand Prix's fast track

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Detroit — Hundreds of bicyclists gathered in Cadillac Square Wednesday evening for a special Slow Roll ride to the Grand Prix racetrack alongside IndyCar drivers. 

This is the fourth year the Slow Roll led a ride to the racetrack on Belle Isle to promote the race event, co-founder Mike MacKool said. 

Slow Roll bikers make their way over the bridge onto Belle Isle, Wednesday, May 30, 2018, in Detroit.  (Jose Juarez/Special to Detroit News)

"We've done it the last few years and always wanted to because it's definitely an event that really kicks off summer in Detroit and we wanted to be a part of that," MacKool said. 

Before leaders blew their whistles, many caught photos with ABC's "The Bachelor" star Arie Luyendyk Jr. and his fiancée, Lauren Burnham. Luyendyk, 35, the son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, is driving in the Stadium Super Truck series at the Grand Prix.

"I always come to Detroit for the Detroit Grand Prix and I always come early to promote the event because one of my sponsors and title sponsors for the event is Lear," Luyendyk said. "It's always cool to come to Detroit. Last year, I actually waved the flag for the Slow Roll so I thought, no, I need to be a part of it."


Taking a selfie of themselves at the front of the Slow Roll starting line are Hal Slatin of Livonia, left, and friend Ann Pape of Westland, Wednesday, May 30, 2018, in Detroit.  (Jose Juarez/Special to Detroit News)

The Slow Roll always draws large crowds, but MacKool said the special event had at least 200 more people than expected, even with possible thunderstorms and high winds in the forecast. 

"I came because how often do you get to break out the bike and ride on the Grand Prix track?" said Juliana Elder, 29, from Rochester. "I'll probably take some family to the event but it was really more about riding to Belle Isle and enjoying the weather."

Twitter: @SarahRahal_