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Lawrence Tech bikers join Tour de Troit for fifth year

Release Date: October 4, 2013
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Members of the Blue Devil Revolution, the bicycle program on LTU’s campus, pose in front of Michigan Central Station after riding in the 2013 Tour de Troit. From left to right are Brian Velocci, Liuyang Yeng, Dustin Altschul, Scott Hill, Mike Darga, Constance Bodurow, Nicole Gerow, and Brandon Churches.

Lawrence Tech students, staff, and alumni joined more than 6,000 bicyclists for the annual Tour de Troit, a leisurely 30-mile bike ride on the streets of Detroit on Sept. 21.
 
The group gathered bright and early on a Saturday morning in Roosevelt Park in the Corktown section of Detroit, rallying under a large Lawrence Tech flag on the lawn in front of Michigan Central Station. They wore white T-shirts with the Lawrence Tech devil horns that were created for the fifth year that LTU has participated in the Tour de Troit.
 
The shirts were sponsored by the LTU Blue Devil Revolution (BDR), a bicycle program created through a generous donation from the Darga Family, the LTU Bike Crew, the LTU chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students, the Masters of Urban Design program within the College of Architecture and Design, the LTU student chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council LTU, and the Lawrence Tech Athletic Department.

Donor Mike Darga, a 1985 civil engineering graduate, rode with the Blue Devils, and his family’s donation will enable Lawrence Tech to become a League of American Bicyclists bronze-level bicycle-friendly university over the next five years.

Lawrence Tech alumnus Andy Neevel was among this year’s riders. “It’s no wonder we see more and more participants at each year’s Tour. It’s a great opportunity to experience the city in a completely different way from what we typically perceive as Detroit,” Neevel said.  

Dustin Altschul, a graduate student in both architecture and urban design, rode in the Tour de Troit for the first time.  “My favorite part of the Tour was the social bridge that it formed. The ride goes through some of the rougher portions of Detroit and as we cycled through, there were people on their front porches cheering on the Tour as we went,” he said.  

Altschul plans to ride in next year’s Metric Century, which is an extended 62-mile ride offered on the same day.

LTU’s Department of Athletics supported the LTU contingent by supplying materials, sponsoring the T-shirts,  and providing the rental Blue Devil bikes for free to Lawrence Tech students and staff at the event.  

“We were very happy to provide and promote bicycles to the Lawrence Tech community,” said Athletics Director Scott Trudeau. “Not only are bikes great for you, they are good for the environment and help with Lawrence Tech’s work to become a more environmentally friendly campus.”
     
Associate Professor Constance Bodurow helped organize LTU’s involvement in Tour de Troit. “It is great to see participation grow each year. The Tour is a fun and easy way for our campus community to engage with Detroit,” said Bodurow, an avid bicyclist and a faculty champion of the BDR bicycle program. “An added benefit is that our students understand the important role of diverse modes of transportation in the design of a sustainable city.”

The BDR program recently hired Scott Hill as the new student coordinator. “As a Lawrence Tech student who rides bicycles both for leisure and transportation, I am excited to work to improve and expand the university’s bike program for all of us to use and enjoy.”   

Hill welcomes questions and comments about the LTU bike program, and can be contacted at shill1@ltu.edu or 248-204-2882.

The LTU Bike Crew is always looking for new members who want to get involved. Visit the Facebook page.