By Sandra McNeill

DETROIT (WWJ) – Have you been downtown Detroit on a Monday night this summer? You might be asking: “Where are all the bikes?”

Jason Hall is the man behind the Slow Roll, a weekly bike ride around Detroit. Hall said he’s been putting on the rides for several years, but this year, the number of people taking part “just exploded.”

His biggest ride so far? About 1,200 people. It was a single line of cyclists that stretched a mile and a half long in the streets. So did Hall ever dream the Slow Roll would get so big?

“No, no,” said Hall. “My friends used to tell me all the time that this year it’s going to hit a thousand. I’m like, ‘You’re crazy!'”

Hall said he when over 1,000 riders showed up for a ride in August, he was “blown away.”

Russell Blake, 24, decided to check out the Slow Roll with a couple of friends.

“When you live out in Livonia,” said Blake, “all you hear is the negative stuff. But once you spend a little time down here, you realize the city is pretty diverse. Each section is almost like a city within a city. Everyone around here calls themselves a Detroiter, but nobody actually spends any time in Detroit.”

Hall said his groups are probably half Detroiters, with riders of all ages, from children to seniors. They circle areas as diverse as the old Ford plant in Highland Park and the Motown Museum.

The rides are free and take off from a different city night spot each week.

Those who are game end the night with a beverage. “It’s just as much a party as it is a ride,” said Hall. “Sort of a social experiment.”

The Slow Roll takes off at 7 p.m. on Monday until the snow makes it too rough.

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