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Detroit Slow Roll crowded out by campaign, other events

Oct 15, 2016

Detroit's popular weekly Slow Roll bike ride was canceled for the second week in a row due to competing events.

Slow Roll relies on the Detroit Police Department to manage street closures and ensure safety of the ride. However, Slow Roll can be preempted by other major events in the city. This presidential election season has created some conflicts for the police and Slow Roll organizers. The October 10 ride was canceled due to a campaign appearance by Hillary Clinton, and the organizers canceled the October 17 ride because other events in the city reduced availability of police to assist with the ride.

According to Detroit Police Department spokesman Sgt. Michael Woody, the police department was obligated to provide coverage for the Detroit Free Press marathon on Sunday, Oct. 16, which reduced availability of officers for the October 17 ride. Slow Roll organizers made the call to cancel the ride earlier this week.

Slow Roll attracts between 5,000 and 6,000 riders each week. Jason Hall, one of the founders of Slow Roll, says there have been few complaints from participants. because everyone understands an election year is an unusual time.

"There are going to be days where we might not be able to ride, but you can still ride your bike because over the last six years, we've shown you enough of this city that you should be able to maneuver it yourself," says Hall.