Wednesday, December 14, 2011

One hour, 37 minutes.

It's hard to even know where to start this blog because of the pure number of bus/bike experiences that happened today. Melissa and I had a breakfast meeting with someone that wanted to hear more about our blog, so we decided to bus/bike there. It was chilly and rainy today, but nothing stops Two Women and our Four Wheels!

I also wanted to use this morning as a chance to test out the new SMART bus schedule. I was early enough to hit the 460 at the Royal Oak Transit Center all the way downtown. The bus was full but only about 2 minutes late. And not to worry - I totally got hit on at the bus stop before even dismounting my bike. A fellow bus rider asked if I had a boyfriend, told me he bet we'd make some beautiful babies, checked in on my holiday shopping status, and bid me adieu. A-mah-zing.

After our meeting, I set out in the new Detroit bus-normal. Here's a timeline:

10:38am - arrive at bus stop right on time - the DDOT Woodward 53 is supposed to arrive at 10:40am

11:00am - bus arrives after standing in the rain and missing being splashed at the bus stop by car drivers/puddles (thanks to my fellow SIX bus stop pals yelling 'watch out, baby!')
The 53 has an empty bike rack (YAY) but is packed with people. See Twitter for photo evidence (@2women4wheels). I end up getting one of the last seats- after paying my $1.75 - in a total standing-room-only bus. The man in front of me is wearing homemade actual paper clip pierced earrings. The ultimate in green/re-used/DIY fashion!

Oh, and someone says 'you take care of that gorgeous figure' to me, kind of loudly in front of the entire bus. Don't you worry...!?

11:38am - arrive at the State Fairgrounds.

11:42am - pick up the SMART 450 - after I see the bus driver flag down a Woodward 53 to transfer people. I give the bus drivers a lot of credit for trying to navigate these changes - and helping people along the way. I have to pay another $.50 for this transfer - which increases my bus commuting costs $.25 per ride between both systems. Our SMART 450 driver ends up waiting about 5 minutes for others to board from another Woodward 53.

11:50am - someone offers an uneaten ham sandwich to the entire bus. YES.

12noon - get off the bus at 11 & Woodward.

12:15pm - arrive at home. Harried. Really frustrated with this "new" system. Yet, grateful that I'm home safe, and grateful that I don't have to rely on this system on a regular basis. Because you know what? The majority of the people on this bus do. This adds about 45 minutes to my bus/bike commute. That's kind of insane, right? Without traffic, this commute is about 25 minutes via car.

How is this acceptable for a major metropolitan region? It's not.
We need to change this "new" system - and be vocal about our experiences.

We've said it before, but we'll say it again:
Send us your pictures!
Send us your stories!

Feel free to send photos to:
tag us on Twitter at:
or post to Facebook tagging:
2 Women 4 Wheels

We would love to have the opportunity to be the voice for the bus/bike commuting community - to help highlight the need for increased bus service. So help us out. :)

Mixed Message Bike Parking at Wayne State University?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What the BLEEP is going on?

First, SMART buses officially cut some of their bus lines and limit bus routes in Detroit to "peak hours." This decision not only upsets our commutes to work but also threatens our enjoyment of happy hours in Detroit.

Second, news sources report that after four years of planning, the light rail system from downtown Detroit to 8 Mile has been scrapped!

And now we are hearing that U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing are advocating for rapid transit buses. Really? And how long will that take to be implemented?

This leads us to the grand question, "WHAT THE BLEEP IS GOING ON?"

In all seriousness, *WHEN* will we have a reliable public transportation system that gets us from point A to point B in Detroit and across the region? And how many people in the interim will lose their jobs because they can't get to work on time? Furthermore, how many people will just give up on public transportation altogether because of all of these cuts? Unfortunately, our leaders are not providing answers to these questions.

Bottom line - we need a public transportation system that works and until that is a reality, we need to make sure that our leaders see what we endure with the current system.

So... participate in our picture campaign! It's simple.

Take pictures of the following:

1. Crowded buses
2. Crowded bus stops
3. Full buses driving away, leaving you to await the next one

Along with your pictures, please also post the date/time and route (whether SMART or DDOT).

Send photos to:
tag us on Twitter at: @2women4wheels
or post to Facebook tagging: 2 Women 4 Wheels

Monday, December 12, 2011

Outraged about the SMART Bus cuts?? It's time to get serious.

The back story (if you haven't already heard):

The cuts (if you haven't already seen this):

The commentary (ours, feel free to add your own):
As many of you know, Two Women Four Wheels has been rolling for about a year and half now. That's a lot of bus rides, and a lot of those bus rides happen on 'non-peak' times in Detroit on SMART buses (peak times = 6am - 9am and 3pm - 6pm M-F - is it us, or are these some serious early-bird 'peak times'? We'd like to see the empirical evidence on this one - but we digress). This SERIOUSLY interferes with happy hour times! Cliff Bells' Happy Hour goes until 7pm, helllllooo.

And what is the main theme that we blog/tweet about (well, besides getting hit on)? How full the buses are. How we get stuck places because the bike racks on the buses are FULL.

This is a MAJOR step back as it relates to transit in metro Detroit. Yeah, we said it. METRO Detroit. Not Detroit vs. the suburbs vs. the out-burbs or whatever. We are a region. A vibrant region full of great people that need (or prefer) to get around via public transit. And one that frankly is going fast nowhere without a solid way for people to get around.

The Plan (we know you've been waiting):
So, what speaks more than 1,000 words (or Two Women Four Wheels fabulous blog/Twitter posts)?
That's right.
We are kicking off our picture campaign and ask followers of our blogs (and friends of followers and of course, their friends) to post the following:

1. Pictures of crowded buses
2. Pictures of crowded bus stops
3. Pictures of full buses driving away, leaving you to await the next one

Along with your pictures, please also post the date/time and route (whether SMART or DDOT).
And also feel free to document any issues you may have.

SMART and DDOT need to hear from US. The local transit riding community. And how these cuts aren't going to cut it with us.

Feel free to send photos to:
tag us on Twitter at:
or post to Facebook tagging:
2 Women 4 Wheels

We can't wait to see your photos and hear your stories - and we'll be sharing our own. We will be amassing this information for potential future actions (insert evil laugh muhahahaha). :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Master busser Lisa!

Took the 475 limited today, standing room ONLY from 11 & Woodward all the way downtown (makes it tough to tweet/blog!). Lisa takes this route everyday since her office moved downtown - goooo Lisa!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Inspired by the Crain's Detroit letters to the editor

During my bus commute Monday morning, I came across two letters to the editor from the October 17th issue of Crain's Detroit Business that gave me opposite reactions, and I was thus inspired to write this post.
First, if you didn't see the news, the SMART bus system plans to cut 22% of bus service - here's some more background -

Now for the analysis:
From James Tocco -
"It is inconceivable that our civic leaders cannot find the resources to manage and even improve our much-needed mass transit system. Wouldn't an improved and expanded modern bus system serve better than the ground service rail that everyone appears to be fixated on?"

From Mike Butts (and I'm sorry for your last name, dude, but that doesn't excuse this clearly uninformed comment) -
"Wow, this means 22% fewer empty buses cluttering up the road."

Starting with Butts, this individual CLEARLY has never been on a local bus. Those that follow our Twitter feed and blog, know that we are often stranded due to lack of bus service AND lack of open bike racks. Mike Butts, if you an happen to read this, I invite you to ride with Two Women Four Wheels one day. Could you handle it?!
There is a clear need for mass transit in the Detroit area, which brings me to the comment from Tocco. I like it. The bus system is there, let's improve it rather than defund it, and see how FULL those busses are - I am not a betting person but I would put some serious money on this. I do support the rail system, but I also understand his point. If we can't keep our bus system funded, and cause people to seek out non-public transit alternatives - what message does that send to the various funders of our rail project - which include the federal government? We have this great system already, we should spend our money wisely, and USE it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ah, it does feel good to be back!

Those of you that are avid followers of our blog/Twitter feed know that we attract quite the motley (and a lot of times, amazing) crew of folks. It's been awhile since I've had a good bus suitor story, but yesterday. Yesterday made me believe in bus romance yet again!

After waiting for almost 45 mins for any SMART bus from downtown Detroit, the 450 glows up Woodward like a the beacon of SMART (ha! that seriously makes me laugh every time I read it - and yes, I know I should probably keep that to myself) transit that it is. I hug Melissa goodbye, grab the last space on the bike rack, and settle in for a quiet bus ride home.

Just past the Midtown area, a guy is waiting for the bus with his bike. With the full bike rack, the drivers are not supposed to let people with bikes on the bus. But the driver takes a poll of us bike-owners, determines a biker is getting off the bus soon enough, and lets the guy bring his bike on the bus. Having been stuck numerous times watching buses with full bike racks fly by, I appreciate the driver's willingness to work with this biker. My Midwest self decides that I'm going to thank him for being such a great driver on my way out, and thus the story unfolds.

We roll up to the Royal Oak Transit Center, I thank the bus driver for being awesome, grab my bike off the bike rack, turn on my sassy new bike lights and I see the driver is yelling something at me. I will continue the story in screenplay know the adventures of Two Woman Four Wheels are going to make an amazing movie/sitcom/Comedy Central special one day.

"Would you call SMART and tell them I did a great job?"
"Sure - of course. What's your name?"
"I am NOT about to tell you my name in front of this bus full of people. It is SO rude that you asked me that!" (bus door closes, bus driver drives about 5 feet and opens the bus door again)
(other bus riders are just peering at this interaction in MASS confusion)
"I wasn't trying to be rude or a jerk. I was just trying to make sure you got credit. I'm not asking for your social security number or fingerprint or anything! Sorry."
"How would you like it if I asked YOUR name in front of this bus?"
"Well, I'd tell you my name. And for the record, it's Julie."
"Alright then. You're pretty cute, so how about I get your phone number?"
And my front of a full bus audience....
"C'mon now" (shakes head)
(bus driver laughs, door closes, and my bus driver suitor rolls on).
Enddddd, scene.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Check out the one leg!

This post proves you can bike in professional clothes to a meeting with your U.S. Representative. All you need is a rubberband on your right ankle to prevent your pant leg from getting torn up. See picture below. (p.s. Really, there's no need to drool over the sexiness of my one leg. You too can obtain this look with a $0.05 rubberband.)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Things I get: numbers. Things I don't get: mechanics.

Since I've attached a fancy new odometer to my bike this year, it's been so great to see the effects of my pedal power.

So I will start in my comfort zone - here are some fun numerical facts!
Key info to start with - 216 miles ridden since May 2011.
What does that equal?
At an average of 35 calories a mile = 7,560 calories burned. A vodka soda has 65 calories so that equals 116 FREE vodka sodas. This vodka stat alone proves the worthiness of bus/biking, but please, humor me and let me continue!
My Honda Civic gets about 35 miles to the gallon in the city. Doing the math, I've saved about 6 gallons of gas if I had driven those 216 miles rather than biking them. That's keeping 120 lbs of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere! YES.

Saving gas and EARNING vodka sodas? Sign me UP.

So let's move on to the things that I do not get - anything mechanical. I love stats, numbers, logistics, but man, if you ask me how something works? Please, that's just comedy.

This story goes back to the Tour De Troit ( - which is an awesome 22 mile bike ride through Detroit in mid-September. I had been noticing around a month leading up to the Tour that biking was getting really tough for me. It felt like I was pedaling uphill constantly, couldn't get past 8 miles an hour. I have an old mountain bike (that I LOVE and has gotten me over more curbs and potholes in this town) so I thought - it must be getting too heavy - what else could it be!? I even dragged a friend around bike shopping for a whole Sunday afternoon (thanks Alex) thinking it was time to invest in a road bike. But for some reason, I just couldn't commit to a new bike - the budget just wasn't there, and I was frankly bummed to be giving up on my old trusty (while crazy heavy) mountain bike.

We are getting ready for the Tour and Alex & my friend's dad are loading my bike up on a bike rack. Alex alerts me to the fact that my back brake has been PARTIALLY ON. He does some sort of bike mechanical magic and voila. As Patrick Swayze would say, "she's like the wind". I literally had been resistance training/climbing up a hill/burning through my back brake for about a month. Seriously. Talk about burning calories.

Every year, I make a resolution to try to become more handy. I've been to bike maintenance classes, but there may be some sort of neurological mis-fire (or maybe just too many "free" vodka sodas?) that I'm not sure if I'll be able to overcome. Until then, I will keep to my numbers, stats, and being thankful for having mechanically-minded friends - or people you can hire!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Happy Saturday = Farmers Market Bounty!

a backpack full of fresh beets, peppers, shallots, flowers and mayyybee a mini cherry pie! Its the perfect day to get out and bike in SE Michigan, enjoy it. #puremichigan

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Be the change you want to see!

My quote during a public comment period made it in the local paper! They even picked up one of my signature words = "amazing". I will be signing autographed copies of the C&G News upon request. :)

Seriously - a call to action for readers of Two Women Four Wheels - do a little research and see what's going on in your community around green transit. We will definitely keep posting events/news we hear about in the Detroit area but we also respect that we have fans across the country. A little bit of dedication goes a long way especially at a local level!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lessons in rollin' with it

If there's anything that we Detroiters understand, its how to throw an awesome summer festival. The weather around here gets so cold and crappy half of the year, we know how to make the best of our beautiful Michigan summers. Am I right? I usually am ok with rolling with the traffic shifts/road closures, but today I learned a little bit about another effect = adjusted bus schedules.
I roll up to the Royal Oak Transit Center right on time, am about to turn the corner onto Lafayette and run into a HUGE carnie backup. Lines of carnies with their fabulous carnival rides hooked up to trailers, ready to turn my fine town into the mania that is Arts, Beats and Eats. It becomes painfully obvious that the transit center is not operational, so I start biking to the nearest other stop. In a somewhat stroke of genius (I surprise myself sometimes), I look up the bus schedule and realize the buses are only running up and down Woodward, not even coming into Royal Oak.
I look at my watch. Sweat is dripping down my neck, I am dressed a little to fancy for biking (but only because I had a banker lunch meeting).
I am about to give up. I could make it home in time to pick up my air conditioned car and drive to work. It would be SO easy.
A voice pops into my head.
"Roll on Funke, you've come this far!"
Yes, yes I have. The voice of bus/biker reason! So I roll over to Lincoln and Woodward, lock my bike to a random sign and the bus shows up 15 mins later. Melissa is commuting north to Royal Oak for a meeting, and our buses pass around 7 Mile. I wave in her general direction and I am sure other passengers think I am crazy. Our dedication to bus/biking even apart makes me smile, and I am totally getting into the chill-bus-commuter-let's read-Crains-zone.
I am now headed back to Royal Oak for dinner, we are stuck in some awful traffic (and I am road-rage free!), someone's cell phone ring is Bel Biv Devoe's "Poison", and the driver looks awesomely like Cee-Lo Green.
That's life, yeah? Sometimes, you've just gotta roll on!
"Girl, I must warn youuuuu...."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Quote of the day!

"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."
- Iris Murdoch, The Green and the Red

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Now this is a cool bike rack design!

Check it out, It's only a concept design, however it's really cool!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Irrational bus stop anxiety - it's there for a reason!

You all know we've been riding the bus for awhile now - definitely used to the schedule, always have money/bus pass ready - we know the drill. I always harbor some mild bus anxiety - 'what if the bus doesn't come? what if the bike racks are full? then what would I do?' - and I think that's normal when you're putting your transportation needs in the hands of others. But what's kind of irrational - I harbor a ton of anxiety about missing my stop - which, ps - has been my stop for, oh, a year and 8 months. All my stuff - my phone, my water bottle, the latest issue of Crains Detroit Business - has to be put away literally a mile before the stop. I'm watching and thinking - 'do I press the 'stop requested' button now?' and I've been known to hit it too early (a condition called 'premature bus stop requesting' or PBSR - talk to your doctor if you think you have this problem). Until today. Today I got a little loose with my bus stop monitoring, and man, I paid the price.
I'm messing around on my phone, tweeting away, whatever. All of the sudden, my head snaps up and it's my STOP. AH! We are already stopped, people are getting off the bus, so I book it to the front, wish the bus driver a nice day, and I'm off. There's like three ambulances wailing at a building right by the stop and all of the sudden the bus driver starts honking like crazy. I'm literally like 2 feet from that horn and with the medical drama nearby - some serious olfactory overload and major confusion. I see she's yelling at me that I forgot something (omg the TERROR - my stuff is normally so well-managed!!) so I go back on the bus, and some guy is trying to hand me some Craisins that were left under my seat by other bus rider. Thanks but not mine. Lord. All this stress for some half-eaten Craisins. So I get my bike, ready to roll. The driver pulls up next to me, and kinda yells at me for how slow I took my bike off the rack, offers me tips on how to do it faster and before shutting the door - "you know, people are waiting here". Oh, SNAP.
I'm gonna be ready for my stop TWO miles ahead of time from now on. #lessonlearned

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I forgot I have a head...

and ran into the low-hanging tree branch full of rainwater on my way to work. (And yes I was sober!)

Today's takeaway:

Always wear your bike helmet. It can protect you at moments like these when you're fixing something on your bike and not paying attention to your surroundings.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Shameless Plug

Okay... so since it involves biking, here is Melissa's shameless plug for some of the work she's organizing in Detroit around protecting our water quality.

Detroit Green Water Infrastructure Bike Tours

Saturday, August 6 at 2pm ~ SOLD OUT!!!
Saturday, September 10 at 2pm
Sunday, October 2 at 2pm

$35 per person (includes bike rental) or $25 (BYOB - bring your own bike)

NOTE: You MUST REGISTER at Wheelhouse Detroit's website to participate on the tours (please follow the links above to register).

What is "green water infrastructure?"
Green water infrastructure is one solution to help stop stormwater and sewage pollution that negatively impacts the Detroit and Rouge Rivers. On these guided tours, you will bike along the Detroit Riverfront, Midtown, and Detroit’s east side to see examples of constructed wetlands that absorb stormwater from surrounding streets. You will also see rain gardens, cisterns, permeable pavement, and much more.

Check out more information about green water infrastructure at

This concludes Melissa's shameless plug. You will now be returned to your regularly scheduled reading of "Two Women, Four Wheels." :)

Detroit Bike City

Check out this short video about biking in the D! Click to watch it. Enjoy!

P.S. Thanks Rox for sharing!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Say what?! Cleveland has a downtown bike station!!!

Cleveland is bike fabulous! WOW! After reading this article about Cleveland's new "Bike Rack," I think every major city should invest in one. It would definitely make biking more of a serious option for dress-up business types. Cleveland is expected to have their station completed this month. Will Detroit be next? Those that live outside of Detroit - do you have bike stations?

Find the article here,
New Downtown Bike Station to Offer Parking, Lockers, Showers for Bike Commuters
"The new facility, called The Bike Rack, will offer 50 secure, indoor bike parking spaces and 10 outdoor spaces. It will also feature lockers for downtown commuters who would like to store fresh duds for the day without folding them. Finally, the facility will have three shower areas with private changing rooms."

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Is that *bike* really meant for the *bike rack*?

The Red Grape on Woodward in the Kresge Building

Very bike-friendly spot with $5 lunch specials and a great outdoor patio! Used to be the 5&10 Bar, which was also uber-bike-friendly and a Two Women Four Wheels fave. Glad not much has changed but we do love the patio addition :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

It's summer and you know what that means? A little bus romance...

This is a VERY delayed blog post which I usually try to avoid, but as y'all know - life just sometimes happens.

So transport back in time a few days - just this past Wednesday. I end up commuting via bike/bus as some friends and I are meeting up in Ferndale (hence the amazing bike rack picture below) after work. Melissa and I are planning on bussing together but due to mis-communication and mass bus-confusion, we don't end up on the same bus. I am a HOT mess when I get on the bus - I don't pay my fare for about 3 stops because I'm on the phone realizing that Melissa and I missed each other (and of course the bus driver says nothing and kindly drives on as I fumble in my bag for my bus pass for what feels like 25 minutes). My bike helmet is still on at this point, and when I look at my bike on the rack? Yup - my front headlight is still flashing and probably annoying the bejesus out of the driver. It's always when you're a total hot mess when a potential suitor comes into the mix (or does this just happen to me?). This man gets on the bus and says 'oh, those are the prettiest blue eyes that I've ever seen under a bike helmet.' What? I just have too much going on to handle this - so he gets a wan smile and I move to the back of the bus where I try to pretend the flashing disco-quality-headlight bike doesn't belong to me (oh, that's not my bike - but I ALWAYS just carry around a bike helmet because you never know!).

There's this older lady in front of me and we randomly get into a conversation about texting and cell phone plans. This part of the story isn't that awesome, but she's key later.

My bus suitor clearly hasn't expressed himself enough so he comes and sits behind me. I will try to summarize because this conversation literally happened from Midtown all the way past 6 Mile. And my responses weren't really that important to the overall amazingness of these interaction (I will interject some thoughts/comments in parentheses though):

"So, you ride that bike a lot? It looks like you do. You look like you're in shape. Do you ride the bus a lot? What do you do for a living? Oh, FINANCE! I own my own finance company...we help...ummmm...people do their finances (read: payday lender)! Yeah. I live in Highland Park - have you ever been there? OH! You got a speeding ticket in Highland Park?? Oh my...I'm marching right down to City Hall and letting them know that beautiful women should be able to do whatever they want in the HP. How old are you? I'm 26. Wow, you don't look a day over 25. So have you found Jesus yet (my response = 'Oh, I didn't know I was supposed to be looking for him'?)? You know what I liked about you? You marched right back here and sat in the back of the bus with all the black people. Did you notice you were the only white person back here (for the record - nope)? You know - I think we are making a lot of people around here uncomfortable - a white lady and a black man hooking up (ummmm a bit presumptuous, yeah?). SEE! See that lady over there? She just turned away (when she was obviously just looking how the window, seriously, probably thankful that this guy wasn't talking to her). We have to talk quieter. Shhhhh. So how tall are you? How much do you weigh (I'm about to teach him a little something about talking to a lady)?? I weigh 180 - do you weigh more or less? LESS? Oh no. I like my ladies to weigh more than me. Oh well, can I call you? Oh you have a boyfriend (white lie alert)...well my question still stands. Can I call you? No? Hmmm. Ok, well I believe in fate, and I think fate will bring us together on this bus again.'

I'm not sure I need to write much more than what the cell-phone-plan lady turned around and said after this individual left the bus.

"Look, I don't know you. But I certainly think you need someone more mature than that. I was listening to that whole thing and you handled yourself so well and like a lady. That's impressive. I was also listening because I was afraid he was about to get disrespectful, and the minute he did? I was about to turn around and say - you leave her alone. No one deserves to be disrespected when they're just trying to live their lives, get home from work. I had your back, honey.'

So just plain crazy and then crazy nice - but this was a different type of Detroit kindness. The fellow female bus rider solidarity kind! #lovedetroit

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Melissa in Fashionable Ferndale!

Bike racks outside of Rosie O'Grady's! Yay Ferndale!

Sent via DROID on Verizon Wireless

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ozone Action Day = Melissa Biked to Work

Issued by The National Weather Service
Detroit, MI

Wed, Jun 8, 2011, 4:15 AM EDT








Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Care about transit in Detroit? ACT NOW.

If you've been following the Detroit budget talks, you may have heard about the Detroit City Council veto of Mayor Bing's budget. Among the many cuts expected July 1, 2011:

1. Shut-down of Sunday DDOT bus service
2. Cutting $4.4M from the Detroit Transportation Department, shutting down the People Mover
3. These cuts could jeopardize the Federal Matching grants needed for the M-1 Rail System slated to run from downtown to the state fairgrounds at 8 Mile and Woodward.

There is absolutely no arguing that these are tough times. And yeah - I do understand that the People Mover may be the biggest transit joke in the country as it stands. It was built to be the end of a light rail system that moved *people* (hence the super creative name) into the city. If it closes, it's just another huge step back as it relates to transit in Detroit. Which we really cannot afford.

There is STILL room for compromise - so if you care about transit in Detroit - please contact members of City Council to express your serious concern about these cuts!

For more general info/the contact info for City Council:

For background:

A timely assessment of alternative transit options in Detroit in light of these budget cuts (and ps - soooo sad to have missed this!):

Friday, June 3, 2011

Bike/Beer Adventures Come to an End. Bus Adventures Begin!

Julie enjoying a beer! What?!

Yes, that's right. Julie is enjoying a beer at Motor City Brewing Company. Yay for beer and bikes!

Ridin' Solo

So with Melissa moving to the D, my bus/bike commutes have taken a solo turn. It worked out this morning as there was another bus/biker heading downtown on the 8:15am SMART 460. He totally helped me out by putting my bike on the bus-bike-rack for me and as he was doing this, I realized he was a dead ringer for Danny DeVito. I mean, uncanny - I was about ready to seriously start quoting 'Twins'. (ok, ok just for our fans - "money talks and bullshit walks! how can bullshit walk??") After getting on the bus, he promptly sat down, started reading his copy of 'Neo-Bohemia: Art and Commerce in the Postindustrial City' (and yes I totally looked that up on Amazon because I'm that fascinated by people, and yup, a little creepy like that), and furiously taking notes about what he was reading - all while enjoying a few pick-me-up 5-hour energy drinks.

I definitely miss commuting with Melissa, but ridin' solo definitely causes even more 'you-can't-make-it-up-amazing-yet-people-are-so-kind' interactions with other local bus/bike commuters! Stay tuned :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bike the Drive in Chicago!

On the L in Chicago heading to Bike the Drive on Lakeshore Drive. Yay public transportation and urban biking!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Melissa and her new personalized bike plate!

Sent via DROID on Verizon Wireless

Bike Rack at New Apartment

Check out the bike rack outside of Melissa's new apartment. Oh and don't forget to check out the child safety flag that Julie is making her bike with everywhere on her birthday. It says, "Yay! I'm 30!"

Bike rack spotting!

Convenient bike racks right in front of CVS on Woodward!

a birthday gift from another bus rider...

Another bus rider overhears the birthday talk, gives Melissa this cute bookmark, and wishes her a great day. I shake my head in amazement/awe of the people in this town! The heart of detroit....yet another example. :)

Melissa celebrates 30 on the bus!

Whoooo hoooo! Melissa's 30 today and kicking off the day with some bike/bus commuting. And some new bike flair!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The heart of Detroit

One of my favorite things about bus/biking is interacting with people - at the bus stop, while ringing your sweet bike bell at them, on the bus itself - this interaction is sorely missing in our current car-based culture. I'm historically known for attracting an interesting mix of folks (makes for awesome new friends, or at the very least, amazing stories) - and I'll be totally honest. I really like people - saying hi, smiling, chatting with them. Yeah, yeah I know - it gets me into trouble sometimes, but you can just call me Ms. Midwest, it truly cannot be helped. Two Women Four Wheels has been rolling now for a little over a year - but with the advent of our blog/Twitter feeds (helllllo and THANK YOU to all of our fans!), we are dedicated to bus/biking at least once per week. So that means more interactions with people, and realizing just how much they want to help Two Women with their Four Wheels out.

A few weeks ago, I was accidentally waiting at the DDOT Woodward/Congress bus stop for the SMART 460. A man asked me 'is this where you pick up the the 460?' and me, being the super-armed-with-Google-Maps-transit-queen that I am, say 'of course! you're in the right spot.'. Another man wakes up from sleeping on the street to say 'oh honey, this is the DDOT stop - you need to be right across Congress at that stop there' and goes back to sleep. Asked for nothing. Just wanted to help out.

Just yesterday, we were at the Comerica Park stop - a game was going on, it was a beautiful night, so lots of people were out and about. I'm on my phone trying to post the picture of the two of us in front of the FOX when a man comes up behind us as says 'oh, excuse me. I'm trying to get to that garbage can you're standing in front of to look for some cans. I didn't want to startle you.' He looks for some cans, and goes along on his business. Again, asked for nothing.

Not to mention the countless stories of people helping us navigate the bike rack at the Royal Oak Transit Center (which you practically need a PhD to do, by the way), alerting us when our bus is nearing the stop, taking a photo for us upon any and all requests.

I don't want this post to come across as Pollyanna-ish, because it's not. I'm a citygirl at heart, and understand the risks related to being in a metropolitan area. I've always had faith in Detroit, always. But I have even more now. It's a city where the average person headed to work or school, a person that's truly dealing with hard times, and Two Women just trying to navigate this town using Four Wheels can coexist beautifully. That just can't be built into a city, that's its heart.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

1 FOX, 2 women, 4 wheels...

Waiting for the bus in front of Comerica Park. Its a beautiful night for bus/biking AND for Detroit sports. Go Tigers, Go Wings!

Quiet Morning on the Bus

No worries. We anticipate many bikeventures during our day/evening of busing and biking.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Progressive Bike Ride

2 women. 4 wheels. 13 dudes.

Royal Oak Non-Motorized Transportation Plan Update

Getting update on Royal Oak's non-motorized transportation plan. Draft will be reviewed at May 10 Planning Commission mtg.

Bikes parked. Cocktail time!!! :)

Bike Rack Success!

Sometimes it's difficult to find a bus with an empty bike rack on the return ride. Usually when that happens, we find another bar to have a drink or we take a DDOT bus (yes - some of them have bike racks!!!).

Unfortunately, we don't have time to worry about that tonight. There's no time to spare since we have to be at the Spring Rolls, Progressive Dinner on Bikes. Yay!!!

That said - Julie found a very secure bike rack at the Royal Oak bus station, where she successfully locked up her bike (and she had some great help from two other bus riders).