It’s not about the bike ~ Lance Armstrong 

Much to my surprise

My daughter Brandi had invited me to join her in several Bike&Brunch rides but I always had one excuse or another why I could not go. I worried that they would ride too far or that I would not be able to keep up with a group of riders half my age.

Brandi & Angela Keeler

DBB·X | 7·29·12 | with Brandi & Angela Keeler, daughter & mother respectively

Then the day came when I decided to give it a try. I was scheduled off work the following week so I figured if I was too tired or sore I would have time to rest and rejuvenate. To my surprise it was not a group of Olympic contenders. Their group was comprised of a mixture ranging from avid riders to mothers riding with their babies in tow. The more advanced riders were very protective, often dropping back to make sure that those bringing up the rear were ok. They were adamant about observing all the rules of safety. I thoroughly enjoyed both the ride and the company of the other riders. The pace was comfortable but I did get a good workout. The route that day took us through Mexican town. Seeing an area from the vantage point of strolling through at a bikers pace gives a whole different view. We were able to observe things like the styles of houses and makeup and temperament of the community; things that would have been missed speeding through in a car. It was refreshing to see the response of those who saw us. Almost everywhere we went we were greeted with pleasantries. Many of those along our route waved in a show of support. One gentleman even circled back to take group pictures and interview us for his group’s newsletter. He commented that what caught his attention was the diversity of the group. The best part by far was meeting the bike and brunch riders. I am happy that my daughter has such a positive, supportive group of individuals whom she can call her friends. I will no doubt be joining them on many more rides.

Angela Keeler | Do what we DO!!

My Transformation

It all started when I decided to attended DBB·XII | 8·12·12. I had no idea what was in store. All I knew was it seemed like fun. Especially since I hadn’t been on a bike in over 10 years. I didn’t even own a bike until the day of the ride!  I was ready though. I purchased my bike 30 minutes prior, along with my trusty water bottle. I even LOOKED like I was a pro.

Upon my arrival at the meet-up I was greeted by a bunch of friendly folks and after a few instructions on road etiquette and biking safety we began our ride east along the Detroit River Walk.

As our group of 19 peddlers (17 adults & 2 babies) approached Belle Isle at about mile two I thought for sure I would die. Just then I began hear the soft calming voice of DBB Co-founder Kloni Thorpe saying “take your time.” I could hear ZooNine through her walkie-talkie saying “tighten it up!” I wondered if my decision to participate was a bad idea. I remember wanting to quit and take my bike back to the starting point. But I pushed ahead near the back of the group. Along the way people kept encouraging me and sticking with me even though I was so far behind.

Four long miles later we arrived at Sinbad’s Marina/Restaurant. I got off my bike and before long the other riders began to congratulate me with hugs cheering, “You made it!!” That was the moment I knew my life was forever be changed. I had found a group of some of the most amazing people.

Detroit Bike & Brunch helped bring clarity to why I love my city so much. I love it because there are people who in spite of it all have a heart for making Detroit a better place. They’ve found the element of Detroit only those with an open mind are able to tap. Each week with DBB I have come in contact with the people who believe that Detroit WILL becomes a better place and to me that is what it’s all about.

Since becoming a DBB member I can proudly say I have been able to ride up to 30 miles in one trip. Cycling isn’t just a hobby anymore; it’s a way of life.

Kimike Clark | Do what we DO!!

Car-free and ~GOLDEN~

It’s crazy how two wheels, a metal frame, some mechanical gears and a group of great friends can impact and change your life completely! I initially joined Detroit Bike & Brunch as a hobby and a way to hang out with cool people around the city. Little did know it would change the way I see my city and the way I interact with it!
Before joining Detroit Bike & Brunch I hardly ever biked. I had a bike, but I rode maybe once every month or two. In fact, I was NEVER active. I never exercised. I hardly even took the stairs (mind you, I live on the 3rd floor of my apartment building and work on the 3rd floor of my work building!). My asthma kept me in fear of doing anything active. I used to drive around the corner just to go to the grocery store!
After my 1st month with DB&B I had found my health BLISS! I found that not only could I ride my bike for a long period of time but I found that all across the board my asthma wasn’t limiting me. I was taking the stairs more. I was exercising with my little brother. I was eating healthier. I was drinking more water. I was parking further away and walking. And I was challenging my friends and family to do the same!
But then the unpredictable happened…. “BUUUMP!”
In July I had a horrible collision and my car was totaled. I was in a state of depression for all of a week, before I realized, “WOMAN, YOU HAVE A BIKE!”

For most people, not having a car would spell-out disaster. But seeing how other members of DB&B depended on their bikes for transportation inspired me. Through the group I discovered that it’s possible to live car-free in Detroit and do so successfully! TRUST ME YA’LL! It’s a beautiful thing! MY BIKE IS MY CAR! (and the bus is my backup car lol) I bike everywhere. I see more. I meet more people. I’ve never been in better shape or felt more liberated in my life. And the savings are KILLER! (can I get a WOOT WOOT!) Imagine never having to pay for a car note, gas, parking, parking tickets, car insurance, renewing your tags, etc. I can afford the healthy lifestyle (and costly organic foods) I’ve always wanted!

DBB·XIII | 8·19·12 | Jasmine Allen, Jim Jackson, Brandi Keeler, and Kloni Thorpe leaving brunch at Good Girls Go to Paris Crepes in Midtown Detroit.

Now, my Sunday rides are more than a way of hanging with cool people and biking is more than a hobby. Sunday is the time I spend with my FAMILY! It’s time spent inspiring an entire city to pump the breaks in their cars and push the pedals on their bikes! And biking is a way of life! Detroit Bike & Brunch is the perfect way to live a great life in this beautiful city with wonderful people!

Join DB&B and see how your life can change!

Brandi Keeler | Do what we DO!!

“OMG, I’m so happy to be here…!!”

When I was invited to Bike & Brunch by ZooNine Bey, I had no idea it would impact my life on the scale that it has. Cycling has become a growing passion! I’ve become so much closer with people I already knew, reconnected with childhood friends, saw sights of the city I grew up in that I’d never see without DB&B’s tours. I’ve tested my strength and set new heights to reach physically & mentally. I’ve become infatuated with cycling and look for every chance to ride my bike. I bike because it’s fun exercise that doesn’t take time away from my daughter. I bike because it’s a protest to the city to make it’s inhabitants more aware of cyclists and respect our rights to the road. I bike because it opens up new experiences, sights, and scenes that I’ve never had. I bike for my health, to be an example for our babies so they can carry the wheels for the next generation.

Tasneem Penn

“DETROIT BIKE&BRUNCH has truly enriched my life!”

Of all the tours I’ve been on…I’d have to say DB&B Tour XV was the best for me personally. I was so excited that a childhood friend was finally biking with us that I could’ve jumped out of my skin. Soon after we headed out on the Tour, I found out my hub was broken and couldn’t ride to the destination with everyone. So, I had to drive.  I was in a sour mood when I got there but tried to hide it. People aren’t used to seeing me upset, especially not this group. There’s a funny joke about my personality, that “OMG I’m SO happy to be here!” is my catch-phrase. I was happy to be there, but I wasn’t happy to have missed the ride…but as soon as Syid Powell remarked upon me taking in everything in that same “So happy to be here” fashion, I couldn’t help but laugh with everyone. And after the tears of joy, more tears from being touched came when I realized that I was surrounded by beautiful people who care about me, and had made me feel all better without even trying. That’s what stood out to me most, and why it’s the best Bike & Brunch for me.

I want to thank Zoo for always inspiring progress & growth, K’loni for being a beautiful soul who always touches my heart without effort, Jen & Etta for being not only great employers but also great friends, Lexi & Candy-Cane for giving me multiple reasons to shoot, Darius for pushing me creatively (I secretly compete with Darius for awesome photos, lol), Brandi for being one of the dopest souls I know & I thanks for inviting me into your life, Syid for being such a sweet, kind, and generous person…you make a lot possible for me. Thank you all for being awesome and I love you! DB&B4Life!

Tasneem Penn | Do what we Do!!

“It’s okay mommy, you can do it”

Okay y’all it’s ya girl Lex telling you about Sunday’s ride. This ride was epic… no literally we biked about 18 miles and I wanted to quit at mile 3, 8, 11… well youget the idea. Please keep in mind this is my second time riding a bike in about 15 years AND I am riding a rental that isn’t neccesarily tailored to my needs.

The ride to the brunch location was so hard for me… we encountered three large hills. The first one I did, no problem… The second hill, I gave it my all. I charged towards that hill full steam. The plan was to speed up and meet the hill with all of my energy and full force. Needless to say I didn’t succeed and ended up walking my bike up the hill. By the time we reached the third hill, I was totally done for. It may sound crazy to you, but my daughter (one year old Cottontail) must have felt my energy shifting down because she reached up to pat me on the back as if to say “It’s okay mommy, you can do it”. I didn’t have any gas left, but I trudged up this hill, on the bike this time (YAY for small victories) and coasted downhill. Only to find that we were NOWHERE near our brunch location. By this time, I was almost in tears. Like, the brim of my eyelids were a dam waiting to break. With each push of the pedal, I fought the urge to let the tears fall. I applaud myself for not letting any tears fall though (again, YAY for small victories).

By the time we reached our destination, I decided I was going to call my daddy and have him come pick Cottontail and I up. I don’t remember locking my bike up (ssssshhhh don’t tell the bike rental place). All I remember is hopping off my bike and heading into the restaurant. I sat down and was ready to break the news to everyone that I wasn’t gonna make the ride back with them. I talked with Kloni, Jen, Espy, and Zoo and told them how much trouble I was having. Kloni, who just happens to be one of the most encouraging people in the world, said “But you made it here, you didn’t give up and you did great”. Zoo told me we would take a flatter surface for the route home. Espy told me “You better not cry!”.

Our brunch destination was Las Brisas located at 8445 W. Vernon Hwy in Detroit’s Mexicantown. The waitress was amazing. Their entire staff was more than accommodating to our large group that occupied one whole side of the restaurant. The food was delicioso. I had the chicken enchiladas, rice, and beans. So, so so, so, so, so, good. My margarita (virgin, of course) was great. Everything was great!!!

Yaay for small victories!! DETROIT BIKE&BRUNCH | Tour X

I was not looking forward to the ride home. But I loaded Cottontail and made up my mind that I was riding back. I didn’t give up. I kept riding. My competitive spirit took over and I refused to be at the back of the pack. My inner voice, which didn’t sound like Morgan Freeman, told me “Keep riding, keep pedaling, breathe, don’t be no punk” over and over again. I finished, I stayed in front of everyone the majority of the ride back. There wasn’t any theme music that accompanied my strong finish, but I am proud that I didn’t give up. I was pushed to, and past both my limit and my personal edge and I can’t wait to go further and see where I end up next time.

Alexis Draper | Do what we Do!!



5 Responses to Testimonials

  1. LiLi says:

    What an awesome revelation! I love the spirit that beams forth in your story! Had the feeling that I was on my bike riding right along… Truly inspiring!!!

    • If you LOVE your City, LOVE your bike and LOVE your friends, well then you WERE riding along in spirit. We ride for ALL things (and people) awesome about The D. So until you’re able to make it out to join us in the flesh just keep on LOVING and only speak positive bout our glorious Detroit.
      Do what we DO!!

  2. Celeste says:

    Both testimonials are so inspiring! Love biking in the city and w/ brunch apart of the experience makes it so much better! DB&B is hopefully here to stay.

    • Greetings Celeste, and thank you for the well-wishes. So ispired by YOUR comment! You get it. Brunch is the key and DB&B will most definitely coninue to do our part to uplift Detroit for many years to come.
      Do what we Do!!

  3. Chenese Bates says:

    You guys are AWESOME!!! (: and a big inspiration to me, i’m preparing one day to come & join you all. Stay Blessed <3

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