Detroiters are baroudeurs.
What’s that? Baroudeur (bah-roo-DUHR) means fighter or warrior in French. In cycling it’s a term used for riders not afraid to break away from the main pack or peloton and do things on their own, even if they might be an underdog.
In Paul Fournel’s collection of cycling essays, Vélo, he describes baroudeurs as “adventurers, opportunists and chancers. They do not seek the love of their colleagues in the peloton, but strain at the leash, pushing against convention, experimenting and taking risks. They are generalists and polymaths, adept at multiple disciplines.”
Not being afraid to break away from the pack and take risks certainly defines Detroiters.
More than 800 of them will ride in Wayne State University’s fourth annual urban cycling event, The Baroudeur, through Detroit and a dozen surrounding communities Saturday, Aug. 18.
The ride is a fun, non-competitive event for cyclists of all experience levels. It includes distances of 20, 37, 62 (metric century) and 100 miles, the latter of which will really test their mettle.
The Baroudeur is one of the largest urban century rides in the country. The routes will take riders through iconic metro Detroit landmarks and sights, including Belle Isle, Lakeshore Drive into the Grosse Pointes, Palmer Park, downtown Detroit and downriver to Grosse Ile before winding back to WSU’s Midtown campus for a celebration.
The ride is inspired by WSU President M. Roy Wilson’s passion for cycling and his commitment to provide all qualified students access to higher education. He will be riding the 100-mile course.
All net proceeds from the event will go toward WSU student scholarships and the university’s Helping Individuals Go Higher (HIGH) program, which supports students whose unstable housing situations threaten their dreams of earning a degree.
There will be three starts at 7 a.m., 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Here are the details:
- Starting line activities will run from 7 to 10 a.m.
- Riders will be out on their routes from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Riders will be crossing the finish line between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
- Post-ride events on campus will take place between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The start/finish line is located along Gullen Mall near the Student Center Building and the Mort Harris Recreation and Fitness Center on the campus of WSU. Routes for each ride can be found at baroudeur.wayne.edu/ride.