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Monday, October 4, 2010

Cycles of change - Metro Times Detroit


An inner-city bike squad wheels toward community in a falling neighborhood
The East Side Riders get ready to roll.
Mike Neeley, left with brother Dywayne.
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WDET interviews Detroitblogger John about this story (MP3)
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One has a Heineken mini-keg behind the seat. This one has a TV on it. That one has a PlayStation affixed to the back end. Pastel colors glow, polished chrome sparkles.
They're among the dozens of custom bicycles lined along the curb in front of this one house that has no neighbors on either side of it. In fact, just about everything on this street looks drab and depressing. The old houses, the beater cars parked in front of them, the empty lots that sprawl out next to them. Everything except these bikes, which shine like gems in this bleak setting.
They belong to the East Side Riders, a custom bicycle club whose members meet here at what's become their temporary clubhouse on Peter Hunt, an odd little street only a few blocks long near Van Dyke and Harper, deep in the inner city. Club members fish rusty old bikes out of the trash or find frames left curbside and transform them, through painstaking work, into cool, beautiful things.

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