Take 5 | Mike MacKool

Modified: April 29, 2020 | Photos by Bill Bowen

Mike MacKool, Co-founder, Slow Roll Detroit


“If out-of-town guests are here on a Monday, I would take them on a Slow Roll! If not, a bike ride around the city is a must, highlighting the Dequindre Cut and RiverWalk and then making our way to … No. 1: Eastern Market. Not only is there all the food, but Eastern Market represents a great cross section of Detroiters. We would check out the murals before heading to … No. 2: Belle Isle [State Park]. I love to take people to the [Belle Isle] aquarium and [Anna Scripps Whitcomb] conservatory.

There are a lot of public art spaces in Detroit, too. The African Bead Museum and Lincoln sculpture park [Lincoln Street Art Park] tend to be go-tos for me.

Food and drinks are also a must. A few favorites where I take people: Joe Muer’s downtown is always a classic hit, and Craft Work  in West Village, then The Sugar House in Corktown for post-dinner drinks, often fall into the mix.

What I really like to do with out-of-towners is take them somewhere I’ve never been. With so many newer restaurants — like Prime + Proper — and places to visit, a friend in town is the best excuse to try something new.”

Slow Roll Detroit

Slow Roll started casually — just an idea between Mike MacKool and Jason Hall, two Detroit guys who became fast friends bonding over a love of bikes and video games. Today, Slow Roll’s weekly bike ride through the streets of Detroit still maintains a casual vibe — all ages, all kinds of cycles and a leisurely pace are its m.o. But instead of a Monday night meet-up between a few friends, it’s now an orchestrated event attracting thousands of riders weekly, spring through fall. Dubbed Michigan’s largest weekly bike ride, Slow Roll is a long-standing symbol of how people — locals, transplants, city officials, visitors, etc. — are gathering together to celebrate The D for what it is, without rose-colored glasses on, social barriers in play or suburbia stigmas attached. Monday night Slow Rolls are planned through October. Membership is encouraged.

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues

  1. 1
    Dequindre Cut Greenway
    Dequindre Cut Greenway, Detroit, MI 48207
  2. 2
    Detroit International RiverWalk
    1340 Atwater St., Detroit, MI 48207
  3. 3
    Eastern Market
    Russell Street between Mack Avenue and Gratiot Avenue, 2934 Russell St., Detroit, MI 48207
  4. 4
    Belle Isle State Park
    99 Pleasure Drive, Detroit, MI 48207
  5. 5
    Joe Muer Seafood
    400 GM Renaissance Center, Ste. 1404, Detroit, MI 48243
  6. 6
    Sugar House
    2130 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216
  7. 7
    Prime + Proper
    1145 Griswold St., Detroit, MI 48226
  8. 8
    Dabls' MBAD African Bead Museum
    6559 Grand River Avenue, Detroit, MI, USA
  9. 9
    5926 Lincoln Street, Detroit, MI, USA