Detroit Bike City 2013 expo rides into Cobo Center
Mar 17, 2013 (Detroit Free Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
After Anthony Haile Jr. climbed out of the human-powered, all-weather, self-illuminated vehicle known as Firefly, he beamed.
"It was sweet. It was off -- off the awesome, awesome chain," said the 7-year-old Detroiter, a first-grader at Voyageur Academy.
His father, Anthony Haile, 42, wants his son to ride a bicycle every day and brought him to Detroit Bike City 2013 to get him excited about it. The second year of the event at Cobo Center on Saturday brought together bicycle enthusiasts, vendors and stunt riders.
Anthony was allowed to sit in the three-wheeled Firefly as the translucent shell was lowered over his head. The shell includes a clear bubble for the driver to see out of as he pedals.
The man who created Firefly goes by the name Geospace. He is a student working on his master's of fine arts degree at the University of Michigan. He said the bicycle is designed for cold, wet and dark weather, "which is basically Michigan for about six months of the year."
"I'm just trying to think of the future of vehicles ... what we're going to do post-oil," Geospace said, noting that his next vehicle design is for an amphibious, human-powered dwelling, or a camper/boat that can be pedaled.
In addition to prototype bicycles, locally assembled bicycles with more traditional designs also were on display.
Melissa Koesel, 37, of Canton was taking photos of various models from Shinola, a company based in the New Center area that makes bicycles, watches and leather goods. Koesel, who competes in triathlons, said she was scouting out the Shinola models for her brother-in-law, who works for a different bicycle company.
Koesel was at the show with her two sons, ages 5 and 12, and her husband, Mark Koesel, 40.
"We just wanted to come and support (the show) in hopes it gets bigger," Koesel said.
The interesting mix of bicycles at the show also thrilled Cheryl Berlin, 49, and her husband Arnie Berlin, 51, of Farmington Hills, who consider themselves to be avid cyclists.
"It's making me want to go out for a bike ride as soon as possible," Cheryl Berlin said.
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