Following a two-year hiatus, Wayne State University’s sixth annual Baroudeur brought together cyclists and the campus community for a day of fun celebrating Detroit and supporting students.
Hailing from 15 states, plus Washington, D.C., and Ontario, Canada, 847 cyclists — ranging in age from 18 to 82 years — rolled onto campus for the July 23 ride, presented by first-time sponsor AAA – The Auto Club Group.
The group included first-timers and returning participants riding side-by-side, and feedback was overwhelmingly positive. In the post-ride survey, 93% of riders rated the event as “excellent” or “very good.” The most commonly for reasons for participating included the opportunity to see Detroit along an urban route, the ability to support Wayne State students and the chance to complete a physical challenge.
“Year after year, the Baroudeur continues to exceed expectations,” said WSU President M. Roy Wilson, an avid cyclist who rode the 100-mile route. “The energy on campus was electric — we were thrilled to welcome riders back and bring people together again. I’ve received nothing but positive feedback about our friendly volunteers, our police, how nice campus looked, the course, the post-ride party and the overall event organization. We’re especially thankful for our public safety officers escorting riders and keeping everyone safe."
The 2022 Baroudeur was marked by several changes, including updated rest stop locations and new sponsors, including Batch Brewing Company, which created a custom Baroudeur radler beer for the event, and Detroit Bikes, which donated four bicycles as raffle prizes to raise money for student scholarships. The event also relocated packet pickup to showcase the new WSU Fieldhouse.
“We made a lot of changes this year and navigated additional challenges — primarily COVID and construction,” said Matt Lockwood, ride director. “Fortunately, our survey results indicate riders still think this is the best ride in Detroit.”
In addition to generating more than $8,000 for student scholarships and the HIGH Program through WarriorFunder, the Baroudeur also contributed $1 per rider to the League of Michigan Bicyclists to support bicycle education and advocacy. Top fundraisers for the 2022 ride included Mary Beth O'Connell, Tom Page, Peter Rynearson and Felecia Williams.
The event relied heavily on nearly 150 volunteers, who checked in riders, passed out food and refreshments at rest stops, ensured cyclists stayed on course, and cheered on participants, among other duties.
“This event would not be possible without our volunteers. Their positive energy and willingness to help throughout the day made the Baroudeur possible,” said Rachel Flum, assistant ride director.
Katie McMillan, WSU associate director of public relations and assistant ride director, received this year’s Spirit of the Baroudeur Award for her commitment to the event. McMillan has coordinated registration, participant support and event communications for the ride since 2017.