Equality Ride Winds Through Wayne, Washtenaw

By Shelby Clark Petkus

Affirmations and Comerica Park present this year's Equality Ride at 10 a.m. Aug. 23 at William G. Milliken State Park in Detroit. Formerly the "Shore to Shore Equality Ride" across Michigan, this year's event features a one-day ride from Detroit to Ann Arbor. LGBT and allied individuals are invited to ride their bikes from Wayne to Washtenaw county in order to promote equality for all Michiganders.

The Equality Ride asks, "What does Equality mean to you? Does it have to do with where you work or go to school? Does it have to do with where you can live or how you get health care? Does it have to do with who you choose to parent with or who you choose to love? This is why we ride. We ride for you. To help insure that all people in Michigan, and in this country, are treated in the same way, no matter where they live, no matter who they are."

Using surface streets from the Detroit riverfront and dedicated bike trails in Hines Park, bikers of all skill levels and ages are invited to the ride. All riders are advised to wear a helmet, have health insurance and use a comfortable pace, though certain rest stops should be met at specified times. Each rest step falls every 10-12 miles on the journey, consisting of food, water and electrolyte beverages. Bathrooms also are placed along the trail.

Those worried about their fitness level can rest easy knowing that the ride is fully supported. Those unable to keep a certain pace will be picked up by staff or volunteers and taken to the next rest stop or to the closing activities.

More biking will follow lunch at 12 p.m., until reaching Ann Arbor, where the after party at aut bar will begin at 4 p.m. for the "early birds," or those who finish earlier (the main activities kick off at 5 p.m.) Food, cash bar and other festivities can be expected.

aut bar of Ann Arbor is located at 315 Braun Court. $45 covers the ride, T-shirt and the after party. Participants are urged to do further fundraising.

For more information, call 248-677-7215 or visit http://www.goaffirmations.org and http://www.equalityride.causevox.com.

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