BROOKLYN, Mich — Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports, toured the city of Detroit on a bike recently to promote the upcoming Pure Michigan 400 on Aug. 13 at Michigan Int’l Speedway.
The avid bicyclist always likes to explore the areas around all the track he competes at every week. And it is no different around Michigan Int’l Speedway. Johnson often times can be seen out on his bike around any of the many lakes.
But on Thursday, Johnson joined nearly 100 of his closest friends on a 5.34 mile bike ride through the city of Detroit.
“Riding a bike through downtown Detroit, seeing the GM building, be over on the river, seeing so many people smiling and riding bikes, what a fun way to spend an afternoon,” Johnson said.
“I’ve been in a car through the city many times, and you really don’t look around and absorb what’s there,” Johnson continued. “On two wheels, you see so much more. Definitely had a great time. As a cyclist, anything I can be a part of to raise awareness for cyclists or different groups working in improving infrastructure or rider safety awareness or whatever it might be, I’m definitely in for it.”
Michael Hart, founder of The Racers Who Ride Foundation, said on Twitter: “We support motorsports and cycling thru advocacy as we all work for #peaceontheroad.”
The tour started in Corktown and continued to Downtown Detroit where Johnson was greeted by applause. As all the bikers continued towards the riverfront the excitement grew as the famed Joe Louis Arena came into view. After a brief stop in Hart Plaza for a photo with the Michigan Heritage, the group got back on their bikes to head back to Corktown.
Johnson is looking forward to get back to Michigan in August for the Pure Michigan 400. He has found the area to be so peaceful and has even discovered a few hidden gems he wants to visit.
“The area around MIS is beautiful,” Johnson said. “I’ve done everything from rent a pontoon boat and go out and barbeque and fish with my family to going out and riding miles on the bicycle. It’s a beautiful area to sightsee, experience. There’s also a good ice cream stand or two in the area that I’ve found. I’ll burn a few calories and then go put in a bunch of calories.”
The combined efforts of, Rick Brenner, president of Michigan Int’l Speedway and Dave Lorenz of Travel Michigan, has made the facility a fan favorite as they enjoy the action and beauty of Pure Michigan.