People in the Michigan Cycling Community

Meet Allison Quast: Development Director of the League of Michigan Bicyclists

Allison Quast, a longtime bicycle community member, has recently stepped into the roll of Development Director at the League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB). It seems appropriate that Allison began working when the LMB changed its mission statement to “improve life through bicycling” since that is exactly what Allison has been doing for virtually her entire life. The Journey that Led Allison to Her New Role Motorless Motion is a bike shop in downtown Mount Pleasant, Michigan, that was previously owned and operated by Terry Quast, Allison’s father and her uncle – Chuck Quast. Allison grew up surrounded by active cyclists who taught her the things that are important to most people...
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Meet Jason Aric Jones – DTE Energy Foundation Trail Builder

The Michigan Mountain Biking community is a group of passionate individuals who have overcome quite the ‘bumpy ride’ in securing trail access and maintenance. For the past 30 years, Jason Aric Jones has been an important leader and played a key role in opening public access to trails around the state, including the DTE Energy Foundation Trail. While attending Michigan State University, Jason enjoyed road biking until he was hit by an automobile. Fortunately, he suffered no major injuries, however, his bike was totaled. So, when a friend offered a mountain bike for him to borrow, they hit the trails and Jason fell in love with the sport. Jason became a...
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Meet Kelli Kavanaugh – Owner of Bicycle Shop, Wheelhouse Detroit

Detroit’s history has made it the Motor City, but thanks to the efforts of numerous people, it is also becoming known as Detroit Bike City. Without question, one of Detroit’s bicycle pioneers is Kelli Kavanaugh! Beginning in 2005, Kelli helped organize rides in the city including Tour de Troit, an annual biking event, which now has over 5,000 riders. Through Tour de Troit, Kelli allowed people to explore and discover neighborhoods that they wouldn’t have otherwise known exist, and later decided to take it a step further. In 2008, Kelli and her friend Karen opened Wheelhouse Detroit, a bike shop on the Detroit riverfront, offering retail, service, rentals, and guided bike...
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Meet Ty Scmidt – Founder of Norte, Traverse City

Amongst miles of cherry trees and endless wineries, Traverse City is home to Norte, a youth cycling group led by Ty Schmidt. After recognizing the lack of kids walking or biking to school, and the long line of cars waiting to drop off or pick up kids, Ty and his wife Johanna began biking with their kids to and from school. Soon, they invited others in their neighborhood to join. This group grew into what eventually became Norte. Norte was started with the belief that bicycles are a kid’s first opportunity to build confidence and independence. Aimed at encouraging healthy lifestyles, community involvement, and leadership, Norte is a nonprofit that focuses...
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Meet Jenny Acker – Michigan GPS Artist

If you’ve been involved in Michigan’s bike community, there is likely no more than a few degrees of separation between you and Jenny Acker. Whether you know it or not, you have probably benefited from or seen some of her work along the way. Jenny works behind the scenes to help with numerous popular Michigan biking events, including Barry Roubaix, Lumberjack 100, Fargo Sub-48, and the Michigan Gravel Race Series. She races gravel and mountain bikes, plays bicycle polo, and alongside her husband Matt, has taken some of the most enviable bikepacking trips we have seen. Jenny is also a graphic designer and artist, and she bridges her two passions of...
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Meet “Mr. Michigan,” Jon Ornée!

Jon Ornée is a cyclist, musician, health coach, wine label designer, triathlete and one of the most motivated people you will meet. He exudes positive energy and has chosen to do so in a way that motivates others to join him on a quest for a healthy and active lifestyle. Jon created a program called “30 Days of Awesome,” a free 30-day program that helps people explore better habits, such as better sleeping, eating, drinking, and moving, in order to feel more awesome. Jon also shares his love of being active and exploring the outdoors through a campaign called “The Adventures of Mr. Michigan” with the support of his sponsor, Michigan...
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Meet Nate Phipps – Co-Founder of Bike Alliance of Washtenaw

Nate Phipps is a co-founder of the Bike Alliance of Washtenaw and a board member of Common Cycle. In 2014, Nate and his wife, Michelle Bellino (who commutes on a Brompton), moved from Boston to Ann Arbor. Nate had been involved in cycling advocacy in Massachusetts through work with Bikes Not Bombs and the Boston Cyclists Union and saw the positive impact of community-based cycling organizations. When he relocated to Ann Arbor, he was encouraged by the high number of cyclists and bicycle organizations. However, there was a missing piece – a central organization that could harness the energy, connections, and power of all area cycling groups. For this reason, he...
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Meet Henry Ford II

What does Henry Ford II do for the Michigan bicycle community? The better question is what doesn’t Henry do? It is hard to imagine a person who spends more of their time contributing to Michigan’s bicycle scene in a more positive way than Henry. Henry in a nutshell; Started and runs the weekly Palmer Park Ride based out of Palmer Park. The group leaves at 7:00 pm every Thursday night between April and October from the Palmer Park pool parking lot, located at 910 Merrill Plaisance St, Detroit, MI 48203. The ride typically attracts 75-100 cyclists and covers approximately 15-25 miles at a conversational pace (approximately 15mph). Is a ride leader/hit...
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Meet Ben Rollenhagen: Champion for Bicycling Education

Ben Rollenhagen has worn many hats in the bicycling community, and many of his contributions will continue to have lasting impact on youth training and empowerment through bicycling. Having held many leadership roles in organizing Michigan bike races, teams, and developing a comprehensive bicycling education curriculum called Riding for Focus, Ben’s work has resulted in significant positive impact that continues to expand. While attending Central Michigan University (CMU) in 2004, Ben began racing while earning his Bachelor of Science in Education degree. He later returned to earn his Master’s in Physical Education Pedagogy and is currently working towards his doctorate in educational technology while teaching instructional techniques and sports skills assessment...
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