DETROIT — The president of Wayne State University is touring Michigan on his bicycle to hear from residents outside of Detroit.
M. Roy Wilson invited local cycling clubs to join him as he covers an average of about 100 miles a day on his bike. He began his journey Tuesday in St. Clair and plans to arrive in Midland on Wednesday, the Detroit Free Press reported .
“I’ve always liked to do organized rides, both here in Detroit and in Colorado (where he lived before coming to Wayne State),” Wilson said. “It gets me out into the community and invariably I meet people I wouldn’t normally meet. It’s been a way to get a better perspective of life outside of whatever city I was living in.”
Wilson said he’s using the bike tour to venture outside his bubble after seeing the country’s clear division during last year’s presidential campaign.
“Neither Denver or Detroit completely represent the viewpoint across their states,” he said. “I’m just interested in being able to connect with people. I thought it would be fun to combine cycling with a listening tour.”
Wilson has invited the public and local elected officials to join him in the evenings to talk about higher education issues, including college affordability.
“People from different areas think differently,” he said. “I believe as a university president I need to understand all perspectives. We have students from all these areas on our campus.”
The cycling enthusiast will conclude his tour Thursday in DeWitt. He said he is open to repeating it next year in different parts of the state if this year’s tour goes well.
“When we are riding with a group, I’m no longer President Wilson,” he said. “I’m just part of the crew. You really form a team spirit and I like that.”
Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com