Fall Bike Celebration Weekend coming Sept. 17-19

The third annual Fall Bike Celebration Weekend, Sept. 17-19, will offer bicycling, an outdoor live concert, results of a public bike art competition, and fascinating live and online presentations. The weekend also highlights the many attractions in and around Vicksburg and southwest Michigan.

On Friday Sept. 17, the public is encouraged to ride bicycles to two expertly led disc golf clinics, the Vicksburg Historic Village and the Farmers Market. That afternoon a webinar will present lessons learned about “Increasing Safe Passing of Bicyclists,” gained through how-to research conducted in Michigan and Tennessee.

On the morning of Saturday Sept 18, the Ride For A Reason: Multi-Charity Bikeathon will give supporters of 16 charities a chance to ride and walk to raise funds for a variety of worthy programs important to southwest Michigan. This event aims at providing an outdoor social fundraising platform to help make up for donations lost during the pandemic, starting and ending at the timber-framed Vicksburg Pavilion.

On Saturday afternoon, live and virtual presentations will feature the Vicksburg Quilt Trail paintings and highlight progress on the huge Mill at Vicksburg entertainment and hotel complex. Saturday evening promises an event for live music lovers: An open-air benefit concert performed by the popular rock, blues, country, folk and bluegrass AMP band will take place under the big roof of the Vicksburg Pavilion, with gates opening at 6:15 p.m. Results of Bike Friendly Kalamazoo’s Public Bike Art Competition with $1,750 in cash awards will be announced at the concert.
On Sunday Sept. 18, the event’s namesake, the Fall Bike Celebration Bike Tour will offer routes with views of Vicksburg Quilt Trail paintings. Cyclists will ride to scenic destinations such as Scotts Mill Park, Climax, over the longest covered bridge in Michigan and as far as Shipshewana and back. The Bike Tour starts and ends at the restored Vicksburg Historic Village.

Bill Adams, former Vicksburg village president and honorary event co-chair said, “Vicksburg welcomes bicyclists and everyone to enjoy the Fall Bike Celebration. We are grateful for the support of the Vicksburg Foundation, generous sponsors and wonderful in-kind supporters who make this fantastic fall bicycle festival possible.”

The weekend long event was organized by civic leaders, local charities and bike-related organizations. It’s expected to pack the weekend with dozens of reasons to ride, showcase local amenities, provide ways to support bicycling, emphasize the need for motorist and bicyclist safety as the hours of darkness increase and to have fun. Some activities are free, some require waivers and some may require children to be accompanied by an adult. The latest updates can be found at http://www.fallbikecelebration.org/schedule/.

“This year we will employ safety and public health measures that worked last year — and now, vaccines are working in our favor,” said Paul Selden, president of Bike Friendly Kalamazoo. “We welcome everyone to enjoy the Fall Bike Celebration at any level, bicycling or virtual.”

Bike Friendly Kalamazoo is a Michigan non-profit corporation with a network of volunteers drawn from greater Kalamazoo whose mission is to help make the community more bicycle friendly. Its programs include grants and scholarships to support bicycle/motorist safety, education and infrastructure, while promoting collaboration among local leaders and organizations. For more information and downloads of artist-designed posters, go to http://www.bikefriendlykalamazoo.org.

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