By Paul Selden
The 4th annual Fall Bike Celebration Weekend September 16-18 offers a 7-plus-route cycling event, a kid’s Bike Rodeo, a Farmers Market Cycle-In event, guided tours of the Vicksburg Historic Village, plus fascinating live and online presentations.
The weekend also highlights attractions in and around the charming village of Vicksburg and southwest Michigan and raises awareness of the need to bike safely as the hours of darkness increase during the fall. For full details, see www.fallbikecelebration.org.
Three new events are planned for Friday Sept. 16. The first 30 bicyclists to ride their bikes to the Vicksburg Farmers Market can receive a $5 coupon good for purchases at the market. Another new offering allows the public and area school groups to schedule guided tours of the adjacent Vicksburg Historic Village. That Friday afternoon a webinar will cover the City of Kalamazoo’s innovative Streets Design Manual, illustrating plans for how roadways and adjacent rights-of-way can accommodate non-motorists and motorists alike.
Also new for 2022, a free Bike Rodeo for children from the entire area is planned for the morning of Saturday Sept. 17, courtesy of Vicksburg Community Schools. This new event aims to teach and encourage kids to ride bikes safely on a closed course set up with fun and realistic educational challenges. The rodeo will include a helmet check, a bike mechanical check, and a chance to have fun and exercise while learning rules of the road. Saturday afternoon features two guided tours of the Vicksburg Historic Village, a bicycle mural exhibit at the Prairie Ronde Art Gallery and an Ice Cream Social at Apple Knockers Ice Cream Parlor for pre-registered riders.
On Sunday Sept. 18 the Bike Celebration Bike Tour will offer routes that take cyclists back in time, starting and ending at the lovingly restored Vicksburg Historic Village while featuring views of Vicksburg Quilt Trail paintings. Cyclists can pick from scenic destinations all the way to Shipshewana, Ind., over Michigan’s longest covered bridge, along the Vicksburg Quilt Trail, visiting Scotts Mill Park, through the village of Climax, as well as more bite-sized family-friendly routes.
Bill Adams, former Vicksburg village president and honorary event co-chair, said, “Vicksburg welcomes bicyclists and encourages everyone from the region to enjoy the Fall Bike Celebration. We are grateful for the support of the generous sponsors and wonderful in-kind supporters who make this fantastic fall bicycle festival possible.”
The weekend-long event is organized by civic leaders, local charities and bike-related organizations, packing the weekend with dozens of reasons to ride, showcase local amenities, provide ways to support bicycling, emphasize the need for motorist and bicyclist safety and 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 www.fallbikecelebration.org/schedule/.
“This year the Fall Bike Celebration will be more exciting and enjoyable than ever,” said Bike Friendly Kalamazoo President Paul Selden. “We welcome everyone to enjoy the entire weekend at any level — bicycling or virtual.”
Bike Friendly Kalamazoo (BFK) is a Michigan non-profit organization with a mission to help make our greater community even more bicycle-friendly. Its programs include funding the All Kids Bike Kindergarten PE program, public murals, grants and scholarships to support bicycle/motorist safety, education and infrastructure, all while fostering collaboration among local leaders and organizations to improve the quality of life. For more information and downloads of our fantastic, artist-designed posters, please see www.bikefriendlykalamazoo.org.
By Paul Selden