By Paul Selden
The 5th annual Fall Bike Celebration Weekend offers a Farmers Market Cycle-In event on Friday, September 15, a kid’s Bike Rodeo on Saturday and a route cycling event on Sunday.
On Friday, the first 30 shoppers riding in by bike to the Vicksburg Farmers Market can receive a $5 coupon good for purchases at the Farmers Market. The adjacent Vicksburg Historic Village is also offering guided 45-minute tours to anyone wishing to learn more about this re-creation of life in southwest Michigan at the turn of the 1900’s.
A free Bike Rodeo for children from the entire area is planned for the morning of Saturday, organized by Safe Kids of Kalamazoo County. This event, which aims to encourage kids to ride bikes safely, will be 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 also features a tour of the Vicksburg Mill Project that is open to the public, additional guided tours of the Vicksburg Historic Village, a bicycle mural exhibit, and an Ice Cream Social at Apple Knockers Ice Cream Parlor for pre-registered riders.
On Sunday Sept. 17 the Fall Bike Celebration Bike Tour will offer routes that take cyclists back in time, starting and ending at the Historic Village while featuring views of the Vicksburg Quilt Trail paintings. Cyclists can pick from scenic destinations all the way to Shipshewana, with views of Michigan’s longest covered bridge, take in highlights of the Vicksburg Quilt Trail, visit Scotts Mill Park, ride through the village of Climax, as well as more bite-sized family-friendly routes. New for this year is a so-called gravel ride featuring a rest stop at the beautiful Rawson’s King Mill Park in Leonidas.
The weekend long event is organized by civic leaders, local charities and bike-related organizations, presenting dozens of reasons to ride, spotlighting local amenities while reminding the public to bike and drive safely.
Some activities are free, some require waivers and some require children to be accompanied by an adult. Bill Adams, former Vicksburg village president, is enthusiastic. “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.” For updates, see http://www.fallbikecelebration.org/schedule.