Join the Celebration

BFK’s Fall Bike Celebration is held annually on the third weekend in September.  In 2021 that’s September 17-19.  Day-of registrations will be open for the Multi-Charity Bikeathon on Saturday and Fall Bike Celebration Bike Tour on Sunday.  The open-air Live Benefit Concert is Saturday night with a cash cover charge at the gate.

This is a year of some BIG FIRSTS. We are holding our first-ever Ride For A Reason Multi-Charity Bikeathon* on Saturday morning, Sept. 18 — registration is OPEN at our PLEDGEREG site; to ride without “joining a team,” register here >>BikeReg<<.  Our first-ever live Lions-BFK Benefit Concert is Saturday night, featuring rock, blues and bluegrass performed by the super-talented local band, AMP.  Both events will be held at the beautiful timber-framed Vicksburg Community Pavilion (next to the Vicksburg Historic Village).  These great new events add even more reasons to join in our weekend-long celebration of bicycling.

Registration for Sunday’s Bike Tour is OPEN on our BIKEREG site, featuring longer routes including a Century ride.  This wonderfully scenic all day “Quilt Barn, Bridge & Buggy” Bike Tour of the countryside will take place on Sunday Sept. 19 starting and ending on the grounds of the Vicksburg Historic Village (next to the Pavilion). 

Everyone who registers online for either ride will get a coupon for a free cyclist’s Ice Cream cone at Apple Knocker’s Ice Cream Parlor and discounts at local restaurants that you will receive when you pick up your advance registration packet.

(*If you have ever wondered how bicyclists of all ages and abilities could give back to the community during tough times, our Fall Bike Celebration Weekend is BFK’s answer!)

These cool print-worthy Fall Bike Celebration and Ride For A Reason Multi-Charity Bikeathon posters capture our spirit in 2021, thanks to our friends at Consort Display Group.  Our Live Benefit Concert poster is super duper!

Artists – check out BFK’s Public Bike Art Competition, which is returning this year thanks in part to a grant from The Vicksburg Foundation.

The welcome mat will be out for cyclists throughout the third spectacular Fall Bike Celebration weekend (September 17-19, 2021)…with fantastic routes through the beautiful Southwest Michigan countryside centered in the charming Village of Vicksburg.  Distances for Saturday’s Multi-Charity Bikeathon are scaled to fit that morning — the money we help raise is not based on distances covered and walkers are welcome!  Sunday’s Bike Tour routes range from a Century ride across state lines to quaint Shipshewana (IN) all the way down to a 4-5 mile family trail ride.  Routes will include beautiful photo-worthy views of the Vicksburg Quilt Barn Trail.  Both rides will be supported with SAG stops, maps and clear road markings. Plus, for Sunday’s longer distance Bike Tour, a delicious meal will be waiting at the finish.

For either ride, we recommend online registration as far in advance as possible and to be alert for emails we send to registered riders about parking, dining coupons and public health.  For more on our public health considerations please scroll to the end of this page.  These considerations are subject to rapid changes without notice on this site.

But wait–there’s more! (Chuckle)  Featured attractions in Vicksburg on Friday and Saturday include a top-rated disc golf course & clinics from disc golf pioneer Larry LaBond, a Farmers Market right next to the lovingly restored Vicksburg Historic Village, docent curated exhibits at the wonderful Vicksburg Historic Village, a fascinating presentation on the “mysterious**” Vicksburg Quilt Trail paintings, delicious Ice Cream for pre-registered Saturday’s AND Sunday’s riders, a virtual tour of The Mill In Vicksburg renovation, and ceremonies for BFK’s Public Bike Art Competition award.   

Can’t make it into town physically, at all?  No matter – in addition to virtual broadcasts of the Vicksburg Quilt Trail and Mill Project tours, renowned traffic safety expert Ron Van Houten, PhD will present a webinar, Increasing the Safe Passing of Bicyclists!     (**”Mysterious,” as in, “What the heck did I just see?”  “How did it get there?”  “What does it mean?”)

We want you to join us and enjoy rides of a lifetime…going back in time…during a jam-packed fun-filled weekend…nestled in charming rural Southwest Michigan…featuring routes you will never forget…in support of bicycling and community-based charitable causes.

Your support and participation in the rides during this event will help many charities.  Please also consider bringing a jar of peanut butter to donate at either Saturday’s or Sunday’s Rides.  What’s left over after we distribute proceeds to charity and pay off expenses supports Bike Friendly Kalamazoo’s grant, scholarships and our many programs that boost safety, education and awareness building, not to mention giving an oomph to the very concrete goal of increasing ridership and participation…for bicyclists and cyclists of virtually all ages and abilities! 

See, we have this bias in favor of working together…  .  Did we say this is a community-based weekend?  We will be updating this site as Fall Bike Celebration Weekend approaches, listening to your ideas for how to improve as well.  These cool print-worthy Fall Bike Celebration and Ride For A Reason Multi-Charity Bikeathon posters came from your ideas!  Even the T-Shirt color each year is based on your input from our FLASH polls.

Are we excited? Absolutely! Is the greater community in on our planning committee and joining in the fun? All the way!

In the meantime, check out the huge Schedule, chock full of fun things to do, learn more about Saturday’s Multi-Charity Bikeathon and Sunday’s Bike Tour Routes, opportunities for Sponsors, and head over to the Sunday’s Bike Tour Registration page to sign up. Our fees are about the same as the most popular rides, so you won’t have any sticker shock.  Want to help make this weekend a great experience for everyone, and be a part of an always enthusiastic, eager-to-make-it-happen team?  Head over to the Volunteer page and let us know who you are.  Artists interested in entering BFK’s Public Bike Art Competition will want to check back from time to time as we update that page.

The Celebration is organized by Bike Friendly Kalamazoo (BFK), a 501(c)3 non-profit network of volunteers working to make our greater community even more bike friendly (see our About page).

Please help us to make the Fall Bike Celebration a safe success.

BFK cares about your health.  Signing up for our Fall Bike Celebration is optional but our need for smart safe practices is not.  We will be asking everyone to follow prevailing USA Cycling’s recommended COVID-19 Coronavirus precautions and government mandates to protect others as well as yourself; BFK will be doing the same.  The following recommendations dated August 7, 2021 and subject to change without notice.

  • All participants, spectators and staff are kindly asked to bring your own mask whenever possible, actively observe good physical distancing and practice good clean-hands hygiene.  Masks are welcome but not required at our outdoor events. 
  • If you are sick, please stay home.
  • We will have some masks for those who forgot their own*.  Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be in use.  Quantities of certain items (like masks) will be limited.
  • As a Michigan non-profit organization, at a minimum we will follow current CDC and State of Michigan COVID-19 guidelines. As a private entity, we may add requirements to further safeguard our guests, staff, & volunteers. While we encourage vaccinations, we do not require participants to be vaccinated to attend. Hand sanitizer, extra masks & gloves will be available in limited quantities.  Click here to see USA Cycling’s excellent COVID-19 resources.

We appreciate your participation, patience and good humor.  We truly are all in this together.

Plus, make sure you use a DEET based mosquito repellent when enjoying yourself outside — especially around the hours of dawn and dusk.  (We’re told this is a good practice anytime you are exposed to such risks for more than about 15 minutes.)

Want more details about everything happening during our Fall Bike Celebration Weekend?  You’ll find a lot more on the following pages.   Dive in!

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