BFK’s Fall Bike Celebration’s magnificent Bike Tour is always on the third Sunday of September (Sept. 17 in 2023) — offering something for everyone. Ride registration is now open at BikeReg* through Sept. 12, 2023 and will be offered onsite on the morning of the Ride as well. It’s not a race, and, E-bikes & recumbents are welcome! NEW for ’23: Gravel Routes! — details below and on Routes page.
Our “two states of mind” Vicksburg-Shipshewana Century explores the Amish country of Indiana. All routes will take you back in time — past photogenic Vicksburg Quilt Trail paintings — starting and finishing on the grounds of the lovingly curated Vicksburg Historic Village. The tour is supported with maps, SAG stops & snacks, and the paved road routes will be clearly marked. All riders will enjoy a delicious meal at ride’s end.
Everyone who pre-registers online will get a coupon for a free cyclist’s Ice Cream cone at Apple Knocker’s Ice Cream Parlor–good for the rest of September. Plus, pre-registered riders will get a coupon for 10% off at the Distant Whistle Brewhouse in beautiful downtown Vicksburg–also good for the rest of September. PLUS – pre-registered riders who pick up their packets and get their wrist bands in person at Saturday’s Ice Cream Social (4-7pm) can skip the line and start the ride without having to pick up your packet/wrist band at the Day-Of Registration desk on Sunday.
Online Ride Registration is CLOSED* On site registration opens Sunday at 7:30am
On site Registration (Sunday Sept 17): $45 Individual; $75 Family
*Bike Reg charges a transaction fee not listed in the registration fees; we ask your understanding that we need to cover our expenses as a 501c3 non-profit. We feel the security of their processing system and extra piece of mind are worth it.
SUNDAY DAY-OF RIDE REGISTRATION
We will offer Day-of Ride registration unless something really crazy stops the world in its tracks. Day-of registration opens at 7:30am for the Vicksburg-Shipshewana Century route. Day-of registration windows for all other routes open at 8am or after (see below). Day-of ride registration closes for all routes at NOON.
At day-of registration it will be easier if you pay in cash and have exact change for the registration. We will take personal checks and credit cards as well.
All routes start/finish at the Vicksburg Historic Village in Vicksburg, MI. SAG Stops 1, 2, 3 and 4 are located as noted below. Route details are on the Routes page. Emergency phone numbers will be printed on the maps.
GROUP STARTS – BACK for ’23. We will have more group starts to give riders a chance for extra camaraderie. (See below for a bulletin board of group starts we have heard about.) To start with any other informal group, meet with whoever is gathering at the suggested group start time. On the three shortest routes, depart at the latest start if you want to buddy up with other families or like-minded group start riders who are at the starting point at that time.
ROUTES (in rough order of latest start time)
- Shipshewana Century (103 miles; suggested group start: 8am; latest start: 8:15am; SAGs 1, 2 & 3)
- Shipshewana “Hybrid” Imperial-Metric (83 miles; group start: 8:15am; latest start: 8:45am; SAGs 1 & 2)
- Covered Bridge Metric Century (62 miles; group start: 9:00am; latest start: 9:30am; SAG 2) NOTE: Due to construction, this route will likely be re-routed to another bridge over the scenic St. Joseph River in ’23.
- GRAVEL EVENT (32 & 59 mile options; group start: 9:00am; SAG 4)
- Half Century Imperial and Metric “mix ‘n’ match” combo possibilities (up to you!)
- Climax (38 miles; latest / group start: 10am; SAG 3)
- Scotts Mill Park (25 miles; latest / group start: 10am; SAG 3)
- Vicksburg Quilt Trail (17 or 18-ish miles each; latest / group start: 10:30am)
- Lake Cruise (12 miles; Sunset & Austin Lake views; latest / group start: 10:30am)
- Vicksburg Recreational Trail (4-5 miles; latest / group start: 11am)
Within our last start and closing times, feel free to combine more than one route to fit your mileage goals to build the perfect day. For example, Climax+Vicksburg Quilt Trail South Loop=54 miles. Vicksburg Quilt Trail North+South=33 miles (53 km).
Volunteer group starts, routes and start locations are subject to change without notice.
GROUP START BULLETIN BOARD 2023
Ride leaders have volunteered to lead the ride out of town at the start. From there the group may split into smaller groups or as individuals at different paces. Meet up with a group at the ROUTE START LOCATION.
Route: Ride Leader – Departure Time – Pace
Shipshewana 103: Paul G – 8am – 18mph
Covered Bridge 62: Gordy – 8:30am – 15mph
Climax 38: Kitty – 8:30am – 13-13.5mph; Thom – 8:30am – 14mph; Bill – 9am – 15mph
Scotts Mill 25: Clark – 9:30am – 14.5-15mph
Vicksburg Quilt Trail 17: email us if you’d like to lead a group 🙂
GRAVEL ROUTES: 9am – John – pace TBD; Steve – 32 mile route – 16mph
ROUTE START LOCATIONS
Shipshewana 103 & Hybrid 83, Covered Bridge 62 Routes, North Quilt Route, Lake Cruise and Family Routes: Start at corner of N. Richardson & North Street (west side of Historic Village next to Trust Shield Lot)
ALL other routes: Start at Spruce St & Historic Village winding gravel road (east side of Historic Village) or as otherwise directed.
POST-RIDE MEAL – HISTORIC VILLAGE TOUR – SWAG
Stop by the shady Grove in the Historic Village after your ride for a delicious meal. You you will be asked for your choice of Apple Knockers’ famous Chicken Salad Wrap or Power Veggie Wrap, or other meat sandwich (type TBD supply availability in 2023) when you register. Your meal will be available starting at 10:30am until the Vicksburg Historic Village closes at 5pm. There will be beverages and snacks at the SAG Stops and at ride’s end.
After your meal, you are invited to tour the Historic Village at your leisure. We continue to be amazed at the extent of the exhibits, how well they are marked and were delighted that docents are often available at building marked with an ”Open” flag.
Before you head home, stop by the Registration Gazebo area for complementary maps, bike safety literature, complementary tail lights and reflective leg bands if you need them and any other swag we may be able to conjure up (while supplies last).
SAG STOP OPENING/CLOSING
Please plan accordingly; SAG stops close when listed. The Historic Village closes at 5pm.
1. Shipshewana routes: Lions Club Pavilion in Shipshewana – N735 W; 9:45am – 12:45pm
2. Centreville: Adams Park- 8:30am – 2:00pm
3. Scotts Mill Park (Kalamazoo County): 8:30am – 4:00pm; NOTE: the mill will be open for visiting
4. GRAVEL / MIXED SURFACE ROUTES: Rawson’s King Mill Park (St. Joseph County): 9am-noon
PARKING (BY ROUTE) & BIKE PROTOCOL
The Registration Area is in the Gazebo on the grounds of the Historic Village. Walk to the registration area to register or pick up your pre-registration packet if you did not pick it up during the Ice Cream Social. CLICK HERE FOR A GOOGLE EARTH MAP OF THIS AREA Zoom and move around to show how to enter Spruce Street from the north or south.
Parking – Shipshewana 103, 83 and Covered Bridge 62 Routes: Park in the two paved lots directly to the west across the road from the Historic Village (Trust Shield Insurance and the little park on either side of the the intersection of Richardson St. and North St). ONLY if there is room, you may also use these lots for the Quilt Trail, Lake Cruise and Trail Routes. Use caution when crossing Richardson St. to and from the Historic Village.
Parking – All Other Routes: All other routes and overflow have parking at the Vicksburg Historic Village. However, you can’t enter their grass lot from Richardson. Navigate to Spruce St. (the road to the east of the Vicksburg Community Pavilion). Enter heading west via the short ONE WAY gravel drive to the immediate south of the Pavilion. Turn left into the grassy area (south) just before the one-way exits on to Richardson. Park as directed by the signs and markings in the grass lot next to the Historic Village.
Bike Protocol: To reduce chaos and congestion on the grounds of the Historic Village, secure your bikes in your vehicles before and after the ride. After parking, please enter the Historic Village grounds on foot whenever possible. Try to limit bringing bikes on the grounds as much as possible.
T-Shirts are available for purchase on BikeReg through Sunday Sept. 10; they will not be available on ride day. This sweet design was lovingly created just for our Fall Bike Celebration. The color in 2023 will be teal, picked by a rider poll. We suggest reserving yours by the deadline, or face the consequences of serious regret and jealous emotion as you behold those who planned in advance. The color below and T-Shirt wording on the reverse is for illustrative purposes only.
No, we are not giving them away since every dollar we are lucky enough to clear over our expenses for this shindig is going straight to worthy 501(c)3 charitable causes. And yes, the Sponsors side will be updated. 🙂
ADVANCE PRE-REGISTRATION PACKET PICK UP
If you register online in advance you can skip the crowds and pick up your registration packets in Vicksburg (see the Schedule for details). You can pick them up at the Ride registration table at the Vicksburg Historic Village. What’s not picked up will be donated.
You’ll get an email about Advance Pre-Registration Packet Pickup if you register in advance, closer to the ride.
Search for lodging & campground info via your favorite browser. Closest hotels are on I-94 at Sprinkle Road. Book camping spaces as far in advance as possible; they are often sold out.
WAIVERS & CANCELLATIONS
*Online registration for SUNDAY’S BIKE TOUR closes Sept. 12 at BikeReg. Liability waivers must be completed in order to participate in the Ride and all of its routes. Your fees will support many worthy community and bicycling causes. Bike Friendly Kalamazoo is concerned with the overall safety of visitors, participants, staff and organizers of the Fall Bike Celebration. That said, this is a rain or shine fundraising event; all sales are final unless we need to cancel the entire Ride for unforeseen reasons such as extreme weather, state or local declared emergencies or a safety concern of similar magnitude. Registrations are not transferable. On the other hand, we are offering lots of options during BikeReg’s registration process in case we have to completely cancel (say, due to COVID-19 or other extreme situation). You can register with confidence knowing you may choose between four options in case BFK must cancel the entire Ride: 1) refund (less non-refundable fees); 2) transfer of registration to our Ride to the following year; 3) charitable donation of registration fees (less non-refundable fees); 4) Flexible solo/family/trusted circle Ride with meal card(s) and maps provided by BFK. With an event as compact as ours – and with so many routes and starting times – we are optimistic. As of now we will be able to offer a delicious ice cream cone and meal card(s) and a map to those opting for the “solo/family/trusted circle/virtual” cancellation option #4. Those choosing this option understand that routes may or may not be marked at the time you choose to ride, and that no SAG support will be provided by BFK. Bike Friendly Kalamazoo is an IRS registered 501(c)3 Michigan nonprofit; your Event fees will be deductible to the fullest extent of the law. T-Shirts must be picked up on Ride Day or we will consider them a donation to charity; we can’t afford to ship them for these prices or store them after the day of the ride. T-Shirt sales are not refundable.
Please help us fight hunger in children by bringing a jar of peanut butter to donate.
We are partnering with Generous Hands (allied with Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes) to serve as a food drive collection point. See below for more on the community based spirit of this great weekend.
Your donations to Generous Hands will help those in need!
SUPPORT FOR CHARITIES
Bike Friendly Kalamazoo is a 501(c)3 IRS registered public charity and a Michigan nonprofit corporation. We are a community-based coalition of many riding groups and civic organizations. Your support and participation in this event will also help feed kids that might otherwise go hungry through Generous Hands (a partner with Loaves and Fishes), and provide services to veterans, seniors and the disabled through South County Community Services. This event is also one of the most public ways that Bike Friendly Kalamazoo raises funds to boost its bike safety, education and awareness building programs, not to mention the very concrete goal of increasing interest and participation in riding bikes…for bicyclists and cyclists of virtually all ages and abilities!
– Our Fall Bike Celebration BIKE TOUR is participating in LMB’s $1/rider program.
– BFK believes that healthy riding clubs make for more bike friendly communities, which is why we started BFK’s “Great Clubs, Great Riders” $1 Back-2-Clubs program. Meaning, we are ALSO pledging to donate $1 back to clubs, per each 501c3 bike club member* who declares their membership at our registration desk! This means $100 back to your club for every 100 members who have registered and show up to ride. Hey, it can’t hurt, right? (*One club per rider; minimum check we can cut is $10; 501c3 incorporated riding clubs; our decisions “final”; our lawyers happy?; our CPA-who knows; our mission-fulfilled; our president-thrilled! Click here for additional important details, limitations, etc.).
BikeReg adds a service fee to online purchases. Since this event is a fundraiser for charitable causes, we are kindly asking you to consider the added security that BikeReg offers plus the fact that if BFK “absorbed” this fee for you, it would reduce the amount we could put toward our mission. Thanks for understanding!
Hint hint: Want to really save on next year’s ride? Register way early. Here was what we offered for the early birds for 2022’s on-line registration:
Super Early-Bird (until December 31, 2021): Half Off On-site Registration
Early-Bird (January 1-May 31): $27.50 Individual; $50 Family
Advance (June 1 – August 31): $30 Individual; $55 Family
Last-Minute Online (September 1-14): $35 Individual; $60 Family
Last-Minute Online (September 1-14): $35 Individual; $60 Family
Let’s make the Fall Bike Celebration a safe success. Consult your health professional and our Health Advisories page.