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 — we are now only taking day-of ride registrations but you can still donate at our PLEDGEREG site. Riding without “joining a team” is fine, too. Online register here >>BikeReg<< closee Sept 14. 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 has now switched to Day-Of registration in person (it was OPEN on our BIKEREG site until Sept. 14). The Bike Tour features longer routes. 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 for the rides in advance 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 will be good for the entire weekend.
At a Glance
Friday, September 17, 2021
- Fire up for the autumnal equinox! (Vicksburg, MI; all day)
- Bring your Frisbie Golf Discs! (10am-2pm; free clinics at noon & 1pm)
- Vicksburg Historic Village (1-5pm)
- Vicksburg Farmers Market (2-6pm)
- Webinar – Increasing the Safe Passing of Bicyclists (4-5pm)
Saturday, September 18, 2021
- Ride For a Reason: Multi-Charity Bikeathon (9am-noon)
- Pre-Registered Bike Tour Rider Packet Pick-Up (noon-1:00pm)
- Ice Cream at Apple Knockers Ice Cream Parlor (ALL Pre-Registered Riders; Saturday & Sunday!)
- Vicksburg Historic Village (1-5pm)
- Vicksburg Quilt Trail: Live / Virtual Presentation (1-2pm)
- The Mill at Vicksburg Virtual Tour (available per link below)
- Dining in the Village
- BFK’s Public Bike Art Competition Award Ceremony (Vicksburg Community Pavilion; during 1st Benefit Concert Intermission)
- Live Benefit Concert: AMP! (Gate Opens 6:15pm)
Sunday, September 19, 2021
- Fall Bike Celebration Bike Tour (Many Routes; Lunch After Ride; Vicksburg Historic Village; 7:30am-5pm)
Friday, September 17, 2021
Fire up for the autumnal equinox!
(Vicksburg, MI; all day)
Start your Fall Bike Celebration Weekend in the quaint and friendly Village of Vicksburg, MI. This charming Southwest Michigan community…where everyone seems to know each other and is willing to lend a hand…is offering a warm welcome for cyclists and bicyclists. The village is generously hosting a number of special activities in addition to its many everyday attractions. Vicksburg is a great place to explore — and will be handing you a passport to a great day and night of good old fashioned enjoyment! Get directions here.
Bring your Frisbie Golf Discs! (10am-2pm; free clinics at noon & 1pm)
Come try Disc Golf for free, with clinics sponsored courtesy of K’Aces Disc Golf. Disc Golf pioneer Larry Labond will present clinics on how to play at noon and 1pm. Have fun during Open Play at Vicksburg’s top-rated Disc Golf Course, set in the heart of Vicksburg’s Recreation Area (official address: 12538 S. Sprinkle Road). DG Course Review rated Vicksburg’s Disc Golf course in the top five within a 100 miles* and it has played host to a PDGA amateur national championship. The course offers views of nearby Sunset Lake and provides an amazing opportunity for fun and outdoor adventure with permanent baskets and the thrill of competing on a national course. The course is free and open to attendees. Contact Larry Labond at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. (*as of June 30, 2019) Get directions here.
Vicksburg Historic Village (1-5pm)
The Vicksburg Historic Village will transport you back in time to the turn of the century (1890-1932). The wonderfully designed village offers period buildings teeming with historic artifacts that tell the story of life in a small rural village. What’s more, it is located right next door to the Farmer’s Market! It has the same hours on Saturday and Sunday … we’re happily featuring it as one of the many special attractions Vicksburg has to offer as it welcomes everyone on this Fall Bike Celebration Weekend. Docents will be on hand from time to time to provide helpful background and answer your questions. Location: 300 N Richardson St, Vicksburg, MI 49097. Get directions here.
Vicksburg Farmers Market (2-6pm)
The food is farm fresh and the pies and muffins scrumptious. Stop by and you’ll find out what makes this one of the most popular Farmers Markets in the area, set in the Vicksburg Historic Village and you will get a chance to admire the beautiful pavilion itself. The Timber Framers Guild put every one of those 30,000 board feet of lumber to good use in their wonderful open air pavilion–check out the joinery. Location: 300 N. Richardson St. Get directions here.
Webinar – Increasing the Safe Passing of Bicyclists (4-5pm)
Internationally recognized expert Ron Van Houten (Western Michigan University) will present research on a topic of interest to civil authorities and cyclists alike: Increasing the Safe Passing of Bicyclists. Dr. Van Houten will speak on a recent study on two cities (one in Michigan and one in Tennessee) showing that enforcement, education and feedback can increase bicycle passing distance. Hear about this timely topic first-hand from the author of over 120 publications, with time for Q&A. Dr. Van Houten has served as an associate editor for several behavioral journals and is on the editorial boards for nine others.
RSVP on/by Sept. 14; pre-registration required; space is limited. Webex sign-on info has been sent to those pre-registered.
Saturday, September 18, 2021
Ride for a Reason: Multi-Charity Bikeathon (9am-noon)
More than 15 wonderful charities will support their causes as they Ride for a Reason in this fun “short course” social bicycling event starting and ending at the magnificent timber-framed Vicksburg Community Pavilion. Each Participating Charity is fielding its own team. Riders, donors and non-riding friends can pick their favorite Participating Charity to support!
For details, please see the Multi-Charity Bikeathon web page. Get more info here.
Location: Vicksburg Community Pavilion, 300 N. Richardson; Vicksburg, MI 49097. Get directions here.
Pre-Registrated Bike Tour Rider Packet Pick-Up (noon-1pm)
By golly we are going first class by giving pre-registered Bike Tour riders a way to pick up their information on Saturday at the Vicksburg Community Pavilion immediately after the Multi-Charity Bikeathon and enjoy a delicious ice cream cone at Apple Knockers Ice Cream Parlor. This year we are giving Pre-Registered riders a special treat by making it possible to enjoy your ice cream Saturday OR Sunday any time Apple Knockers is open! To reduce long lines, this year we won’t designate a specific “social hour” but we want you to enjoy your view of Sunset Lake and ice cream, with your friends…at a time that works best for you. Apple Knockers Location: 220 W Prairie St, Vicksburg, MI 49097 Get directions here.
Ice Cream at Apple Knockers Ice Cream Parlor (Saturday AND Sunday)
Pre-registration for Saturday’s Ride for a Reason OR Sunday’s Bike Tour includes a tasty cyclist’s-size cone at one of the best ice cream parlors/waterfront restaurants around, served at Apple Knockers Ice Cream Parlor on the shores of Sunset Lake. Bring your camera — thar’s a ship that’s ready to sail out of the Apple Knocker wharf that you won’t want to miss. Location: 220 W Prairie St, Vicksburg, MI 49097 Get directions here.
Vicksburg Historic Village (1-5pm)
The Vicksburg Historic Village will transport you back in time to the turn of the century (1890-1932). The wonderfully designed village offers period buildings teeming with historic artifacts that tell the story of life in a small rural village. What’s more, it is located right next door to the Vicksburg Community Pavilion! It has the same hours as on Friday … we’re happily featuring it as one of the many special attractions Vicksburg has to offer as it welcomes everyone on this Fall Bike Celebration Weekend! Location: 300 N Richardson St; Vicksburg MI 49097 Get directions here.
Vicksburg Quilt Trail: Virtual / Live Presentation (1-2pm)The Quilt Trail movement began in Ohio in 2001 and spread country wide. The Vicksburg Quilt Trail is the only one of its kind in Southwest Michigan, spanning some two dozen large paintings, each telling a unique story. Learn about how the quilts honor Native American spiritual elements, Biblical passages, commemorate inspirational teachings, or even echo a Signal Quilt pattern for enslaved people escaping north. The presentation will be made in person — and using Zoom so you can join from the comfort of home — by Kitch Rinehart, passionate and foresighted co-organizer of the Vicksburg Quilt Trail. She will explain more about how the Quilt Trail sites were chosen and how to paint your own. Anyone – including cyclists wanting to learn more about these magnificent paintings – interested in learning more about the quilt paintings should make a point of joining this engrossing visual, cultural and historical history tour. Location: Vicksburg District Library (lower level); 215 S. Michigan Avenue; Vicksburg, MI 49097 Walk-ins are welcome without pre-registering for the in-person presentation but space is limited. Get directions here. Pre-registration required for virtual participants; RSVP on/by Sept. 15; space is limited. Sign on info will be sent to those pre-registered.
The Mill at Vicksburg Virtual Tour (2:30-2:45pm)
Take a virtual tour in this video overview of one of the most ambitious renovation projects around, inspired by a former Vicksburg resident with deep roots in the community. The $80 million renovation project includes plans for craft beverage production, lodging and conference spaces, multiple indoor performance and gathering places, plus over 100 acres of beautiful grounds that will eventually play host to outdoor events.
You can drive by the site to see it in person from the road at 300 W Hwy St, Vicksburg, MI 49097. Get directions here.
Dining in the Village
After the Bikeathon, or, if you are going to the Live Benefit Concert or riding Sunday’s Bike Tour, may we suggest a stroll through Vicksburg, perhaps catching some views of Sunset Lake and dinner at a local restaurant as a pleasant way to conclude your afternoon? Local venues may offer live entertainment with food and beverage items on the side. Or is it the other way around? Or could the entertainment be the owner, your server or a trusted circle of ride buddies? Location(s): Vicksburg, MI 49097 Get directions here.
Saturday Evening, September 18, 2021
BFK’s Public Bike Art Competition Award Ceremony (During 1st Benefit Concert Intermission)
BFK’s Public Bike Art Competition Awards Ceremony will distribute $1,750 in juried cash prizes offered to artists in a nation-wide competition that opens in July. The intent of the art work is to express the joys of bicycling, in a form suitable for public display on large banners mounted on street poles throughout municipalities and other public spaces. Location: 300 N Richardson St, Vicksburg, MI 49097 Get directions here.
The Vicksburg Lions Club and Bike Friendly Kalamazoo are hosting a live benefit concert at the beautiful timber framed Vicksburg Community Pavilion. Anyone who has heard AMP perform at the Paw Paw Brewery knows what a great show they put on, playing a variety of rock, blues, country, folk and bluegrass hits.
Live music — beer & wine available for purchase — fresh air. Need we say more? It’s going to be a good time.Location: Vicksburg Community Pavilion, 300 N. Richardson; Vicksburg, MI 49097. Get directions here.
For details, please see the Live Benefit Concert web page. Get more info here.
Sunday, September 19, 2021
Fall Bike Celebration Bike Tour (7:30am-5pm)
All routes start & finish at Vicksburg Historic Village
Registration Opens: 7:30am – Registration Closes: Noon – Ride/Area Clean Up & Close: 5pm
Routes, Suggested Start Times, Approximate Distances on Routes page
All routes will be well marked, with water, food, snacks and treats at key locations. Camaraderie and smiles all around are a sure thing. A choice of delicious chicken, roast beef and veggie wraps at ride’s end, plus some surprise goodies await. Route maps and cue sheets will be provided.
For details, please see the Bike Tour web page. Get more info here.
Location: 300 N Richardson St, Vicksburg, MI 49097
Get directions here.
On any given day these routes are hauntingly beautiful, offer stunning photo ops and are best experienced at a bicyclist’s pace. Sharp-eyed riders should be able to find at least one of the Vicksburg Quilt Trail paintings on every route. No other community in Southwest Michigan has such a trail.
Bike Friendly Kalamazoo has long been a champion of the many positive values embodied in bicycling. We appreciate that the arts and other creative, soul lifting endeavors can add even more joy and interest to the bicycling experience. The Fall Bike Celebration events related to artistic enhancement – whether on the road or on the trails – help make cycling more rewarding for everyone.
There will be more to BFK’s Fall Bike Celebration Weekend in the years to come, if the fantastic citizens of our greater community have anything to say about it. We hope you can join us in this great annual event!
BFK’s Fall Bike Celebration started out with the simple idea that we wanted a way to properly thank the volunteers, organizers and sponsors of Kalamazoo (Area) Bike Beek 2019. It could have been done with a hearty handshake and a slice of pizza, and everyone would have been happy. But then we realized that for Bike Week to be sustainable, we had to find a way to fund it on into the future. Doh! Aha! Hmmm… The great ideas just kept coming, and led to the Fall Bike Celebration Weekend. The Weekend keeps Bike Week going and supports many other great bicycling and community causes as well.
Register online through BikeReg to take advantage of online pricing or pay in person on Ride day. We are offering lots of options during registration in case we have to completely cancel – but with a ride as compact as ours and with so many route options and starting times – we are optimistic.
* Schedule is subject to change without notice — more featured attractions are in the works in the years to come! Since necessity is the mother of invention, we are making the best of these difficult times by offering some of our presentations into a webinar format. The live benefit concert will serve the community in many ways. For example, the performance may be broadcast / live-streamed, helping community leaders build a “playbook” for producing other virtual performances while letting the community tune in to a great show without having to leave home. Stay tuned!