The Birmingham Bike Festival returns to downtown Sunday with added emphasis as the city will also host the 2013 and 2014 Michigan State Criterium Championship for men.
The single-day race, starting at 8 a.m., is open to any Michigan resident willing to compete in a short- multi-lap, closed circuit cycling race in a traditionally urban setting. There are 6 MSCC Races scheduled during the event, and the winners are the first to finish wihout having been lapped.
Cities around Michigan are granted the privilege of hosting the race for two-year stints if they exhibit a "strong dedication to promoting cycling," a release from the Birmingham Bike Festival stated.
This is the third year for the Birmingham-based festival, created in 2011 to celebrate cycling culture and healthy living. Last year, more than 240 cyclists participated in the festival, which featured a special Miles4Miles race, a parade-style ride that raised money for the Miles Levin Miracle Fund at Beaumont Children's Hospital, in honor of a Cranbrook student who passed away from cancer in 2007.
As in past years, several community, sponsor and charity booths will adorn Shain Park, and local merchants will be on hand selling food and drinks, and bike gear. Festival organizers will host a free bike valet.
Unlike previous years, Bike Fest founder and Director Jeffrey Surnow, plans to participate.
“People are always shocked to hear I don’t race during my own event and so this year, with the Championship Series added, I have registered for the first time,” Surnow said.
There is still time to sign and register through Thursday until midnight. Volunteers are still needed, particularly for the morning shifts, Event Coordinator Nina Tocco said. To be a volunteer, visit the Festival website and click on the 'volunteer' tab to choose available positions and shifts. All volunteers receive a free t-shirt to wear during the event featuring the special 2013 MSCC logo.
To sign up for races, or to be a sponsor, visitwww.birminghambikefestival.org or contact Event Coordinator Nina Tocco at firstname.lastname@example.org.