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Need To Know: Birmingham Bike Festival Comes to Town

The second annual Birmingham Bike Festival happens Sunday in downtown Birmingham. Here's what you need to know.

After the success of last year's inaugural Birmingham Bike Festival, area businessman, bike enthusiast and event organizer Jeff Surnow is back.

And for a second year in a row, he's bringing hundreds of cyclists and their fans to the streets of downtown Birmingham this Sunday.

"Although the name of the event is Birmingham Bike Festival, it's not all about bikes," Surnow, the owner of the Birmingham-based , writes on the event's website. "It's bringing the community together for a variety of fun and healthy life style events ... Breathe some fresh air, enjoy the city, and spend less time in the car and more time outside."

This year, the Birmingham Bike Festival is bigger than ever, featuring more races, live entertainment and a charity ride benefiting the Miles Levin Miracle Fund at Beaumont Children's Hospital.

Do you plan on checking out the festivities on Sunday? Here's what you need to know before you go:

Basics:

  • Where: Downtown Birmingham, with races beginning and ending at Maple and Henrietta. Vendor tents, awards ceremonies and a courtesy bike valet will be located in .
  • When: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Cost: Free to attend; racers may be required to pay registration fees ranging from $10-$45, based on the race.
  • Parking: Cars can find parking in one of the city's five parking garages: , , , and parking garages. A courtesy bike valet will also be available for those who ride into town.
  • Road closures: Maple Road will be closed between South Old Woodward and Bates, while South Old Woodward will be closed between Maple and Merrill. Meanwhile, Martin Street will be closed between Bates and Pierce, while Pierce will be shut down between Merrill and Maple.

Registration:

  • Where: In front of the Surnow Company, located at the corner of Maple and Bates.
  • When: Registration opens at 7 a.m. and closes 30 minutes prior the start of each race. 
  • Cost: Registration fees range from $10 (for junior races) to $45 for professional races.
  • For more: Visit or email registration@birminghambikefestival.org.

Schedule:

Class and Category Time Length Prize Junior, ages 10-14 8-8:30 a.m. 20 minutes + 2 laps $100 Junior, ages 15-18 8:30-9 a.m. 20 minutes + 2 laps $150 Category (Cat) 5 Men — ages 34 and under 9-9:30 a.m. 20 minutes + 2 laps Trophy Cat 5 Men — ages 35-49 9:30-10 a.m. 20 minutes + 2 laps Trophy Cat 5 Men — ages 50 and up 10-10:30 a.m. 20 minutes + 2 laps Trophy Cat 4 Women 10:30-11 a.m. 20 minutes + 2 laps $300 Cat 4 Men 11-11:35 a.m. 25 minutes + 2 laps $400 Master 40+ / Cat 1-4 11:35 a.m.-12:15 p.m. 30 minutes + 2 laps $700 Hand Cycle 12:15-12-45 p.m. 20 minutes + 2 laps $400 Kids Race 12:45-1:05 p.m. 20 minutes Trophy Miles4Miles 1:05-1:25 p.m. 20 minutes Trophy Cat 1/2/3 Women 1:25-2:10 p.m. 35 minutes + 2 laps $1,100 Cat 3 Men 2:10-3 p.m. 40 minutes + 2 laps $900 Challenge Race 3-3:20 p.m. 20 minutes Trophy Municipal Wokers Race 3:20-3:40 p.m. 20 minutes Trophy Pro 1/2 Men 3:40-5 p.m. 70 minutes + 2 laps $4,000

Entertainment:

New this year to the Birmingham Bike Festival is a line-up of bands and performers who will performing in Shain Park between 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

  • 11 a.m.-noon: Maggie's Old Front Porch Review
  • 12:15-1:30 p.m.: The NAS-TRACK Pit Crew Band
  • 1:45-2:45 p.m.: The Detroit Daggers
  • 3-4 p.m.: The Kenny Parker Blues Band

Giving

According to Surnow, all net proceeds will go toward a variety of charities, including:

  • The Wolverine Sports Club
  • The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan's Wish-A-Mile Bike Tour
  • Michigan Tour deCure for the American Diabetes Association
  • Miles Levin Nepal Foundation
  • Cerebral Palsy Research at Mott Children's Hospital
  • Gilda's Club
  • Summer in the City

In addition, the Miles4Miles race will also raise funds for the Miles Levin Pediatric Hospital Fund at Beaumont's Children's Hospital. Miles Levin was a pediatric cancer patient who died a few days short of his 19th birthday in 2007.

Money raised through the Miles4Miles race, which is open to all riders, will be matched dollar for dollar by the Children's Miracle Network and will support the group's activities fighting pediatric cancer. Participants in this race will be riding parade-style, not racing competitively.

In addition, Miles4Miles is asking anyone with an unused bicycle or bicyle helmet to donate to Summer in the City, who will then distribute the items to needy kids in Detroit. Bikes and helmets can also be donated at American Cycle and Fitness stores in Royal Oak, Novi and Pontiac through Aug. 27.

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