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Need To Know: Your Guide to Birmingham Bike Festival

Whether it's a mountain bike, racing bike or tricycle, pull your bicycle out of the garage and ride downtown for the city's first bike festival.

The first  kicks off bright and early today, and the city is inviting residents to put away their cars and enjoy a day celebrating nonmotorized transportation of the pedal variety.

"I'm passionate about this sport and want to show the community I know how bike-friendly this city is," said Jeff Surnow, the commercial real estate developer and advanced cyclist who organized the event alongside the .

Heading downtown for the festivities today? Here's a quick rundown of what you need to know before you go:

Basics

  • Where: Downtown Birmingham, with races starting at Maple and Henrietta
  • When: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Cost: Free to attend
  • Parking: Cars can find parking in one of the city's five parking garages: , , Park Street, North Old Woodward and parking garages. A "bike valet" will also be available for those who ride into town.

Events

The bike festival will feature a half-mile racecourse through downtown Birmingham. The course begins at Maple and Henrietta, heads down Bates for a block, turns onto Martin for two blocks, then follows Pierce to Merrill to Old Woodward and back up to Maple.

Riders are split into nine classes, mainly by age and gender, with races from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Junior laps will take around half an hour, followed by five men's and women's races running roughly 35-50 minutes each. A hand cycle race, also called paracycling, begins at 10:30 a.m. for riders with disabilities.

Class & Category Start Time Length Prize Rider Limit Juniors (age 10-14) 8 a.m. 20 min + 3 laps $100 75 Juniors (age 15-18) 8:30 a.m. 20 min + 3 laps $150 75 Amateur men
9 a.m. 30 min + 3 laps $400 75 Master cyclists (age 40 and older) 9:40 a.m. 40 min + 3 laps $700 80 Hand Cycle Race 10:30 a.m. 30 min + 3 laps $500 80 Kids Race 11:20 a.m. 1 lap Medals n/a Semi- and professional women
11:30 a.m. 40 min + 3 laps $1,400 80 Semi-professional men
12:20 p.m. 40 min + 3 laps $900 80 Challenge Race 1:10 p.m. 2 laps n/a n/a Professional men
1:30 p.m. 75 min + 3 laps $4,000 100

Registration fees

Class & Category Preregistration Fees Day-of Fees Juniors (age 10-14) $10 $15 Juniors (age 15-18) $10 $15 Amateur men
$40 $50 Master cyclists (age 40 and over)
$40 $50 Hand Cycle Race $40 $50 Kids Race Free Free Semi- and professional women
$40 $50 Semi-professional men
$40 $50 Challenge Race Free Free Professional men
$45 $55

Other events

  • Local restaurants and vendor booths, including Trek Bikes and Pedego Electric Bikes.
  • Helmet safety clinic hosted by Beaumont Health Systems.
  • Children's "bike rodeo" with bike decorating and face painting.
@LexKuhne August 28, 2011 at 11:36 AM
Unless something different is happening today, parking on the streets and in the Birmingham city lots is free on Sunday! :-)
Dan S August 28, 2011 at 05:09 PM
Wow - what a great event! Just got back from this - what a fantastic idea and event! It started out small but by 11am there were lots of people asking questions about it, checking out the booths and having fun. Absolutely perfect weather was a gigantic help. My kids wanted to stay all day! I hope this becomes an annual event - thanks for providing the schedule! Still time to check it out - it goes until 5 o'clock today.

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