Ypsilanti has many faces, and Erica Hampton wants to share a few of them with you.
Over the past year, Hampton created the The Ypsi Project, a series of portraits...read more
The weather has turned, the trees are budding and the flowers are popping out of the ground; time for a cruise through town. But don’t be so quick to hop in the car; jump on your bike and get ready for Bike Ypsi’s Spring Ride and Festival.
Starting at 10 a.m. Sunday at the pavilion in Recreation Park (1015 Congress Street), riders have the option of three routes, which give local bicyclists a chance to meet, discover bike-friendly routes and gain confidence with street and group riding.
The long ride (33 miles) is a non-supported ride for more advanced bicyclists. The not-as-long ride (13 miles) is a guided ride, ideal for learning proper street and group riding. The scavenger hunt is described as a neighborhood ride, which would be safe for all ages.
The festival kicks off at 11:30 a.m. and continues until 2 p.m. A barbeque is on the agenda as well as opportunities for bicyclists to meet and have their bikes checked out by a local bike shop, learn basic bike maintenance – from changing a flat to adjusting your bike for comfort – and learn how to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Now in its third year, Bike Ypsi’s Spring Ride and Festival has become somewhat of an Ypsilanti tradition, according to organizers. Natalie Holbrook, an active member of Bike Ypsi and one of the organizers of the event, said she looks forward to “being in the park, getting on the road and hopefully seeing some new faces.”
“I really like the sense of community in the parks before and after the ride, and during the ride it’s neat to see people out on their bicycles,” she said.
Organizers are adding more to the festivities this year as well. FLY Art Center, a non-profit organization based in Ypsilanti, will offer bike decorating. Assorted bicycle games for all ages, bike polo and a bike rodeo for kids are also on the docket.
“The other thing that we’re doing a little differently is we will have a Bike Ypsi booth and maps and talk to people about how they can get around safely,” Holbrook said. “We’re also going to talk about maintenance, and hopefully the bike shops there can do some mini-diagnostics, grease [the bikes] up and give them air in the tires.”
Ypsilanti Cycle, Wheels in Motion and Tree Fort Bikes have all signed on to be part of the festivities. Ypsilanti’s Transition Town, Growing Hope, Friends of the Border to Border Trail, the Washtenaw Biking and Walking Coalition and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy will also have booths set up. The Ypsilanti Food Co-op will be donating some food for the barbeque as well.
Free helmets, courtesy of the Eastern Michigan University Police Department, will be another bonus for families attending the event this year. Holbrook said EMU police donated approximately 60 helmets (of all sizes) for the festival.
Donations for food are appreciated but not necessary. Holbrook said there is typically a jar out if people want to toss in a few bucks, but the event is free for all who want to attend.
There is no rain date scheduled.
“If it rains, the hardcore bikers will still ride,” Holbrook said.
However, if the past two years are any indication, the weather should be sunny, the trees budding and the flowers popping out of the ground just in time for a cruise through town.
Bike Ypsi kicks off season with spring ride
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