While the festival is hosting the 2013 Michigan State Criterium Championship Races and will welcome among its guests professional cyclists, the event is not only about racing; it’s about getting people excited enough about biking to actually utilize bikes on a regular basis. The City of Birmingham provides the perfect venue for the event as it is engaging the entire community to get out and choose alternatives forms of transportation with its Multi-Modal Transportation Plan.
The Plan was developed after a 2011 law required communities to consider alternative forms of transportation in their road construction plans. Birmingham brands itself as “A Walkable Community,” but the plan extends beyond walking. The goals are to integrate a balance between motorized and non-motorized vehicles so there’s greater social interaction between bikers, walkers, and transit users, while all unique aspects of the various modes of transportation are respected.
Birmingham Bike Festival Race Founder and Director Jeffrey Surnow serves as the cycling representative for the Multi-Modal Plan and understands the importance of establishing a harmony between cyclists, cars, and pedestrians. “Even the most experienced riders are injured when there is not a proper understanding between bikers and cars about their rights to the road,” says Surnow. He adds, “It is great to see the city implementing things like bike racks, bike lanes, and in some cases lower speed limits so that everyone can co-exist.”
You don’t have to be a cycling enthusiast to enjoy the festival or get involved with the Multi-Modal Plan. There will be a free bike valet opportunity at the event. All spectators are highly encouraged to ride their bikes to the event and safely park them at Martin and Bates St. while exploring the festival. Even if you don’t plan to race at the event, you can still be involved with biking.
Additionally, there will be various vendors set up in Shain Park for spectators to visit and learn about various bikes and their unique uses, individuals’ rights as cyclists, local bicycling clubs to get linked up with, and city representatives from the Multi-Modal Plan will be present as well.
For more information on the Multi-Modal Plan the next public hearing will be July 22 at 7:30 pm in Room 205 of the Municipal Building, 151 Martin St. or visit
All media inquiries and interview requests may be sent to festival event coordinator Nina Tocco at email@example.com or 586.206.8358. She may also be reached for sponsorship, donations, vendors, volunteering, or general questions.