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Off and Rolling with Kalamazoo Bike Week | Community Spirit

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Off and Rolling with Kalamazoo Bike Week
Off and Rolling with Kalamazoo Bike Week

An inaugural community event that will have Kalamazoo rolling in excitement is Kalamazoo Bike Week, May 13-May 18, 2012. Organized by the Parks Foundation of Kalamazoo County and several other groups like Downtown Kalamazoo Incorporated, Discover Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Bicycle Club, and Gazelle Sports, this week-long series of events highlight activities that encourage and promote bicycling, and are great for adults and families.

The week begins this Sunday with a one-night only showing of the inspirational movie "Breaking Away" at Rave Theater in downtown Kalamazoo at 6:30 pm. People are encouraged to ride their bikes and arrive for an informational pre-event at 5:30 pm (with inside bike storage courtesy of Rave Theatre). Then, downtown Kalamazoo's Bike to Work Week kicks off with a gathering on N. Kalamazoo Mall on Monday morning from 7:15-9:00. Kalamazoo Bicycle Club and other groups will be on hand to pass out information and there will be light refreshments such as energy bars to get you on your way. At each of the two kick-off events and at Gazelle Sports during the rest of the week, a Raleigh Bike with disc brakes and a helmet will be auctioned off, with the proceeds going toward construction of the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, a paved multi-use trail very popular among many bike riders that is currently 14 miles long.

Open Roads, a nonprofit that teaches youth valuable social skills and bike mechanic skills, will host a Fixapalooza on Monday. Local bicycle shops and clubs are leading group rides throughout the week, including KBC's Bike Camp on Tuesday, and a Ride of Silence on Wednesday -- a worldwide ride in honor of those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways. Kalamazoo Nature Center has organized two rides in conjunction with their Birding events. The Powell Branch of the Kalamazoo Public Library is promoting a family ride on the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail to attend their Spring Fling Crafts activities at their location. The Kalamazoo Valley Museum has partnered with Kalamazoo Bicycle Film Festival to show movie shorts in the Mary Jane Stryker Theater on Wednesday and Thursday at noon; and the museum will show a special movie on Friday night entitled, "The Bicycle Corps: America's Black Army on Wheels." The Union is hosting a celebration event on Friday night and the winner of the bike auction will be announced. These are just a few of the events listed on Kalamazoo Bike Week's website.

"Our long-term vision is to grow Kalamazoo Bike Week into an annual celebration of all the positive values that bicycling represents--from improved wellness to family togetherness to an attraction of talent. Over time, we can add exciting events similar to the Apple Cider Century Bicycle Tour in Three Oaks, Michigan, drawing thousands of people from all over to participate and enjoy," says Paul Selden of Bike Friendly Kalamazoo, another Kalamazoo Bike Week partner.

For more information on Kalamazoo Bike Week's list of events, visit www.kalamazoobikeweek.com.