Bike Festival presents weekend of cycling events to Long Beach
2010-04-28 · By Editor
The 2nd Annual Long Beach Bicycle Festival presented by Wokcano Restaurant is expected to draw up to 10,000 spectators and more than 1,200 participants in the competitive and amateur cycling events May 7-9 in Downtown Long Beach.
The weekend of bike festivities will kick off with the Fixed Gear Festival in the East Village Arts District (1st Street between Elm and Linden) on Friday, May 7 from 6 to 11 p.m.
The festival, featuring live music, freestyle riders, tricks, track stand and skid competitions and Gold Sprints competitions on the main stage, will start with the return of the City Council Tricycle Race, pitting members of our City’s governing body against each other in a light-hearted one-lap race.
On Saturday, May 8, the Tour of Long Beach (www.touroflongbeach.com), a new component to this year’s event, invites amateur cyclists and bicycle enthusiasts of all skill levels to ride on a 4-mile Family Fun Ride or on a 30-mile open course along bike paths throughout the City. More than 700 community members will join Mayor Bob Foster on this scenic ride that raises funds for Miller Children’s Hospital. The ride begins at 8 a.m. in the Marina Green area of Downtown, and riders can still sign up as late as Friday evening. Tour packet pick up runs from non to 8 p.m. at the Courtyard by Marriot, 500 East 1st Street.
A series of competitive criterium (‘crit’) races will be featured as part of the Bicycle Grand Prix beginning at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, featuring up to 500 amateur and professional cyclists competing for more than $16,000 in cash prizes. The .83 mile closed course traverses the streets of Downtown Long Beach with the Start/Finish line at in front of Wokcano at the intersection of Broadway and Promenade.
Saturday’s Bike Festival events will continue throughout the afternoon and into the evening at the Farmers and Merchants Bank Finish Line Festival (near and around Promenade and Broadway) with family-friendly activities including a Kid’s Fun Zone, the Bike Push/Pull competition, Bike Polo matches, BMX and Flatland demonstrations, the Bikestation Cyclestyle Fashion Show, featuring more than 30 models wearing unique fashions by local designers, and the Plein Air Painting Bicycle Art exhibition and sale.
The event will expand further this year to include the Fourth Street in Motion community event on Sunday, May 9 located on 4th Street between Cherry and Junipero, known fondly as Retro Row. Festivities will include a bike film festival at the Art Theatre, bike safety lessons, roller derby, games, food and more.
“We’re expecting a great turnout from both spectators and participants this year,” said Festival Race Director and DLBA Board member, Mark Bixby. “With the Tour of Long Beach, criterium racing, trick competitions and demonstrations, kids’ activities, 12 live bands, food and movies, there really is something for everyone.”
The focus of the Bike Festival is to highlight the many programs being implemented City-wide as part of the Bicycle Master Plan (BMP) – a progressive initiative to make Long Beach “the most bicycle-friendly City in the U.S.” The BMP has been called one of the most ambitious of its kind, garnering attention regionally as other cities have modeled their own plans based on the success of Long Beach plans.
In 2009, the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA), which produces and sponsors the Bike Festival, received a prestigious Pinnacle Award from the International Downtown Association in recognition of the community effort the organization spearheaded to help promote the introduction of the BMP.
Calling All Vendors: The DLBA announced today that the vendor areas have been expanded to accommodate additional bicycle-related and lifestyle vendors. Those interested in participating should call Esther McCurry at (562) 436-4259 or download the Vendor Participation form in the Download section of the website at www.longbeachbikefest.org.