The Third Coast Bicycle Festival came about as a result of the area's leading cycling event promoters realizing their many events were spread out across the summer season. Many of the events were close to each other but still suffered from a lack of continuity. It became obvious that the region could benefit from these groups pooling resources and creating a national level sporting event based on the existing work of all the partners. In the Fall of 2009 plans began forming to stitch together all the various events into a week-long festival that would attract the bicycling community from around the Midwest and beyond.
One key to the partnership is that each event promoter will still be working on only their own event. It's the coordination, planning, and shared goals that provide a synergy for all the groups involved. In 2011, we've expanded the event to encompass two separate weekends. Starting on August 12, with the Muffin Run, a quick 30 mile jaunt along the TART Trail from Traverse City to Sutton's Bay and back again. Then later in the day the festivities start in full swing on Front Street for the Cherry Roubaix Sprints. This was a hugely successful event last year with thousands of onlookers watching everyone from citizen racers with BMX bikes, to pro racers on $10,000 carbon bikes sprint a 100 short meters while competing head to head with two other riders.
On Saturday the Cherry Roubaix Crit takes center stage all day on Old Town, and on Saturday the Michigan State Road Racing Championship will be fought and won on the hilly terrain of picturesque Leelanau County.
During the rest of the week there will be many free organized rides and events. Some are the weekly rides that happen in our area promoted by our very own Cherry Capitol Cycling Club and some new rides and events have been added to the Festival.
As the week progresses there are events that are a must do. Downtown on Thursday night, August 18th, the Festival will be showing cycling movies at the State Theater at 8pm, this year's feature is Women of Dirt, a mountain bike documentary. And just prior to the films a new event will stream down the city streets in the highest of fashion. The Seersucker Ride and Pincord Picnic starts at F&M Park at 5 PM.
Rather than list everything here, we'll invite you to visit the schedule which shows daily event-by-event information.
The Third Coast Bicycle Festival is:
- Tart Trails
- Traverse City Triathlon
- Einstein Racing
- Fixed Gear Gallery
- Cherry Capital Cycling Club
- Two Wheel Technique
- And many more.
Just know there will be something for everyone. So come on down, or up, or over, but do come to the second annual Third Coast Bicycle Festival. August 12 - 21, 2011.