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KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MI – Kalamazoo Bike Week kicks off Saturday.

Re:Cycle is one of the first events, where community members can test ride a variety of bicycles and get more information about sustainable transportation, community advocate Dustin Black said.

“We’re trying to get people on bikes, show them how to strap in their kids or strap in their groceries or talk about what it means to commute to the office by bike,” Black said. “(We’ll) just kind of troubleshoot in a friendly atmosphere.”

Electric and cargo bikes will be available for people to test, Black said. Helmets and fittings will be available for children and community groups will have tables with information related to bicycling and safety.

Cars are here to stay, but the event is to give people information on biking, walking or public transportation, Black said.

“If we can get the people who don’t want to drive out of cars, and put them onto bikes or walking … if we can give them the options to move around the way they want, it frees up a lot of space for drivers,” Black said.

Re:Cycle runs from 1 to 4 p.m. May 7 in Bronson Park in downtown Kalamazoo.

The 11th Kalamazoo (Area) Bike Week is from May 7 to 14 and features different events for people to participate in group bike rides and learn about bicycles.

Related: Kids could win a bicycle, get a free helmet at Kalamazoo bike rodeo

Bike week features a group ride to One Well Brewing as well as a free “Bike Rodeo” for children. Check the whole event schedule online here.

“We’re happy to say that this year, many of Bike Week’s featured group events and activities can be enjoyed out of doors,” event co-chair Jen Johnson said in a news release. “Others can be accessed online. In addition, this kick-off to the traditional warm weather riding season highlights the need for motorists and bicyclists to drive and ride safely — for everyone to follow the rules of the road especially when passing and at intersections.”

Drivers are required to pass five feet away from bicycles in the cities of Kalamazoo and Portage and in the townships of Oshtemo and Kalamazoo.

The state of Michigan requires drivers to pass three feet away.

“Unsafe passing, distracted driving, impaired and aggressive driving, speeding and ignoring traffic control devices pose unacceptable public dangers,” Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller III said in a news release. “Following the rules of the road also applies to bicyclists. Don’t run red lights. Don’t ride on the wrong side of the road. You put yourself in harm’s way if you don’t ride your bike like you would drive a car.”

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KRESA superintendent announces retirement

Unmasked prom was a ‘super spreader event,’ Kalamazoo superintendent says

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