It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
Fall weather is in full swing. Everyone’s getting into the Halloween spirit… And Sustain Charlotte’s Biketoberfest is here!
We’re so excited to welcome hundreds of revelers back to Biketoberfest this year on Oct. 30 to explore Charlotte in a scavenger hunt-style adventure that’s perfect for people of all ages and abilities.
Before you head out on the route for this year's Biketoberfest, here are a few tips to make sure you have a safe and fun ride or walk!
BYOB(ike) — or rent one
This is a bring-your-own-transportation event. Bring your favorite bike, scooter, trike, walking shoes, unicycle or Charlotte Area Transit System ticket and get ready to explore! Biketoberfest is a family-friendly event for people of all ages and abilities, and child bike trailers are also welcome. Dogs (on a leash at all times) are allowed on the Short Route.
If you need to rent a bike, we suggest using Charlotte Joy Rides. You’ll just need to buy a pass to rent one of their awesome e-bikes — use promo code 10302022 for $10 off of a one-day membership for Biketoberfest. Their website has a map of docks where you can grab a bike. Just bring your own helmet and hop on!
If you want to rent an e-scooter, there are three primary rental companies operating in Charlotte: Bird, Helbiz, and Lime. Just download their apps ahead of time to locate scooters, strap your helmet on and get moving! (Note that the city of Charlotte does not allow scooters to be ridden on sidewalks in the uptown area bounded by Church street on the west, Brooklyn Village Avenue on the south, College Street on the west, and Seventh Street on the north. See a map here.)
Parking is limited — bike in or take transit if you can!
Parking is limited at Triple C Brewing Co. (2900 Griffith St.), which serves as the recommended beginning and end of both routes. Plan accordingly. We all know that parking can be tight throughout South End.
That’s why we encourage participants who are able to take public transportation or even bike all the way in! (After all, that’s what Biketoberfest is about.)
Pro tip: CATS buses are equipped to carry bikes (though not very many at once) and there are racks to secure bikes on the LYNX Blue Line. Triple C is just a mile south of the East-West Blue Line station and a mile north of the Scaleybark station. Here’s a map of Blue Line stops with park-and-ride locations listed.
Stay safe — and hydrated
It’s important to remember that Biketoberfest is not on a closed track. While we make use of greenways, much of the route takes riders on roads that are shared with vehicle traffic. Here are a few things you’ll want to bring to help make sure you stay comfortable and safe during the event:
- Helmet (required to be worn while riding)
- Shoes comfortable for biking or walking
- Backpack (to carry all the goodies you will collect throughout the day!)
- Reusable water bottle (or use the custom Biketoberfest bottle that you will get at check-in!)
If at any point during the ride, you don’t feel comfortable about a street or greenway you’re on, please adjust your approach. You can ride on sidewalks, and cross streets at crosswalks as necessary. Also, if you encounter crowded sections such as bus/train stops, greenways, or busy intersections, simply hop off your bike and walk it through the crowded/busy section until you feel more comfortable.
Study the route ahead of time
We recommend taking a few minutes before you start your ride or walk to look at the map and familiarize yourself with the route! We will have paper maps available for all participants at check-in. You can also open the route map on your phone via Google Maps. We also put together this set of turn-by-turn directions that you can print out or view on your phone. Finally, you can also download a GPX file of the route HERE and upload it onto your favorite GPS device for turn-by-turn directions.
Choose the Biketoberfest route that’s right for you
Participants in Sustain Charlotte’s Biketoberfest can pick from two routes. If you're a beginner cyclist or if you plan to bring young kids with you, the Short Route (orange on the map) will be shorter and easier, which could be a good option. The Short Route is also our walkable option. This route stays mainly in South End and along the Rail Trail, but if you use the LYNX Blue Line and/or Gold Line, you can get to more stops in uptown, part of the Litte Sugar Creek Greenway, and the Five Points Plaza. If you're a more experienced cyclist or looking for a longer ride, you can do the Long Route (blue on the map) through South End, Sedgefield, Dilworth, midtown, uptown, parts of the Historic West End, and FreeMoreWest!
Make the Biketoberfest route your own
Sustain Charlotte’s Biketoberfest is a go-at-your-own-pace event, so you can make it what you want. Grab your map and check in at The Barrel Room at Triple C Brewing, then head out to the route with friends, family, or even solo. Stop at the places you want for as long as you want; just make sure to be back at The Barrel Room by 4:30 p.m. to trade your stamps for raffle tickets for your chance to win a part of over $2,500 in prizes!
Share your fun!
There’s no reason to keep the fun of Biketoberfest all to yourself! Share sights and scenes from your route with the hashtag #biketoberfestclt on social media. And be sure to follow Sustain Charlotte on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, too! We’d love to share your posts!
And if you’d rather just keep your phone in your pocket, that’s OK, too. We’re all about taking a moment to pause, take in the scenery, and think about how much fun it can be to get around Charlotte without using a car!
Don’t forget about the after-party
Sustain Charlotte’s Biketoberfest isn't over after you finish the route. Make sure you join us at The Barrel Room at Triple C Brewing for the official after-party. Cosmic Collective will be playing live music, we will announce the raffle winners, our gracious sponsors will have giveaways and food/drink samples, and of course, you can try the official beer of Biketoberfest: The Oh Shift! IPA, our collaboration beer with Triple C!
Remember, you can get more info about our 2022 Biketoberfest at biketoberfestclt.org.
Hope you see you out there!