Fall is here, and you know what that means – it’s almost time to roll into Sustain Charlotte’s Biketoberfest!
We’re so excited to welcome hundreds of revelers back to Biketoberfest this year on Sunday, October 22 to explore Charlotte in a scavenger-hunt style adventure that’s perfect for people of all ages, abilities, and transportation preferences!
Bike, walk, scoot, run, ride public transit – you pick! Participants are given a map and passport they can use to visit local businesses and collect stamps to trade in later for raffle tickets! Check out the current list of prizes here.
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 and child bike trailers are also welcome. Dogs (on a leash at all times) are invited to join their people on the Short Route.
Biketoberfest Bike Rentals
One of our sponsors, Human Powered Movement, operates a Bike Rental Program in the area and will have a limited number of bikes/helmets available for rent through the Biketoberfest registration platform on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can also check out Charlotte Cycles and Charlotte Joy Rides if you’ve seen them around town. On their website, you can purchase a pass and use the station map to find a bike for the day. Just bring your own helmet and hop on!
If you want to rent an e-scooter, here are two great options that are also supporting this great event!: Bird 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.)
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 for 16 and under, and highly encouraged for all)
- Shoes comfortable for biking or walking
- Backpack (to carry all the goodies you will collect throughout the day!)
- Rear bike light
- Reusable water bottle
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 a set of turn-by-turn directions for the run route, long route or the short route option 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.
Biketoberfest Short Route
If you're a beginner cyclist or if you plan to bring young kids with you, the Short Route (red on the map) will be shorter and easier, which could be a good option. The Short Route is also our walkable option. This route primarily stays in South End along the Rail Trail with less interactions with vehicles.
Biketoberfest Long Route
If you're a more experienced cyclist or looking for a longer ride, you can do the Long Route (green on the map - 15-17ish miles) through South End, before heading north through Uptown and into NoDa, and then returning south on Little Sugar Creek through Midtown, Dilworth and Sedgefield towards Triple C Brewing Co.
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 $4,000+ in prizes!
SUPPORT OUR MISSION!
This unique and family-friendly event is one of Sustain Charlotte's major fundraising events and highlights the many ways you can enjoy Charlotte without driving!
Want to help raise money to support our mission? Tell your family and friends about Biketoberfest and don’t forget to set up a fundraising team when you register on BiketoberfestCLT.org!
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: Commuter’s Comfort Hefeweizen, our collaboration beer with Triple C!
Remember, you can get more info about our 2023 Biketoberfest at biketoberfestclt.org.
Hope to see you out there!