Mayor Mike Purzycki today declared this week Bike Week in Wilmington and encouraged citizens to support a number of cycling-related events including this weekend’s 12th Annual Wilmington Grand Prix being held Friday, May 18 through Sunday, May 20. One of the premier criterium-style bike races in the country (i.e., a bike race of a specified number of laps held on a closed course of public roads), the Grand Prix is recognized as part of USA Cycling’s National Race Calendar for the 11th straight year.
“Bicycling has many wonderful benefits, both for individual riders and for the City as a whole,” said Mayor Purzycki in proclaiming Bike Week. “Cycling promotes a healthy lifestyle and contributes to the stewardship role we should all play to protect the environment. For a city the size of Wilmington, biking is also a viable alternative mode of transportation,” the Mayor continued. “I hope more citizens will take up this affordable, healthy, eco-friendly activity and sport.”
The Mayor was joined at today’s news conference by Wilmington Grand Prix gold sponsors Tom Horne of JPMorgan Chase and Chip Rossi of Bank of America, Julie Miro Wenger and Jerry DuPhily of Event Allies and co-founders of the Grand Prix, as well as Grand Opera House Executive Director Mark Fields and cyclist Alex Kellum, who will participate in his fourth Wilmington Grand Prix this weekend. The speakers highlighted Grand Prix festivities and celebrated Wilmington Bike Week. There are a series of events planned this week in Wilmington during National Bike Month, which has been commemorated by bike enthusiasts, municipalities and community organizations each May since 1956.
“Supporting this event is important to us because our mission has always been to help our local communities succeed economically,” said Bank of America’s Rossi, “and the Wilmington Grand Prix is a huge driver of that success.”
“The Grand Prix is a great example of the power of partnership — more than 40 companies contributing to make this event possible,” said Tom Horne of JP Morgan Chase. “Another example of all of us pedaling together in the same direction to make Wilmington and the State of Delaware a great place to work, live and play.”
Since 2012, the Wilmington Grand Prix has generated more than $3.5 million in economic benefits for the local economy. For more information about the Wilmington Grand Prix, visit: www.wilmgrandprix.com.
Here is the order of events for Bike Week in Wilmington:
Wednesday, May 16
The White Clay Bicycle Club will host the 6th Annual City of Wilmington Ride of Silence to honor individuals who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways. The Ride of Silence asks cyclists to ride no faster than 10 m.p.h. and to remain silent throughout. The event raises awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to public roadways. This year’s ride departs at 7 p.m. from the University of Delaware’s Goodstay Center on Pennsylvania Avenue. Cyclists will be escorted through the city by the Wilmington Police Motorcycle Patrol. For more information, visit: http://whiteclaybicycleclub.org/events/ride-of-silence/
Wednesday, May 16
The Urban Bike Project will again partner with Capital One for their Bankers on Bikes initiative, an event that offers Capital One employees the opportunity to enjoy a guided bike tour through downtown Wilmington on their lunch breaks. Urban Bike volunteers will lead the ride and provide loaner bikes to participants.
Friday, May 18
National Bike to Work Day will be celebrated. Mayor Purzycki invites citizens to join one of five guided rides into the city, ending at H.B. DuPont Plaza at the intersection of Delaware Avenue and North Washington Street. Visit this link to check out the routes. Each ride begins at 7:45 a.m. and ends with a reception at the plaza from 8 to 9:30 a.m. The event is free, but registration is required. All registered participants will receive free refreshments and a free t-shirt PLUS a complimentary drink ticket to be redeemed at the Wilmington Grand Prix Monkey Hill Time Trial in Brandywine Park on Friday evening. Two Gore bicycle jackets will be raffled off to ride participants. Those who would like to join Bike to Work Day can SIGN UP here.
Friday, May 18
The Wilmington Grand Prix kicks off Friday evening with the Monkey Hill Time Trial, a 3.2-mile race against the clock through Wilmington’s Brandywine Park.
Saturday, May 19
Grand Prix Festivities move downtown where two amateur bicycle races and a street festival will be held on Market Street. The amateur races begin at 11 a.m. and culminate with the Women’s Pro and Men’s Pro races that afternoon.
Sunday, May 20
The Grand Prix continues with the return of the 8th Annual Governor’s Ride and the 7th Annual Delaware Gran Fondo. Last year’s Gran Fondo drew cyclists from 17 states and three countries who took a scenic tour through the Brandywine Valley and some of Delaware’s most-prized cultural attractions.
Finally, Mayor Purzycki reminded citizens that Bike Wilmington and the City’s Department of Planning are currently updating the Wilmington Bicycle Plan, first developed by the City of Wilmington, a steering committee, and the general public and published by WILMAPCO in 2008. The Mayor encouraged citizens to learn more about the plan as well as complete a brief online survey between now and May 31. Please see below for links to view the presentation and complete the bicycle survey.
Source: Mayors Office