FLINT TWP. — The annual 40-mile Bikes on the Bricks (BOB) police-escorted motorcycle ride is an awesome sight as hundreds of vehicles roar through the township en masse, but blocked off streets does cause inconvenience for motorists and some residents who live along the route.
At its August 21 meeting, the township board approved a resolution for the ride.
As they have in years past, township officials have asked ride organizers to give advance notice to residents along the route so they can avoid getting trapped at home or delayed in traffic. Intersections and streets along the route will be blocked off as an estimated 300 civilian riders pass through.
This year’s 11th annual ride will start at 11 a.m. Saturday, September 9 at Vehicle City Harley Davidson on Austin Parkway. It will travel north on Austin Parkway, then west on Hogarth Avenue, north on Utley Road, west on Arlene Avenue north on Graham Road, west on Beecher Road through Elms to Seymour Road then looping south through Clayton Township and the City of Swartz Creek to Baldwin Road in Mundy Township, east to Fenton Road, north to Maple Road, east to Saginaw Street and north to the main event in downtown Flint.
Police Chief George Sippert noted that the ride is traveling a new route through Flint Township this year, bringing both excitement and inconvenience to different residential areas.
The old route, after leaving the dealership, traveled the same beginning streets heading north but turned west on Court Street to Elms then north. In past years, the route also has traveled back through Flint township via Bristol Road to Saginaw Street.
Chief Sippert said it would be nice if the event organizers would mail notices or drop fliers to residents along the route to let them know when the riders will be coming through.
“We ask that every year,” Chief Sippert said.
Trustee Tom Klee suggested that they place H-frame road signs similar to ones placed along the Crim road race route and the Carman-Ainsworth High School parade route.
Clerk Kathy Funk said she would share those suggestions with the organizers when they came in to pick up their paperwork.
Documentation includes a hold-harmless insurance clause to protect the township from liability. BOB is led by a committee of officers from the Michigan State Police, Genesee County Sheriff’s Department and Grand Blanc Township Police Department. They ask for assistance from local police to assist at major intersections on the ride route.
Bikers travel at about 40 miles per hour with all the intersections blocked and no cars mixed in with the bikes. The entourage also includes an ambulance, paramedic unit and a towing service following along in case of any mishaps.
The cost is $15 per driver and $15 for passenger, with proceeds going to various charities with children’s programs such as Old Newsboys and The Young Marines.
Bikes on the Bricks offers much more than the motorcycle ride. Other events held at the main venue in downtown Flint include a fashion show, a police motorcycle skill riding competition, the second annual Ms. Bikes on the Bricks Rockabilly Pin Up contest; and a Sunday Bike Show offering cash prizes and trophies.
For the full schedule of activities during the three-day event, go online to bikesonthebricks.com/visitors guide/schedule/