FLINT TWP. — Use of township roads for the 10th annual Bikes on the Bricks motorcycle ride has received the township board’s blessing, with reservations, including from the police chief.
A resolution is required from the township for the event organizers’ application to the Genesee County Road Commission for a permit to use the right of way and to close roads while the riders pass through.
The approximately 50-mile, police-escorted ride set for 11. A.m. Saturday, September 10, will begin, as usual, at the Vehicle City Harley-Davison dealership on Austin Parkway, travel northwest via residential streets, Graham Road and West Court Street to Elms Road then north for several miles into Mt. Morris Township before circling east back to the main event venue on Saginaw Street in downtown Flint.
“We want to support our businesses including Vehicle City (but) I cringe every time we shut down that road for the event because we have had accidents involving motorcycles,’” said Police Chief George Sippert.
Officers do their best to make it safe and have help from other area police on motorcycles but it is “always a scary time,” he said.
Roads are shut down for at least half an hour while as many as 1,000 riders pass through which has caused complaints from inconvenienced business owners and residents.
The board asks the event organizers to provide advance notice to businesses and residents on the route.
The ride has a different route this year after leaving Flint Twp. At Mt. Morris Road, riders will travel east instead of west to circle back around through Genesee and Richfield townships and the City of Burton to downtown Flint.
Last year, the route traveled north on Elms Road, then circled west into the city of Flushing, south through Swartz Creek and back along Bristol Road in Flint Township and Burton to Saginaw Street. Last year, the township board delayed giving its approval to that route to check first with Bishop Airport officials with any concerns about traffic delays. That portion of Bristol Road is under construction this year.
The cost for the motorcycle ride is $15 for driver and $15 for a passenger. All proceeds go to various charities with children’s programs.
Bikes on the Bricks is a three-day event, September 9-11, that includes a police motorcycle riding competition, fashion shows, live entertainment and more. A full schedule of activities can be viewed online at bikesonthebricks.com