Friday, June 10, 2011

Midnight bike ride showcases the city

Posted By on Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Some people really, really like to ride their bikes. So much so that they'll be up at midnight this Saturday, poised at the starting line of the 17th annual Heuberger Subaru Starlight Spectacular — sans pajamas and comfy beds.

The midnight bike ride begins promptly at 11:59 p.m. tomorrow, June 11 at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center (1805 North 30th St.). Proceeds from the event help the Trails and Open Space Coalition advocate for cyclists in the Pikes Peak region.

The anticipated 1,400 participants can choose to bike the traditional long (22 miles) or short (14 miles) routes. Both routes travel through downtown Colorado Springs and Old Colorado City, but only the long route continues through the Garden of the Gods. As a new option this year, bikers can add the “Garden Experience” to the short route, which adds a 3-mile trail through the Garden of the Gods to the route (making it 17 miles).

(That's too long of a ride to bed, if you ask me. But some people do enjoy spinning their wheels in the starlight.)

The Colorado Springs Cycling Club, Old Town Bike Shop and REI each sponsor themed rest stops along the route. There will be refreshments and maintenance support, along with the entertainment.

The route ends up back at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center where there’ll be more entertainment provided by the band Pulpit Fiction and breakfast sponsored by Whole Foods. Boriello Brothers and Colorado Coffee Merchants (you're going to need that shot of caffeine) will provide additional food.

Along with sponsoring breakfast, Whole Foods is helping the Starlight Spectacular “go green” by coordinating the recycling of all the materials used at the breakfast.

Prizes will be awarded for Most Creative Attire (glow-in-the-dark pajamas, anyone?), Most Extravagantly-Illuminated Rider and/or Bike (I'm thinking Christmas lights in the spokes) and the Largest Riding Team (in number, not weight). Door prizes (bicycles, shirts and other gear) will be awarded throughout the evening.

Safety is not an option, as helmets, headlights (headlamps are acceptable) and taillights are required for all riders. All participants must have a waiver on file in order to participate, including children. Roads are not closed to traffic during the ride, so bikers must obey traffic regulations.

Further safety recommendations: wear light-colored reflective clothing, bring spare batteries for lights, be sure to have a form of identification and carry plenty of water.

Early registration has ended, but you can still register and pick up your packet on the night of the ride at the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center from 10 to 11:30 p.m. Plan to arrive early — no packets will be handed out after midnight.

The registration fees vary based on age and team size. There are special rates for children, seniors, military, families, and teams with four or more members. Check out the rates here.

Registration includes a short-sleeved T-shirt (not guaranteed for late registration), entertainment along the ride, prize drawings, rest stops, refreshments and breakfast. There are no refunds — the ride will go on rain or shine (although if it's raining and you still go, that's a whole new level of insanity commitment).

I'll catch some extra z's in your honor.

Print out the registration form and waiver to complete before you arrive.

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