1,500 target for Starlight Spectacular

       After a slightly down year in 2009, the 16th annual Starlight Spectacular bicycle ride Saturday, June 12 could attract more than 1,500 participants.
       Results from the just-concluded early-signup period (during which there was a discounted price) show an increase of 14 percent from last year, according to Linda Hodges of the Trails and Open Space Coalition. “So I'm thinking we'll blow through the magic 1,500 number,” she said.
       The non-profit advocacy group organizes the wee-hours, non-competitive ride through the streets of downtown Colorado Springs, the Westside and the Garden of the Gods as a fundraiser for ongoing activities.
       In keeping with tradition, riders will take off at 11:59 p.m. (and can sign up till then). The start and finish is at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center.
       Distances can range from about 14 to 20 miles, depending on how many Garden roads bicyclists feel like pedaling in the latter stages. One of the two rest stops is at Bancroft Park.
       The previous record number of riders was 1,477, as reported in 2008. The total last year was 1,345.
       The riders don't all stay together, but are fairly noticeable on city streets in the early morning with their (required) bike headlights on. Adding to the attraction standpoint this year will be “flashy, blinky” lights that many riders are expected to attach to their bikes, Hodges said.
       Regular ride registration costs are the same this year: $40 for adults, with reductions for military members, seniors and children, and an $80 cost for families of four or less.
       Festivities begin at the Visitor Center a few hours before departure. A breakfast there follows.
       Additional information can be found at the website (starlightspectacular.org) or by calling the Coalition office at 633-6884.

Westside Pioneer article