Brisk advance signups for ‘Spectacular’

       Maybe people like starting earlier.
       Advance sign-ups are coming in “almost 200 ahead” of last year for the 19th annual Starlight Spectacular bike ride Saturday, June 15 by the Trails and Open Space Coalition, according to Susan Davies, its director.
       Starting from the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center, the non-competitive event is a fundraiser for the Westside-based nonprofit advocacy group. Close to 1,500 riders are expected to take to the streets at 10:30 p.m.
       Rider signups will be accepted until that time. Payment can be in advance on the coalition website, trailsandopenspaces.org, or that night. Helmets are required for the ride, as are lights, both front and rear. The cost is $45 a person (with discounts for children, seniors, families or military).
       Last year was the first year for the earlier time - the ride used to start at midnight - and most people seemed to like the change, Davies said. “We had about three complaints that there was more traffic then, but my argument is that the traffic may be more sober,” she commented.
       In addition to the higher numbers, she said she's noticing more “young families” signing up this year, which would seem to indicate that the earlier time is more family-friendly.
       Pre-ride festivities will start at 9 p.m., featuring a live band (Pulpit Fiction), costume awards and unusual activities, such as a locally invented “levitator lounge” that allows people to “have a libation” while pedaling a contraption that's moving around the parking lot, Davies said.
       Predefined routes of 14, 17 and 22 miles are offered.
       One of the two rest stations along the way will again be Bancroft Park in Old Colorado City, with part of the route including Colorado Avenue from Cascade Avenue to 30th Street.
       A pancake breakfast will greet participants when they start returning to the center around midnight.
       TOSC works to create/ preserve open space, trails, bikeways and greenways in the Pikes Peak region.
       For more information, call 633-6884 or go to starlightspectacular.org.

Westside Pioneer article