‘Spectacular’ eyes 1,500 riders; Bancroft is a rest stop

       Up to 1,500 bicycle riders will roll through Colorado Springs for the 13th annual Starlight Spectacular, starting from the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, June 16.
       Sponsored by the non-profit Trails and Open Space Coalition (TOSC), the ride has grown in size nearly every year, with the current high being 1,132 riders in 2006. Sign-ups are going at about the same pace as last year; “we're hoping for 1,500,” said Dan Cleveland, the coalition's executive director.
       As is normal, part of the route will include West Colorado Avenue through Old Colorado City. A new wrinkle this year will be the designation of Bancroft Park as a rest stop for riders, from midnight until about 3 a.m. Some homes are nearby, along Pikes Peak Avenue and 24th Street, but Cleveland said he did not think there would be excessive noise from the riders coming and going and taking refreshments from volunteers. “There will be some sound, but we'll try to be very responsible,” he said.
       People can register up to the start of the ride. The cost this year, which includes a pre-ride party with a live band and breakfast afterwards, is $40 for adults, with discounts for seniors, children and groups.
       The Spectacular will go on, rain or shine. Bike headlamps and helmets are required.
       Riders can take either a short (13.4 miles) or long (20 miles) route.
       The Starlight Spectacular is a fund raiser for TOSC, a not-for-profit organization that promotes and protects open space and urban trails in El Paso County.
       For more information, call 633-6844 or go to www.starlightspectacular.org.

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