‘Spectacular’ eyes 1,700

       Up to 1,700 people, which would easily be a record, are expected to join the 15th annual Starlight Spectacular bicycle ride, which is scheduled to start a minute before midnight Saturday, June 20.

Allen Beauchamp of the CS Cycling Club found a mirthful way to invite riders to the Bancroft Park rest area in the wee hours of the morning during last year's Starlight Spectacular bicycle event.
Courtesy of Trails and Open Space Coalition

       Registrations will be taken until shortly before departure time at the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center, 1805 N. 30th St. The current high mark was set last year at 1,477 - which itself was nearly double the number from five years earlier. The event is a fundraiser for the non-profit advocacy group, the Trails and Open Space Coalition, which also organizes the non-competitive event.
       Different route options are possible, ranging from a basically flat 13.4-mile trek to a hill-challenging 20 miles. Part of the longer route is a little less arduous this year, with cyclists now directed up Beckers Lane to the Trading Post, rather than by way of the road past Balanced Rock, Coalition staffer Linda Hodges pointed out.
       Much of the ride is on Westside streets. From the Visitor Center, the main route goes north on 30th Street, east on Garden of the Gods Road, south on Chestnut Street, east on Fontanero Street, then south on different streets east of the interstate before turning west on Colorado Avenue. The route from there continues along the avenue through Old Colorado City. At 30th Street, riders can choose between a straight shot up to the Visitor Center or putting in extra miles through the Garden.
       For the third straight year, one of the ride's rest stops will be at Bancroft Park.
       Registration costs are the same this year: $40 for adults, with discounts for military members, seniors and children, and an $80 cost for families of four or less.
       Hodges believes that not raising the prices - unlike events by some other groups this year - may have helped the Spectacular's appeal. “So much for a down economy,” she said. “It isn't hurting the Spectacular.”
       Festivities begin at the Visitor Center a few hours before the 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