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Riders are always on the lookout for fun new ways to enjoy biking, and one trend that is gaining in popularity is night or moonlight rides. In the Richmond area, in addition to a group that conducts weekly rides, thereʼs a new event coming this August specifically for adventurous bikers who are ready for a nocturnal challenge. Article and photos of ADC by Tara Herman


he Richmond Area Bicycling Association (RABA) hosts a weekly nighttime ride known as the Ashland Dinner Club Ride (ADC). Every Wednesday night at 7:00, RABA president Champe Burnley [shown in top photo: on left in yellow] and 8-15 other riders bike 10 miles from the Laurel Park Shopping Center in Henrico to a restaurant in Ashland. After dinner, the crew climbs back on their safety-filled, light-happy bikes and heads back. At first it may not seem much different from any other bike ride, but this group has found a new sense of adventure in biking in the dark."[Night biking] really brings back the thrill of being a kid on a bike and inevitably puts a smile on everyone’s face,” says Burnley, a biker who has been riding seriously for 33 years. “I find rides I may have ridden a million times take on a completely different feel at night.” And while it’s a fun, unique way to get some great exercise, safety is still a priority. "We make sure everyone has adequate lights and blinkies,” adds Burnley. Safety goes beyond the old-school head-

light that might first come to mind.“We ask folks to make sure everything is in good working order and make sure they have extra batteries, lights, etc. We wear helmets, of course, and we ask people to wear bright, reflective clothing." Last year Mike McCormick, Sports Backers Communications Director, participated in the St. Louis Moonlight Ramble, an annual event in St. Louis that draws in over 8,000 riders each year and takes them on a scenic tour of the city. McCormick was inspired to start a community bike event for Richmonders, thus the first annual Anthem Moonlight Ride was born. “It can be a special family night to go out and have a fun bike ride together,” states McCormick. ”Families, groups of friends, and anyone who en-

joys the free-wheeling fun of a summer bike ride will love the Anthem Moonlight Ride.” Far more than just a ride, the participants in the Anthem Moonlight Ride are invited to a free concert at Sports Backers Stadium after the event. And not just that, there will also be festivities before and after the ride with exhibitors, games, and a best bike costume award; riders are encouraged to decorate their bikes. You can even add a chilly twist to night biking by riding along on the RABA Christmas Light Tour. "Participants decorate their bikes with lights and decorations and ride around town viewing many of the tacky Christmas decorations Richmond is known for," says Burney. So if you’re up for biking with a twist, whether it’s with friends or family, you can join the RABA for one of its nighttime treks and sign up for the Anthem Moonlight Ride that takes place August 8th. Either way, you’re sure to pedal your way into a new experience, and you might make some new friends along the way. | 19

SBQ #9  
SBQ #9  

Sports Backers Quarterly #9 July | August