- McDonald's L.A.T.E. Ride (L.A.T.E. stands for Long After Twilight Ends) put on by and for Friends of the Parks will feature up to 10,000 cyclists riding on the streets and paths of Chicago in the wee hours of Sunday, July 15. At 12:45 AM, just before the ride begins, cyclists will compete for Best Lit Bike and Best Decorated Helmet. The winners and runners-up will receive many great gifts, including an autographed copy of Biking Illinois! Check out their Web site under "Night-of-Event Schedule" for more info.
- If you'd rather ride beneath the stars than beneath the streetlamps, check out the Chase The Moon Midnight Bike Ride, which kicks off at 12:01 AM on Sunday, July 29. This ride starts at Marmion Academy in Aurora and traverses most of the roads in Fermilab. It is presented by the Conservation Foundation, a group working to preserve open space and protect watersheds. The organization is celebrating their 35th anniversary, which means they've been around almost as long as I have (that also makes them three years older than Friends of the Parks). Two copies of Biking Illinois will be raffle prizes.
Both rides are around 25 miles and non-competitive, so you don't have to be a hardcore rider to finish them. So grab a helmet and a headlight*, sign up for one or both of the rides, and maybe you'll win a copy of Biking Illinois specially signed to commemorate each event. You'll also be supporting great organizations.
* Both rides require helmets. Headlights are mandatory for Chase The Moon and optional but recommended for the L.A.T.E. Ride.