Wellness Wednesday: Light up the night at OwL Ride

July 09, 2014

Image with caption: Riders from a previous OwL Ride.

Riders from a previous OwL Ride.

Approximately 2,000 riders are expected Saturday, July 12, for the fifth annual Owl Ride, Omaha's nighttime urban cycling adventure. The unique recreational bike ride is the largest annual night bicycle ride between Chicago and Denver.

UNMC bike riders are urged to turn out for the 2014 ride, which starts at 10 p.m. at Lewis and Clark Landing on Omaha's riverfront. The ride follows a 16-mile course through downtown, Midtown, Dundee, Aksarben, Field Club and the Old Market, with "Owl perch" stops and support along the way. A shorter eight-mile course also is available, making the OwL Ride a fun, active experience for riders of all ages and abilities.

For a map of the course, click here.

Last year, nearly 2,000 participants rode the non-competitive tour through Omaha's vibrant urban core. Registration numbers to date suggest a like turnout this year. The current extended weather forecast calls for dry and pleasant conditions.

It's not too late to register. Participants can sign up online through midnight on Friday July 11 at the event website. Those who want to register on the day of the ride can do so in two ways: from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sports Authority store at 885 S. 72nd St.; or beginning at 8 p.m. at the riverfront. The cost is $30 for individuals and $10 for riders 18 and under when accompanied by an adult; $35 and $15 the day of the event.

All cyclists must be equipped with, at a minimum, front lights and rear red reflectors, as required by state law for riding after dark, and a helmet. In past years, bicycle decorations ranging from battery-powered holiday lights to custom neon creations enhanced the atmosphere of the ride. The Interstate Batteries Bright Bike Contest will be held once again.

The ride benefits the Meyer Foundation for Disabilities, which supports social and recreational programs for people with developmental disabilities in the Omaha metro area. MFD, a non-profit led and run by volunteers, funds community programs operated by the professional staff of the renowned Munroe-Meyer Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and by other community partners. Click here to learn more about MFD's work and mission.

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