By Tracey Bradnan
The Towpath Trail is one of Northeast Ohio's most popular bicycle paths by day. Riding it by moonlight is an entirely different experience that bicyclists of all abilities can enjoy on Century Cycles Night Rides on the Towpath Trail, now back for their 19th year this spring.
Started in 1994 as a staff ride, Century Cycles Night Rides have grown dramatically in popularity, now regularly attracting over 150 bicyclists and their families who ride everything from mountain bikes to tandem bicycles on the crushed limestone trail. Century Cycles Night Rides were in the national spotlight in 2009 when Bicycling Magazine, the world’s #1 bicycling publication, dubbed them one of America’s great local rides.
The 2013 season of Century Cycles Night Rides on the Towpath Trail begins on Saturday, April 27, and runs through October. The free rides start at 8 p.m. at the Century Cycles bicycle store in Peninsula (1621 Main Street, on Route 303 next to the Winking Lizard restaurant). No advance registration is required.
In 2013, there are 10 Century Cycles Night Rides, all on Saturday nights. The dates are:
Saturday, April 27
Saturday, May 18
Saturday, June 22
Saturday, July 6
Saturday, July 20: 5th Annual NiteRider Night Ride and Bike Light Demo
Saturday, August 10: Pajama Party Night Ride for Project Night Night
Saturday, August 24
Saturday, September 14
Saturday, September 28
Saturday, October 19: All Hail the Ale Night Ride for Cleveland Beer Week
Led and supported by the bike store’s staff, Century Cycles Night Rides on the Towpath Trail are casual, ride-at-your-own pace bicycle rides (not races) about 12-15 miles long. They begin and end in the parking lot of Century Cycles bike store in Peninsula. Parking is available at the Lock 29 Trailhead, just north of the store.
Open to all skill levels, participants must sign a waiver prior to riding and must have their own bicycle and wear a helmet. A bicycle headlight is also required (the Towpath Trail is unlit at night and very dark) and a taillight is highly recommended, as is some experience bicycling on the Towpath Trail. Children under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information, call Century Cycles in Peninsula at 330-657-2209. Online please visit www.centurycycles.com/goto/nightrides, an informational page that includes videos and photos from past Night Rides and tips for first-time Night Riders.