Let's Glow For A Bike Ride

By: Jim Minge Email
By: Jim Minge Email

What: Owl Ride

When: 10 p.m. Saturday, July 13

Where: Starts at Old Mattress Factory, 12th and Cass street

Cost: $30 for adults, $10 for those 18 and younger in advance, $35 and $15 on the day of the event

Web: owlride.org

Don't ask me why, but I've had a gallon of glow-in-the-dark paint at the ready for several months. I wasn't sure how or on what I would use the paint when I bought it – I'm a sucker for impulse buys (Hey, look, an entire gallon of glow-in-the-dark paint!). Maybe it's just me, but I find things that glow in the dark to be EXCEPTIONALLY AWESOME.

So I bought the paint. And it has sat in the garage waiting for its moment to glow. My friends, that time has come. The perfect opportunity to use a bucket-full of incandescent paint: Omaha's Owl Ride, the largest annual nighttime bike trek between Chicago and Denver. I'm painting my Schwinn with glow-in-the-dark paint and going for a ride!

Of course, you don't have to paint your own two-wheeled, pedal-powered cycle – there's always glow sticks, tiny LEDs, day-glow T-shirts, and other ways to shine. Just get there. How often do thousands of Omahans get together for a ride in the dark through the city?

Once a year, apparently. Saturday, July 13, marks the fourth-annual Owl Ride, which this year will offer riders a choice of an 8-mile short course and a 17-mile extended route. The family friendly short course takes riders from downtown Omaha to midtown. The extended ride stops in Dundee and Aksarben Village.

It all starts at 10 p.m. at the Old Mattress Factory, 12th and Cass streets, which will also be the site for post-race food and festivities. (You can click HERE for the ride map.)

To join in the event – which benefits the Meyer Foundation for Disabilities – go to owlride.org to register. It's $30 for adults, $10 for those 18 and younger in advance, $35 and $15 on the day of the event. You'll need a helmet, and state law also requires anyone riding at night to have both a front light and rear reflector. Let me know if you need any glow-in-the-dark paint – I might have some left over :-)

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