This Saturday, the Trails and Open Space Coalition
will host its biggest annual fundraiser — an event that has become a beloved part of Colorado Springs life for many.
The Heuberger Subaru Starlight Spectacular
is a night bicycle ride through Garden of the Gods and the city. Riders dress up in costumes, deck their bikes out in lights, and sing and holler through the dark streets through the wee hours of the morning.
As a regular rider at the event (I'll be there this year, too), I can tell you that this is one of the most genuinely fun happenings of the season. The city looks completely different by night, and it's great to explore it on a bike without any fear of getting run down by a car.
The event is hugely important to TOSC
, which does a lot of good work to our beloved trails systems. If you want to go, you can register through midnight tonight!
Two Decades of Cycling under the Stars
As the story goes, a group of young crazy guys decided back in 1995 to hold a 20 mile bicycle ride at 2 a.m. that began and ended in Memorial Park , winding through city streets and finished at sunrise with a pancake breakfast. 220 cyclists joined them for the first annual Starlight Spectacular. Many still have the tee shirt. Proceeds were donated to the (then) Pikes Peak Area Trails Coalition eventually renamed the Trails and Open Space Coalition.
Twenty years later, the Heuberger Subaru Starlight Spectacular still offer pancakes at the end of the ride, and a whole lot more! There’s Boriello Brother’s Pizza, Colorado Coffee Merchants Coffee and Bristol Brewing Company Root-beer before the ride and Whole Foods breakfast parfaits after the ride. There’s live music (courtesy Pulpit Fiction) as well as prizes for best costumes and best-lit bicycles.
The ride no longer begins at 2 a.m. but at a much more humane time - 10:30pm. Close to 1500 riders will begin and end at the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center and will choose to ride 14, 17 or 22 miles through Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City and Garden of the Gods. (Riding through the garden at night is truly an unforgettable experience!)
Those young guys are considerably grayer – but still love to cycle. Several members of the original committee still support the ride as volunteers.
Proceeds still benefit the Trails and Open Space Coalition. Riders can enjoy a memorable and delicious evening knowing their registration fee is supporting advocacy and stewardship efforts on the trails and in the parks and open spaces where they love to recreate.