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Savannah’s Midnight Garden Ride promotes bike safety with fun family event

  • Costumed cyclists enjoy the ride at a previous Midnight Garden Ride. (Provided photo)
  • The Midnight Garden Ride route dips under live oak trees in Savannah’s downtown. (Provided photo)
 

Savannah’s Midnight Garden Ride promotes bike safety with fun family event

16 Oct 2017

When it comes to biking, Savannah is near perfect. It’s mostly flat, mainly on a grid, and the weather cooperates like 60 percent of the time. It would be perfect, really, if it wasn’t for cars, narrow roads, less than ideal infrastructure and lack of education. Really, that’s it.

Luckily we have the Savannah Bicycle Campaign to swoop in and save the day.

The nonprofit organization has been working tirelessly in the city for years advocating for bicycling and bicyclists in Savannah and Chatham County. They hope to grow the community of cyclists through empowerment and education.

“People want to bike where they feel safe and connected, and that is where Savannah is lacking,” said Caila Brown, chair of the board for the organization. “It can be intimidating.”

The Bicycle Campaign has partnered with a long list of local organizations — Georgia Bikes, the City of Savannah, Healthy Savannah, Voices for Healthy Kids, the American Heart Association — to create policies that encourage the city to facilitate positive change. They start by holding events for residents and visitors to show how bicycling can be a healthy part of their daily lives, and the upcoming Midnight Garden Ride is a fan favorite.

Held annually, this ride is Savannah’s most fun and family friendly bicycling event of the year. It returns to Grayson Stadium on Oct. 21. The casually paced, police-escorted ride travels through Savannah’s most beautiful neighborhoods, and returns to Grayson Stadium for a concert, food and beverages, and good times.

All proceeds benefit Savannah Bicycle Campaign and their ongoing efforts toward bicycle safety.

“We want to transform Savannah, to show people how they can bike to enjoy the city or use it to commute,” said Brown. “We want to change the habits of both drivers and cyclists.”

The ride is about nine miles, with a pace between 6 to 8 mph, and lasts for about an hour. All riders must wear a helmet and use lights for the ride to stay safe and visible. Costumes are encouraged, and always help with visibility.

Registration is required for all adults and children pedaling independently. Children riding in trailers, tag-along bikes, child seats or other equipment specifically designed for them are not required to register.

The Midnight Garden Ride gives hundreds of cyclists a chance to see Savannah in an unforgettable way and may encourage drivers to find alternative modes of transportation. And not just in the downtown area. The organization is working to identify roads that need bike paths and protected lanes, including pathways along the Truman Parkway and other Southside neighborhoods.

Savannah Bicycle Campaign continues to foster an inclusive approach to create a safer and more convenient bicycling environment and continue to encourage bicycling as part of a daily routine. Regardless of how many times you hop on two wheels, they promise this event will be as easy as riding a bike.

IF YOU GO

What: Midnight Garden Ride 2017

When: 7 p.m. Oct. 21; registration at 5 p.m., costume contest at 6:15 p.m.

Where: Grayson Stadium, 1401 E. Victory Drive

Cost: $30, includes after party and T-shirt; Savannah Bicycle Campaign member discounts; free for children not riding their own bikes

Info: midnightgardenride.com, register at eventbrite.com

EVENT SCHEDULE

5-6:30 p.m. On-site registration and check-in for preregistered riders

5-6 p.m. Costume contest registration

6:15 p.m. Costume contest judging

7 p.m. Ride departs from Grayson Stadium

8 p.m. Ride returns to Grayson Stadium for Good and Evil Party

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