Paul Revere won't be there, and there’s no sign of the British, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a midnight ride this month. July 12 marks the 26th annual Antelope by Moonlight Bike Ride, a fun, non-competitive event for the whole family. With an easy, 24-mile paved route, there are a couple (or five) reasons to bring your family — or the entire neighborhood — out this year.
It’s gonna be lit
Moonlit that is. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the moon will be 83% full July 12, setting the perfect stage for a late-night bike ride. With a start time of 10 p.m., children and adults alike will experience the thrill of playing outside after bedtime! Of course, even with the silvery summer moon in its (almost) full glory, you can’t overlook safety.
All Moonlight Bike Ride participants must have working headlights and reflectors on their bicycles, and reflective clothing is recommended. Helmets are also required, of course. If you need lights for your bike, you can buy a set at the event, care of The Biker’s Edge. Helmets will also available for purchase.
It’s low key
If bike races aren’t your thing, take heart; there’s no competition on Antelope Island — unless you count costume contests. Antelope by Moonlight is all about experiencing the island in a new light — literally. As long as you have a fun, safe time with your family, friends and fellow community members, that’s as good as a first-place medal or personal record in anyone’s book.
You could win big
A special night out requires a great outfit for you — and your bike. Make sure you or your two-wheeler look festive in a fun, funny or clever costume and you could win big. The Biker’s Edge will provide a new bicycle for the winner of the Antelope by Moonlight bike decorating contest. If you need some creative inspiration, focus on this year’s event theme: One Wicked Ride. Judging will be held at 9 p.m. at White Rock Bay.
You can’t beat the view
The Antelope by Moonlight Bike Ride is a great way to experience the unique beauty of the island without the glaring heat of daylight. Situated in the Great Salt Lake, the 28,022 acres national park is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts.
Providing the perfect terrain for mountain biking, camping, sunbathing and sailing (to name a few), the island is also home to wildlife of all kinds. If you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of the deer, bobcats, coyotes or even American bison which, according to Utah.com, now number more than 600.
It’s a treat
Riders will make the 12-mile journey from White Rock Bay to Garr Ranch, where refreshments will be served until midnight, before heading back to White Rock Bay to finish the ride.
Of course, refreshments aren’t the only treat; participants will see a fascinating piece of Utah History at Garr Ranch, where Fielding Garr settled in 1848. Charged with caring for the tithing herds belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Garr built a ranch that operated continually under several different owners until 1981, when the island became a state park.
The 26th annual Antelope by Moonlight Bike Ride is scheduled for Friday, July 12 on Antelope Island. Registration and check-in starts at 7:30 p.m., with the ride starting at 10 p.m. Registration is $40 at the event, or $35 if paid online before 8 a.m. July 12. Proceeds of the event benefit Friends of Antelope Island. For more information, visit Antelope by Moonlight.