If you haven’t participated in a biking event using a Stand Up Ride, you really should. I you Stand Up And Ride, then you’re accustomed to the looks and comments you get when riding down the street but taking part in an actual biking event takes it to the next level. I just rode in an annual event called the Starlight Spectacular here in Colorado Springs. It’s not a race, it’s a riding event which means you have a bunch of people who love to ride that come out to simply have fun. This particular ride starts at 11:59pm and takes about 2 hours (give or take 30 or more minutes) depending on which route you choose.

About 1,700 people turned out to ride this year with every imaginable form of bike represented. It was a sea of costumes, glow sticks and headlamps. There were road bikes, mountain bikes, recumbent bikes, and my personal favorite, the adult big wheel.

Even with the diverse selection of rides, costumes and characters, the focus on my stand up bike was amazing. Predictably, comments flew in my direction just about every time I passed someone on the road. It’s always fun to hear what people say as you go by. At the first aid station, I parked the bike and headed over to grab some water and trail mix. Standing in the middle of the crowd refueling I overheard a team of cyclist discussing me and my ride as they looked at it parked a few feet away with the dual LED lights mounted on the handlebars, shining towards their feet. They didn’t know I was the owner so I enjoyed playing the part of the fly on the wall. They had several comments but ultimately thought it was a pretty cool ride.  I never let on that it was mine. I finished my snacks, grabbed my bike and headed over to talk to the Big Wheel riders.

As I was departing the aid station, an excited woman came over to me and introduced herself.  She was the lady that had been yelling at me from the sidewalk about a mile before the aid station.  She was one of the organizers of another ride event that I participated in last year. She had referenced that ride shouting at me as I rode by her in the dark.  We had made a pretty big splash the previous year when three of us showed up on our stand up bikes for the inaugural “Ride for Heroes” put on by Chick-fil-A. She wanted to make sure I was coming to ride again this year. A great event for a great cause, how could I not? We will be there, hopefully with even more riders than last year.

As I rode away from the tents and lights back into the darkness, I felt a little like a celebrity as I do every time I take part in an event. People approach me to talk and ask questions. Other riders recognize me even though I’m not sure I’ve ever met them. And as if I were being followed by the paparazzi, there are always folks who want to take my picture or pose with me.  It really is an added dimension of fun to ride in these events so find one that suits your style and ability and give it a shot.  What a great way to improve your health, fitness, and social life all at the same time.

Thanks to Rob over at ultrarob.com for capturing the event with some great photos:

Check me out chattin it up at the aid station and all the event pics.