More than a hundred riders came out earlier this month for the first Neon Night Ride on the City of Lenoir Greenway.
Community Engagement Coordinator Matthew Anthony organized the event to celebrate World Bicycle Day. The ride was held on Friday June 3, 2022, and one goal of the event was to highlight the City's greenway.
"The Neon Night Ride had an amazing turn out," Anthony said. "Around 150 people came out with bikes all a glow. The comment I kept hearing over and over was, 'That was a lot of fun!'"
Attendees starting gathering at the Lenoir Rotary Soccer Complex around 8:15 pm to decorate their bikes and helmets with glow sticks. Quite a few riders showed up with LED lights already installed on their frames, wheels, and helmets.
After having some cookies and fruit donated by Chick-fil-A and Food Lion on Wilkesboro Boulevard, the group rode on the greenway from the soccer complex to the Powell Road parking lot. Volunteers were stationed at street crossings along the way to make sure everyone could safely cross.
After a short break, the Neon Night Riders headed back to the soccer complex where they were met with a surprise glowing nighttime foam party. The children and several adults played in the foam before heading home.
"The foam party by Hype Nation Events was a surprise at the end," Anthony said. "Several parents said that when their kids rounded the last turn and could see the foam blowing on the soccer field, they took off in a race to get there. The kids had a blast at the foam party, and so did a lot of parents."
Anthony said he definitely plans to do another Neon Night Ride on World Bicycle Day 2023.
"I was asked multiple times when were we going to do the ride again," Anthony said. "I've already started cooking up ideas for next year's ride."
The City of Lenoir Greenway offers more than 9 miles of path and trails for outdoor activities including running, walking, cycling, and mountain biking. These trails include the main greenway, the T.H. Broyhill Walking Park, and the greenway on Morganton Boulevard. The Zacks Fork Bike Trail offers nearly 3 miles of off-road trail for mountain biking. Click the following link for more information about the greenway, City of Lenoir Greenway.
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Everyone gets ready to roll at the Neon Night Ride.
Mountain bikes, street bikes, all bikes were welcome.
A family decorates their bicycles with glow sticks.
A family shows off their bikes.
These riders decorated their wheels with LED lights.
Chick-fil-A in Lenoir donated cookies for the event.
Look mom, no hands!
Food Lion on Wilkesboro Boulevard in Lenoir donated fruit for the event.
A family waits for the ride to start.
Volunteers from First Baptist Church in Lenoir donated water and water bottles.
The City provided a couple thousand glow sticks to help riders decorate their bicycles.
Riders get ready to hit the greenway.
Glow sticks? Check. LED lights? Check. Helmets? Check.
A boy shows off his bike.
Light sabers and skateboards were welcome at the Neon Night Ride.
The Neon Night Ride is a family affair.
Matthew Anthony shows off his LED glasses and vest.
This mom and daughter would have won the most colorful bike contest.
Was the Neon Night Ride fun? Yes it was.