Still time to register for Saturday’s Owl Ride

OMAHA – It’s not too late to register for Saturday’s Owl Ride, Omaha’s nighttime urban cycling adventure. The unique recreational bike ride, now in its ninth year, is the largest annual night bicycle ride between Chicago and Denver.

Register online by visiting http://www.owlride.org. The cost is $45 for adults and $25 for children 18 and under when riding with an adult; $50 and $30 the day of the event. All who sign up will be receive an Owl Ride sport shirt.

This year’s starlit ride will start at 9 p.m. at Lewis and Clark Landing on Omaha’s riverfront. There’s again a choice of a 17-mile course through Midtown, Dundee, Aksarben, Field Club and downtown, or a shorter, family friendly 7.5-mile course.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the great cause the ride benefits – helping the non-profit Meyer Foundation for Disabilities (MFD) improve the lives of adults with developmental disabilities in our community.

Almost everyone knows or went to school with someone who has Down syndrome, autism or some other disability. Did you know that as children with disabilities age out of the school system into adulthood, support for them and their families dry up, often leaving them socially isolated?

The Owl Ride gives these families a lift, providing recreational, social and life skills programs for young adults with disabilities, many delivered through UNMC’s renowned Munroe-Meyer Institute. When you register for the Owl Ride, you help these young adults enjoy recreational activities such as swimming, working with local artists, cycling, socializing with friends, or learning to cook for themselves. And you give their families a much-needed break from the role of 24/7 caregivers.

Proceeds from last year’s Owl Ride in part went toward purchase of another special bike for MMI’s Wheel Club, which allows people with disabilities to enjoy cycling with the assistance of MMI staff. This year’s proceeds are being dedicated to helping equip and outfit the teaching kitchen in the new MMI building, to be built on the Scott Campus of the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

In the past, nearly 1,000 riders took part in the ride. Bicycle decorations ranging from battery-powered holiday lights to custom neon creations enhance the atmosphere of the ride, with awards given for the best-decorated bikes. There’s also an award for the team or corporation that registers the most riders. Riders should plan to return to the landing for an after-party, featuring music, food and refreshments.

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