Earth Hour Night Ride 2009, sure to become a favorite tradition, Ithaca’s first Earth Hour Night Ride went off without a hitch last Saturday evening. Weather forecasts had been a bit ominous, predicting arrival of rain toward nightfall. Instead, we had a beautiful spring evening with temperatures around 60F and no wind.
People began arriving at the parking lot next to the Cass Park Turtle around 8:00 pm and by half past we had a dozen and a half cyclists ready to go. It was nice to see Jennifer Dotson at another of our events — I think she represents Ithaca’s first ward and all of Ithaca’s cyclists on Common Council. It was gratifying to see that everyone actually had equipment for night riding. Brenda Smith and her son, Jordan, spent some of our socializing time getting brand new lights attached to their bikes.
At around 8:30, two headlights glided into the parking area from the north to join our Night Ride: it was Juan Salazar and Jamie Gartenberg, just at that moment completing their ride of over 200 miles that they had begun at 4:00 that morning.
With the total of 19 participants, we then proceeded on our formal circumnavigation of the Cayuga Waterfront Trail in the park. It really was a magical evening with so many bicycle lights gliding along next to the water. Though it was Earth Hour and we were observing a time to turn off lights, there was the usual twinkle of Ithaca reflecting in the water of the Inlet.
After completing our loop, most of the participants continued out of the park and about a dozen headed down Martin Luther King Jr. Street toward the Commons. After walking the length of the Commons with our bikes, we found a welcome at College Town Bagels — Juan and Jamie finally could have the coffee they had been desperately needing.
The group finally dispersed after ten o’clock, resolving to repeat the event next year.