We have two meeting places this year. Little kids (and their escorts) will meet at 12056 Maple Ave (my garage) to get their bikes decorated and their lights ready at 4pm. Adult bike club members can meet up at 5 pm at Walnut and Gregory (or thereabouts... look for the bikes).
WEAR YOUR WARMEST WINTER CLOTHING AND BE SURE TO DRESS IN LAYERS!
WEAR YOUR WARMEST COATS AND BE SURE TO DRESS IN LAYERS!
This is a slow ride with a lot of waiting around before it begins. If you don't dress in layers and wear your warmest coat, mittens, hat, scarf, etc, you WILL be frozen before the event ends! Hand and foot warmers are a great thing to have on hand. A hot potato wrapped in tinfoil is a great hand warmer, or you can buy chemical warmers at Walgreens for a buck or two.
Post Ride follow up
Whoo doggie! It was a COLD ride this year, but we all had lots of fun.
Most of the crew met at my garage to decorate bikes and make sure tires were topped off, etc. The early start time (meant to allow for full bike decoration with a chance of warming up before the ride and parade) backfired. The kids decided to play snowball fights instead! This might have been a good idea if we didn't need to spend the next two hours turing into popsicle ice. Some of the kids ended up wet, and that quickly equals COLD in these conditions. ::::sigh:::
I was able to partially save the day with some outgrown (by my kids) snow pants, MY wool socks (I better get them back!) and some extra gloves. We still got cold. The best thing I had was the toasty chemical hand warmers I picked up at Walgreens on closeout last spring for $2/20. Those really made all the difference between bearable and frozen.
When all was said and done, the bikes turned out awesome. Battery operated lights have come a LONG way from just a few years ago. LED packs use half the batteries, last many times longer than incandescent strands, and are much brighter to boot.
Western Avenue had a great turnout... at least 1000 viewers, despite the cold. The shops looked great. There were 3 different bands playing. And there were lots and lots of floats this year, as well as numerous walking entries (the Untouchables, Cub Scout pack, etc.)
ALL BICYCLES MUST HAVE LIGHTS ON THEM. You can buy battery operated lights for a couple of bucks at Walgreens, Jewel or the new Target store. Solar operated lights also work well. I will have a few sets of lights for those who can't get any, but it's first come, first served... Be sure that batteries are kept in a pocket or close to your body until it's time to light up. Cold batteries don't work nearly as well as warm ones.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be bringing up the rear of the ride, so while Santa "elf" hats are okay, Santa suits are not. Let's not confuse the toddlers watching the parade!
Afterward, come join us for cocoa, cider, cookies and fellowship at the Library. Decorate the tree, sing carols, watch the live entertainment, chat with friends and neighbors. It's all part of the festivities and best yet, it's free and WARM! :-D