CHICAGO — The best part of the annual overnight L.A.T.E. Ride may be seeing the sun come up while biking past Chicago's high rises, said Erma Tranter, Friends of the Parks president.
The L.A.T.E. Ride is a 25-mile cycling tour with riders leaving in waves starting at 1 a.m. June 30. The course begins in Grant Park at the Buckingham Fountain and goes through several Chicago neighborhoods, including Chinatown and Bucktown, and along the Lakefront Trail.
Friends of the Parks hosts and organizes the event, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year.
"It's an unusual way to see the city," Tranter said. "And it's an unusual bike ride in that it doesn't even start until 1:30 in the morning...when everybody else is sleeping."
Tranter said thousands of riders participate in the L.A.T.E. Ride, and there will be costume and decoration contests with prizes. There will also be snacks and coffee at Buckingham Fountain, and a rest stop with food and a portable bathroom about halfway through the course.
"It's become something that is fun...that people look forward to, and the important thing is that it brings you outdoors to the city of Chicago," Tranter said.
Those interested can register here until noon of June 23. The fee of $45 includes a T-shirt, rider number, map, goodie bag, snacks and on-course bike repair.
Late registration costs $48 and runs from June 23 to June 28. VIP registration costs $75 and enables riders to leave in the first wave and grants them a year's membership with Friends of the Parks.
There will be on-site registration for $50, but participants who do not register before the event will not receive a T-shirt.