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story.lead_photo.caption News Tribune fileAbout 30 bicyclists head out last year on a 10-mile Community Bike Ride. In addition to the monthly community rides, JC Parks is organizing a 15-mile moonlight ride setting off at 2 a.m. Sunday morning.

Guided by the light of a (nearly) full moon, cyclists can pedal through the wee hours of Sunday morning during the Tour de Jefferson City Moonlight Bike Ride.

Sponsored by Red Wheel Bike Shop and JC Parks, the annual ride takes off at 2 a.m. Sunday from the HyVee parking lot, 3721 W. Truman Blvd., and the 15-mile course loops through town before ending back at HyVee. A water station will be set up at Red Wheel on West Main Street.

Phil Stiles, the special events program manager with the Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, said the route is mostly flat and will take riders about an hour and a half to two hours to complete.

Riders will be asked to sign a waiver before taking off in groups of 25 or so to avoid a pile up at the beginning of the route.

Stiles said the event has drawn 100-300 participants in the past, and the weekend forecast calling for clear skies and overnight lows in mid-70s, he added the event will hopefully be well attended this year.

Unlike the JC Parks' monthly community bike rides, which are typically the first weekend of the month and utilize different routes, the moonlight ride will not be led by an instructor. However, a sag vehicle will be driving the course in case anyone requires assistance, Stiles said.

The ride is non-competitive, drawing riders of all ages, he added, and safety is a priority.

"I stress safety. There are a couple spots on the course that are a little dark so people do need to be cautious in those areas. We recommend a head light and/or a tail light and reflective clothing," Stiles said. "Obviously, we strongly recommend and encourage helmets."

A map of the moonlight ride route is posted on the JC Parks website, and more information can be found on the Tour de Jefferson City Moonlight Bike Ride Facebook event.

The next JC Parks community bike ride is scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 8. Details on the route will be posted on the JC Parks Facebook page.

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