Rossmoor Christmas Lights Bicycle Tour keeps growing

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Several hundred riders met at Rush Park for a quick bike safety check, socializing, bike decorating and a group photo at the Rush Park Christmas Tree. Courtesy photo

Oh My Garlands, in four years we have gone from 80 to 150 to 250 and now over 300 riders. Add this to your family holiday calendar for next year. The Saturday evening before Christmas is a great time to cycle around Rossmoor and look at all the wonderfully lit and decorated homes. Many are winners of various Rossmoor Homeowner’s Association lightning and creativity awards.

The weather this year was delightful. Families were out in force with kids in tow or chomping at the bit in front like a bunch of restless reindeer. Several hundred riders met at Rush Park for a quick bike safety check, socializing, bike decorating and a group photo at the Rush Park Christmas Tree.

The group was easy to spot with as many lights on the bikes as on some of the houses. There were lots of antlers, Santas, Elves, and even a Grinch on bikes. Many more riders joined during the first mile of the ride.

With the route map posted on Nextdoor.com, several homeowners along the way came out to have drinks around a fire pit, offer cookies, candy canes, and hot drinks to riders, or just wave at the festive bicycle light parade.

Caroling was impromptu and came from both riders and spectators. There were bubbles and boom boxes, two-three-and-four wheeled bikes were festooned with garland, wreaths, string lights, and baskets with decorated doggies. The slow ride was perfect for kids on bikes and in trailers.

A nice feature of this event is that you can come and go as you please. Last year’s route was 5 miles with finishers asking for more. This year the 7.7-mile route had about half the group finish at Rush Park and others depart along the way as we neared their homes.

The drivers this year were also quite accommodating. Not only did they drive slowly and safely around the riders, many of them parked to watch the bicycle light parade and cheer us on from their cars.

Many thanks are deserved by the RHA and especially Chris Marshall for hosting the Rossmoor Christmas Lights competition for over a dozen years. By posting a map of the winners and the best lit streets in the neighborhood they create a great viewing route. Chris realized this would be a splendid route for cyclists a few years ago and he was right. As families agreed they made this event so popular that it needed more structure.

This year Nia Hartman created the bicycle advocacy group “Bike Rossmoor” to acquire insurance to satisfy the RHA and RCSD liability needs. The only hitch is that we now have to put on several more cycling events, so the average attendance falls below 50 riders to qualify as an Advocacy group. Therefore, Bike Rossmoor will be hosting several other rides during the year. Watch for notices about Moonlight Mash, a ride every evening of the full moons. Other events will include a Halloween Lights Ride and bike safety training. Contact BikeRossmoor@LightningVelo.org if you want to help organize future rides. Happy Cycling in the New Year Everyone.

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