Night riding returns

Published 10:05 pm Friday, August 15, 2008

People liked Minooka Park’s first Midnight Ride so much, park officials are bringing it back next Saturday night.

The park, which typically operates from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday, will remain open late Aug. 23 for riders to enjoy the trails after dark.

Riders with approved lighting and helmets will be able to ride the trails until midnight, and gates will remain open until about 9 p.m.

“The first Midnight Ride brought more people into the park,” Park Manager Gerald Arrington said. “We did it on a Friday night, and this time we decided to do it on a Saturday night to make it even bigger.”

Park attendance has picked up the last couple of weekends due to cooler temperatures. The hot and dry weather conditions this summer were a primary reason for holding the Midnight Ride, to give people a chance to avoid the heat.

“People enjoy riding in the cool of the evening,” Arrington said.

The park’s lake and picnic facilities will remain open for as long as people are riding the trails. Arrington cautioned that some picnic areas may be dark, but said the park plans to eventually install additional outdoor lighting.

He asks people who plan on participating to make sure they have proper equipment before leaving home.

“Everyone that’s going to ride needs to bring a helmet because we cannot allow them on the trails without one,” he said, adding, “It has got to be a regulation, approved helmet. A bicycle helmet won’t get it.”

The park is also planning a Poker Run for Saturday, Sept. 13 from 11-3.

Any groups interested in riding may contact Minooka Park at 312-1116 or 312-1376 to make arrangements.