Scott Cowan never dreamed his night rides on the Towpath Trail would ever become so popular.
“We thought if we got 40 people or so to join us, we’d be going good,” Cowan says of the rides his Century Cycles bike shop has hosted in Peninsula for the past 18 years. Up to 200 riders show up for each of the 10 rides between April and October.
This season’s final outing Oct. 20 coincides with Cleveland Beer Week. It’s the third year for the All Hail the Ale ride, which encourages participants to don a beer-themed costume for the 13-mile trek.
Riders start gathering at Century Cycles around 6 p.m., with the two-wheel brigade leaving Peninsula around 7:30 p.m., riding south to the Botzum Trailhead. Bike lights are required if you want to take part in the night ride.
“We almost always see deer and hear owls,” says Cowan. “And there’s not a lot of ambient light, so it’s fun.”