Posted by marilynch
Aug 11 and more: Twilight Rides at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
The Twilight Rides are “a safe and relaxed atmosphere for families to get out and enjoy a ride together,” as assured by Ann Bixler, vice president of event operations for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. And the Twilight Ride venue is also famous for its “challenging 11-turn 2.238 mile course for competitive cyclists.” Something for all ages and stages of biking.
The happy faces of this young observer, Avalin–the baby pictured above; her cyclist brother, Devin; and their parents, Tyler and Dena Donnell, testify to the Twilight Ride being a family-friendly event!
What to bring
All ages are invited to the Twilight Rides, and helmets are required by all riders on the Mazda Raceway track. Bring your helmet, and bicycle, along with a $10 participation fee.
If you need to rent a bike, rentals are available within about 10 miles of Laguna Seca, at places such as Adventures by the Sea and Bay Bikes. Click here for the rentals section of the Tips for Bicycling Monterey County guide. Rentals usually include a helmet.
Twilight Ride scheduled dates are subject to change.
Hours are usually 5:30–7:30 p.m. when days are longer; and 5:00-7:00 p.m. typically November through February. Dates are subject to change, so confirm by checking Mazda Raceway’s Twilight Ride webpage.
2015 Twilight Rides
- January 14 (5-7 p.m.)
- February 11 (5-7 p.m.)
- March 11 (5:30-7:30 p.m.)
- April 1 (5:30-7:30 p.m.)
- April 29 (5:30-7:30 p.m.)
- May 20 (5:30-7:30 p.m.)
- June 17 (5:30-7:30 p.m.)
- July 22 (5:30-7:30 p.m.)
- August 11 (5:30-7:30 p.m.)
- September 9 (5:30-7:30 p.m.) California Custom Sheds Cycling Team is the host for this month’s Twilight Ride. All the proceeds will go to MORCA’s annual Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day (scheduled for Oct 3 in 2015). As usual with these Twilight Rides, all ages and abilities and all types of bicycles (road, mountain, recumbent, trail-a-bike, etc.) are welcome. Young kids have biked at Twilight Rides. You can ride as many or as few laps as you like during the 2-hr period.
- October 7 (5:30-7:30 p.m.)
- November 4 (5-7 p.m.)
- December 9 (5-7 p.m.)
Regarding who’s hosting a particular month’s Twilight Ride…
Occasionally there are notes about that on the Master Calendar for Bicycling Monterey County.
Light and Motion loaner lights
When daylight is short, Light and Motion team members are usually on hand loaning out their LED bicycle lights. Light & Motion has been pioneering state-of-the-art portable lighting systems for 20 years. In 2008, they launched a line of LED bicycle lights designed and built right here on the Monterey Peninsula. (I’m a fan of their lights myself. See “Night Ride Home.”)
Who shows up?
Cyclists of all stripes turn out to ride the track. Besides Gears4Good.org, which hosted the December 2013 ride, you’ll also find these folks and others either hosting a monthly ride or just showing up to enjoy the ride: Monterey Off Road Cycling Association (MORCA), NPS Cycling Club, Velo Club Monterey, Salinas High School Cowboys Racing, Ghost Tree, and Monterey Bay Racing.
Below, learn more about Twilight Rides
and one of the hosts: Naval Postgraduate School Cycling Club.
Among the most active bike advocates in Monterey County are the members of the Naval Postgraduate School Foundation’s Cycling Club. Click here to learn more about how they serve as local bike advocates!
The Naval Postgraduate School Cycling Club hosts Twilight Rides regularly. At the top of this post are Devin, Tyler, Avalin, and Dena Donnell at the March 2012 ride. Below they are at the May 2011 ride, when Dena was expecting Avalin. See Dena “Biking through Pregnancy; click here.”
Kids and bikes: NPS knows that’s important!
Why does NPS Cycling Club help teach scouts bike skills, help with Police Activities League (PAL) bike fairs, and otherwise encourage kids biking?
Safe Routes to School–allowing kids to bike or walk as part of their daily routine–are often hard to come by these days. Kids need exercise, and being outdoors on a bike has many other benefits as well!
Think most kids these days just sit around playing with their video games and other tech toys? Not Devin Donnell, age 11–at 10, he had already completed a fifty-mile Gran Fondo bicycle ride in Monterey.
And like Devin, young Miles Hooper (pictured in the three photos below), has also rounded the Mazda Racetrack at previous Twilight Rides hosted by the NPS Cycling Club.
It’s clear Miles is becoming familiar with not only riding but with bike equipment too–such as how to help with the bike rack on his dad’s truck.
While Miles and his dad were volunteering at the PAL Bike Fair in Seaside, Miles spent many hours encouraging hesitant children by his example. He returned to the course repeatedly throughout the day to practice his bike skills.
Here are a few more examples of the NPS Club members serving as bike advocates: promoting HER Helmet Thursdays, attending municipal planning meetings to be sure the voices of cyclists are heard, and participating in new Bike Week events. Even the bike corrals on the NPS campus show that the Naval Postgraduate School is a bike-friendly place!
Below: NPS cyclist Seth Hooper at the PAL Bike Fair, answering questions about the Club’s activities.
A heads-up on direx to all Twilight Rides
Refer to the helpful direx provided on the NPS May 2011 flier below. Click on image to enlarge.
Click on the image of the above flier to enlarge it.
Look for the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca marquee along Highway 68 (Monterey-Salinas Highway).
History of the Twilight Rides
For the fourth consecutive year, in 2012, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is hosting bicyclists for monthly Twilight Rides. The raceway’s Twilight Rides are a partnership with community cycling clubs to create a safe, fun place to ride for cyclists of all ages and skills.
“The thousands of area cyclists who have tackled the challenging 11-turn 2.238-mile course are pleased that we are continuing this program,” said Ann Bixler, Vice President of Event Operations for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “The raceway’s beautifully smooth pavement with no traffic concerns is a dream for any cyclist.”
Check out a Youtube of the Twilight Rides at the NPS Cycling Club website: http://www.npscc.org/index.cfm/cycling_club.htm
About the venue
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was established in 1957. The world-renowned raceway has been operated since its inception by the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP), a not-for-profit 501c(4) corporation. Each race season, SCRAMP donates its net proceeds to the volunteer groups that help put on the races.