Twilight Ride with Outgoing Mayor Michael Coleman

Emily Thompson
Mayor Michael B. Coleman

In the twilight of his mayoral career, Mayor Michael Coleman will lead his final Mayor's Twilight Ride on July 10. What began as a daytime bike ride in 2008 with 40 participants has grown into an annual evening event that this year is expected to draw at least 700 riders.

"Bicycling is a fun way to be physically active," says Barb Seckler, director of the Institute for Active Living at Columbus Public Health. "Active living is all about getting people moving and eating well, and Twilight is symbolic of that."

This year's 13-mile route will take riders past sites that recall Coleman's legacy: Columbus Commons, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams production facility, city-supported gardens, affordable housing projects and more. "People come out and wave and cheer when we're going through different neighborhoods," Seckler says.

Riders must be at least 13 years old, but all experience levels are welcome; bicycle rider ambassadors will lead advanced, moderate and leisurely groups. Afterward, stick around for a free Rhythm on the River performance at the Bicentennial Park Performing Arts Pavilion, featuring Latin jazz act Sammy DeLeon y su Orquesta. "[The mayor will] get up on stage with the band afterward, as he always does," Seckler says.

Tickets are $40, and proceeds go to Kids Cycle Columbus, which provides kids in need with bikes, helmets and bike locks. In the last three years, 200 kids have benefitted from Twilight Ride proceeds.