Chase the Moon on midnight bike ride

Just in case this summer hasn't quite lived up to expectations yet, kick yours into high gear by registering for one of the best biking experiences in the Midwest.

Chase the Moon is a wonderful recreational midnight ride that never fails to deliver thrills.

On the night of Saturday, July 30, riders will once again have the opportunity to travel the typically limited-access roads of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, including the beautiful inner ring with cooling ponds.

Because the route comprises several loops, riders have the choice of customizing their route to pedal anywhere from two to 20 miles that night.

This year, the city of Warrenville has welcomed the riders to begin and end at a brand new location, the Warrenville Commons Shopping Center, located at the northeast corner of Route 59 and Batavia Road.

In addition to the opportunity to ride a fully-supported nocturnal course, each rider will also receive a short-sleeved, 100% cotton Chase the Moon T-shirt and a healthy breakfast upon returning. Music and pre-ride festivities will begin at 10 p.m. Saturday, July 30, with the ride officially starting at 12:01 a.m. on July 31.

My daughter, Savannah, has joyfully pedalled this ride with me for many years and just happens to have a knack for putting her experiences down in writing. Here's how she describes participating: “Chase the Moon takes everything you know about cycling to an incredible new level. Anticipation builds at the start line, counting down to midnight, when all at once hundreds of riders break loose into the night. Mist blankets the ponds beside the road, and late-night crickets applaud your every move.

“The sense of exhilaration is like electricity in the air; it charges your every muscle. When you're out there with no hot, beating sun or bright, distracting sights, the road ahead of you is all that is not hidden from view by shadows and fog.

The world centers on that bit of road in front of you. It's like stepping into an entirely different world — and sticking around for twenty miles.”

The Conservation Foundation is once again running the event and it is a big fundraiser for them. Established in 1972 by business and community leaders, The Conservation Foundation is a private, not-for-profit land and watershed protection organization serving Northeastern Illinois. Its mission is to preserve natural areas and open space, protect rivers and watersheds, and promote stewardship of our environment.

Even if you've never ridden at night, pick up a headlight and join us — it's great fun!

For more information, and to register before it sells out, visit

Ÿ Todd Underwood covers cycling in the Chicago area. To contact him, email or write to c/o Daily Herald, 385 Airport Road, Suite A, Elgin, IL 60123.