LOOP bike ride switches gears due to COVID concerns

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Specified riding groups and no post-ride barbecue among 2020 changes

By Josh Bootsma

LOOP (Lansing Out On Pedals) will take place again this year, rain or shine. However, whereas the bike ride around Lansing usually only contends with heat and bad weather, this year the event is pedaling its way around the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organized by the Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce, LOOP is a 15-mile bike ride around Lansing that ends with riders travelling down a lit runway at the Lansing Municipal Airport after dark. 2020 will mark the resilient event’s eighth year.

This year will be LOOP’s 8th time bringing riders to the lit runway of the Lansing Municipal Airport. (Photo from chamberoflansing.com)

Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce Director Amy Todd said despite initial uncertainty about whether or not the event could take place, after consultation with the Village it was determined that under certain circumstances LOOP could continue in 2020.

Those circumstances include the following:

  • There is no in-person registration for LOOP this year, either at the Lansing Chamber office or on the day of the event. Registration must be completed online.
  • The event will start promptly at 5 p.m. on September 19 to limit the amount of time riders will be together in the Fox Pointe staging area.
  • Riders will be put in groups of 40 or less. These groups will be given staggered start times to start the race.
  • Masks must be worn while in the Fox Pointe staging area before the ride, but can be removed while biking.
  • There will be pre-packaged snacks available for riders to take “to go” instead of a hot dog barbecue.

Because the festivities will be limited, this year’s LOOP will include a bike decorating contest. “We’re really looking for people to light up their bikes. Because it is an evening ride, we’d really like to have fun with lights or other fun decorations,” Todd said. “We think that would be a little fun added to the event, because things are different this year.”

Rain played an unwelcome role in the 2018 LOOP event. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma, 2018)

Prior to 2019, LOOP was held in the summer. Last year, organizers wanted to avoid poor weather and hot temperatures by moving the event to September. The event last year “had a little bit of mist” according to Todd, who said that in years past there were two rides that had to be cancelled halfway through due to bad weather. In LOOP’s first year, the event was an overnight tour of Lansing, with bikers getting finished around 2 a.m. The dates and times have been moved throughout the years to make the event more accessible. This year’s LOOP is on a Saturday and will run from 5 – 9 p.m.

The LOOP ride starts with 12 miles around Lansing followed by a break before the final three miles stretch, which brings riders to the Lansing Municipal Airport where they will be guided by runway lights.

Early registration is available now through September 6 for $20. Registration from September 7—17 is $40. Early registration guarantees a T-Shirt, backpack, and snacks. Registration is available on the Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce’s website.