L.A.T.E. Ride: Light Up the Night


Saturday night/Sunday morning; June 21/22


1:00 a.m.


Buckingham Fountain (500 S Columbus Dr) | Chicago


View Map


Friends of the Parks

There are cycling events. Then there's Chicago's iconic L.A.T.E. Ride. Celebrating its 26th year in 2014, this non-competitive nocturnal bike ride will take place over the longest days of the year: Summer Solstice weekend. 

"Light Up the Night with Friends of the Parks"! Participants are encouraged to have fun with nightglow garb and 'light-up' trimmings. Awards with be given for the most creatively decorated bike and bike helmet at the pre-ride party that starts at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 21. 

A wildly popular annual event, The L.A.T.E Ride is presented by Friends of the Parks (FOTP), an acclaimed non-profit park advocacy organization founded in 1975 and dedicated to preserving, protecting and improving Chicago area parks and forest preserves. 

Participation in The LATE Ride helps Friends of the Parks make parks cleaner, safer and helps provide park programs for all Chicagoans to enjoy. The 2014 L.A.T.E. Ride will fund FOTP's Chicago Plays Program, an initiative that will build more than 100 new playgrounds for children in Chicago's neighborhoods. 

In addition to the Chicago Plays Program, Friends of the Parks recruits over 5,000 volunteers annually who help on Earth Day and other events to clean, plant and improve Chicago's parks and preserves; teaches environmental education to 800 elementary and 125 high school students; awards $10,000 in seed 
grantshttp://solidsaving-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png to park advisory councils; and hosts free lectures, tours, seminars and conferences for citizens and park advocates in Chicago. 

How to Registerhttp://solidsaving-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Click Here to Register Onlinehttp://solidsaving-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png. 

Online registration closes at midnight on June 18, 2014. 


  • VIP Registration $75 until February 1 at midnight
  • Early Bird Special! $40 until February 28 at midnight
  • $45 until June 1 at midnight
  • $50 until June 18 at midnight
  • $50 on-site registration (no complimentary t-shirt)
  • $20 volunteer rate

What You Receive When Registering
VIP ($75 until June 1): VIP wave (lead the pack at the ride!), VIP Breakfast, LED Wheel Valve Cap, Glow-in-the-dark t-shirt, Bib number, Glow necklace, Map, Sponsor 

Early Bird ($40 until February 28): First 1,000 will be in the first wave behind the VIP wave, Glow-in-the-dark t-shirt, Bib number, Glow necklace, Map, Sponsor Coupons

Regular ($45 until June 1): Glow-in-the-dark t-shirt, Bib number, Glow necklace, Map, Sponsor Coupons

Late ($50 until June 18): Glow-in-the-dark t-shirt, Bib number, Glow necklace, Map, Sponsor Coupons

Volunteer ($20): Glow-in-the-dark t-shirt, Bib number, Glow stick, Map, Sponsor Coupons; This category is for volunteers who sign up for one work day. Tasks include goodie bag stuffing, package pickup, night-of volunteer or as a course marshal. 


New & Fresh in 2014!
  • Rider "Waves": The first rider "wave" (aka VIP Wave) will remain the same. NEW: After that, the first 1,000 individuals who register online will automatically be placed in second wave (aka the Blue Wave). All remaining waves will be assigned based on the date you register.
  • Packet Mailing: Choose the $8 option to have your packet mailed in advance. Important: You MUST REGISTER NO LATER THAN MONDAY, MAY 19, to have your package mailed! Your mailed packet will include your t-shirt, bib number and safety pins.
  • Breakfast: When you register, choose the $12 full breakfast option to enjoy the post-ride breakfast in Grant Park. (NOTE: All VIP registrants receive a complimentary breakfast.) Breakfast can be purchased on-site, but the cost increases to $15.
  • Membership: All VIP registrants receive complimentary Friends of the Parks membership (a $35 value). All other registrants can purchase a year's membership for only $5 when registering for L.A.T.E. Ride online. To learn more about member benefits, click here.
  • Pit Stop/Rest Area: This year, the pit stop will be at Humboldt Park. It will allow riders to spread out, enjoy snacks and listen to a live band in this iconic park before finishing the rest of the ride.
  • ... And don't forget to GLOW! : This year's theme is "Light Up The Night." All pre-registrants will receive a complimentary glow-in-the-dark shirt and glow necklace.


Schedule of Events

Getting there: Area parking lots will be open and available for parking. Do NOT park on either side of Columbus Drive. Cars parked on Columbus WILL be towed!

To pick up your Rider Goodie Bag, stop by the pre-paid packet pick-up tent. If you already have your goodie bag, just be ready by 1:00 a.m. for step off.

Along the Columbus Drive sidewalk, you'll find 
portable restroomshttp://solidsaving-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png, water and the first-aid station. You'll also see the stage along Columbus Drive and Congress Blvd.

10:30 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.: Night-of-event packet pick-up and on-site registration, helmet sales and bike check-ups, plus live music! 

11:45 p.m.: Head to the stage for the annual BEST LIT BIKE and BEST DECORATED HELMET contests. 

12:50 a.m.: Look for your color group along Columbus Drive. Listen for instructions!

1:00 a.m. to 1:40 a.m.: Step Off! We will release riders south along Columbus Drive starting with VIP riders followed by five regular waves in about 8-minute intervals. Rider numbers are color-coded according to the six waves and will be released in the following order:

  • Purple (VIPs)
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow

Note: Please start with your assigned color group! If you and your friends aren't in the same color wave, we ask that you simply begin the ride together in the later wave. 

For safety reasons, no riders are allowed to start before 1:00 a.m. A "sweep" van will follow the last wave of riders. 

3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.: Complimentary post-ride snacks at Buckingham Fountain. Cycle at your own pace and plan to end your trek between 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. Watch the sunrise over the lake about 5:00 a.m.! Present your tear-off coupons on your bib number for complimentary snacks. 

Be Prepared!

  • A helmet is required. You may purchase a helmet at the Ride while supplies last.
  • Tune up your bike BEFORE the ride. You don't need to be an expert cyclist, but your bike should be in good operating condition!
  • We recommend that you equip your bike with a headlight and reflectors (or secure a headlight to your handlebars).
  • Bring your driver's license (or ID card), extra money, a spare tube, patch kit, pump, tools for minor repairs, and rain gearhttp://solidsaving-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png (just in case)! The event is rain or shine!
  • We encourage you to wear your official Ride T-shirt and rider number. Keep your Rider Guide handy too!

Rules of the Road

  • Wear your helmet at all times while riding.
  • Obey all traffic laws, signs and signals -- stay to the right, stop at red light, obey police officers and volunteer Course Marshals and ride safely!
  • Chicago Police will close off the first few miles of the route for our exclusive use. For the remaining portion of the course, you will share public roads with motor vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Maintain a reasonable speed for conditions.
  • Drinking and cycling don't mix (and is illegal). No alcoholic beverages allowed.
  • Enjoy yourself! This is a ride, NOT a race! Maintain a comfortable pace and plan to be back at Buckingham Fountain between 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Rest Stop

  • This year's rest stop is at Humboldt Park, Boat House Parking Lot will feature refreshments, bike repair, first-aid and portable restroomshttp://solidsaving-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png.
  • Please take just one of each food and beverage item so that we have enough for all!
  • Please be considerate of the residents who live in their park's neighborhood -- enter and exit the rest stop quietly!

About the Beneficiary

http://www.chicagoevents.com/cm/eventmedia/ev284/FriendsoftheParks_web_13.gifFriends of the Parks (FOTP) is a 501(c)(3) designated park advocacy organization, dedicated to preserving, protecting, and improving Chicagos parks and forest preserves for all citizens. Since 1975, FOTP has increase private and public commitment to Chicago's parks through establishing park advisory councils, developing new parks, renovating playlots, and presenting public workshops and lectures to create and informed citizenry. 

FOTP completes policy studies on public trust issues including legal analyses, as well as reports on park management and stewardship. We work with community groups and individuals to build a strong park constituency to participate meaningfully in neighborhood park decision-making process. We develop new pilot park programs, such as the successful after-school program for children, which the Park District later adopted in parks throughout the city. We organize and sponsor regular workshops, member forums, park tours and symposia to educate and publicize environmental and park issues. 

Become a Member of Friends of the Parks

Friends of the Parks is the strongest voice for the protection, preservation, expansion and improvement of the citys 8,100 acres of parks and playgrounds. 

Your membership to Friends of the Parks will help support our neighborhood parks and playground projects, environmental education, advocacy and volunteer programs throughout the city and Cook County.

Friends of the Parks' Key Programs

  • Neighborhood Parks helping make parks safer
  • Planning, Policy and Research protecting our lakefront from encroachments
  • Education training our next generation of stewards
  • Volunteer cleaning and greening our precious public land

Friends of the Parks' Initiatives

  • Collaborating with the Chicago Park District on Chicago Plays! to replace 300 playgrounds over the next 5 years
  • Partnering with Chicago Public School teachers to provide environmental education to 800 students
  • Organizing and directing nearly 6,000 volunteers on 50-plus work days to improve 140 parks and preserves
  • Planting 200 trees in Chicago's parks and mulching thousands more

Friends of the Parks' Support of Park Advisory Councils (PACs)

  • Awarded over $120,000 in Seed Grantshttp://solidsaving-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png to PACs, since 2003
  • Assist PACs in raising over $3 million for new playgrounds
  • Work with more than 120 active PACs and partner with over 50 organizations to leverage our support service - this number continues to grow annually
  • Organize Annual Park Advocacy Conference and quarterly PAC networking meetings

Join or donate online at FOTP.org

Marketinghttp://solidsaving-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png & Sponsorship Opportunities

Looking to connect with active consumers at this event? For pricing and a customized benefits package, please contact Norine Smyth at 773-584-6684 or Laura Wilke at 773-584-6669.