The nation’s first urban cycling festival, NEOCycle presented by Ohio Savings Bank, is positioned for substantial growth in its second year, the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission announced Wednesday. The cycling and outdoor lifestyle event headquartered at Edgewater Park in the Cleveland Metroparks Lakefront Reservation is expected to draw nearly 4,000 registered cyclists and tens of thousands of spectators and attendees while infusing $400,000 into the local economy this weekend. The inaugural event featured 2,700 cyclists, 10,000 attendees and $250,000 in economic activity.
The three-day event includes unique rides, competitive races, a two-stage music fest, cycling demos, food trucks, beer garden, vendors and activities. Ride and race registration information and pricing can be found at www.NEOCycle.org. Online registration closes Friday at noon. Cyclists will also be able to register on-site. The event’s festival, named The Hub at Edgewater Park presented by Subaru, including the NEOCycle Music Fest presented by ERC is free to attend.
“NEOCycle has quickly become a special event for the Sports Commission and our great partners who have helped make it a success,” said David Gilbert, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission President and CEO. “It truly is a unique event, not just in our region, but in the nation. NEOCycle will take a big step forward in 2015 in numbers of attendees and economic activity and the foundation is set for it to continue to grow for many years to come.”
The spotlight ride of the event is Saturday’s Night Ride presented by Cuyahoga Community College which features an exclusive opportunity for over 2,000 cyclists to bike down the Memorial Shoreway. The route features unique views of Downtown Cleveland and Lake Erie and participants will receive an official event t-shirt and tube wrap bike light with their registration. The Night Ride route will close the eastbound lanes of the Memorial Shoreway between Lake Avenue and the Municipal Parking Lot from 6:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Other NEOCycle rides and races include the Velodrome presented by C.A. Litzler Co., Inc. (Friday), Edgewater Cyclocross (Saturday), MCPc Fundo presented by Bike Cleveland (Sunday) and Criterium in Battery Park (Sunday). New to the event in 2015 is Stand Up Paddleboard races (Saturday). The Cleveland Velodrome, Team Spin (Edgewater Cyclocross), Bike Cleveland (Fundo), Case Cycling (Criterium) and NALU Stand Up Paddle and Surf each manage the respective races and rides.
“One reason we created NEOCycle was to promote and continue to grow cycling culture and infrastructure in our region,” says Gilbert. “We are fortunate to have several tremendous partners that are also committed to that goal.”
The free Hub at Edgewater Park will feature over 50 cycling and outdoor lifestyle vendors, dozens of food trucks, beer garden, Thriller BMX shows, a question and answer session with the “Father of Mountain Biking” Gary Fisher, kids zone and more. The Hub will be open Saturday from 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The NEOCycle Music Fest will be headlined by Jr. Jr. (formerly Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.). The Michigan indie-pop group will play at 9:30 p.m. as the Night Ride comes to a close. 20 other acts will play the two-stage music fest on Saturday and Sunday including The Modern Electric, The Speedbumps, Seafair and PHASES.