The Anthem Moonlight Ride Lets Families Shine
By: Cameron Murphy
The Anthem Moonlight Ride is a safe and exciting summer outing for all ages
For Shannon Couvillion, her husband Doug, and their daughters Emily and Mariel, the Anthem Moonlight Ride is a signature part of summer. Every August, wearing glow sticks and sporting lights on their bikes and helmets, the Couvillions illuminate the streets of Richmond. It’s a family tradition in its eighth year. “We signed up for the Anthem Moonlight Ride because my husband enjoyed cycling,” Shannon said. “He thought it would be a good way to include our family on a ride.”
The event is open to riders of all skill levels and offers two distance options (15 miles and 8 miles) on a course closed to vehicle traffic, along with starting waves based on participants’ riding experience. Mariel and Emily were seven and 10 the first time they rode, Mariel via a tandem bike attachment. Now 14 and 17, the girls continue to take part in the event with their parents. Said Shannon, “We keep coming back year after year because it’s a safe and fun ride on our bikes through the streets of Richmond at night.” The ride is free of vehicular traffic, providing the perfect way for Richmonders to explore their city.
The course, the costumes, and the post-ride celebration
The Anthem Moonlight Ride is also an ideal event for participants to see some of Richmond’s most welcoming and scenic neighborhoods. In the past, the Couvillions have invited grandparents, creating warm memories of cycling through Richmond as spectators cheer them on. Riding through the Near West End, Lakeside, Scott’s Addition, and Monument Avenue, riders see the best of the city under the stars. Bryan Park is a favorite spot: “The path is lit with glow sticks and it’s really a sight to see,” said Shannon.
Another draw for the ride is the Virginia Credit Union Costume Contest. “It’s fun to see everyone’s creativity among our family and all of the other participants,” said Shannon of the contest. With solo, duo/group, and youth categories, the contest sparks originality among cyclists of all ages. Past looks have ranged from Harry Potter characters, to Greek gods, to Olympians. “Some people come up with the best costumes and lighted displays,” Shannon added. Participants receive awards at the Agee’s Post-Ride Party, an outdoor celebration for the whole family.
With beer from Sierra Nevada, pizza, ice cream, and live music from local favorites The Jangling Reinharts, the Agee’s Post-Ride Party is the ideal summer send off. The Couvillion family will be there, wearing their signature lights and glow sticks. Said Shannon of the Anthem Moonlight Ride, “It’s a special opportunity that we look forward to each year.”
The Anthem Moonlight Ride is set for Saturday, August 26th at 8:00p.m. Online registration is open until August 23rd at 11:59 P.M. It costs $40 for adults and $20 for youth 8-14. Walk-up registration will be available on August 26th and will cost $50 for adults and $25 for youth 8-14. Visit www.sportsbackers.org for registration and more information.