What is the Moonlight Loop?

The Moonlight Loop is an evening bicycle ride of approximately 19 miles around scenic Columbus, Indiana, to benefit Columbus Animal Care Services (CACS).  The ride will take place on Saturday, July 30, 2022.   Modeled after the Indy N.I.T.E. ride in Indianapolis, Indiana, the ride will make a loop around the City of Columbus, passing several architectural gems along the way.

2022 marks the 8th year for this ride.  In the past eight years of the ride’s existence, the event has netted over $81,000 for Animal Care Services.

Photo Gallery

Moonlight Loop Map


Click here to register online

Click here to download a printable registration form*

*Printed forms should be returned to Columbus Animal Care Services, 2730 Arnold St., Columbus, IN 47203.

Registration is $30 through July 29, 2022
Event day registration (July 30, 2022) is $35

Please note that online registration will end at 11:00 pm Friday, July 29.  After that time you will need to plan to register at the event with cash or check.  Individuals living in Columbus can still register at the shelter thru Friday, July 29 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Individuals who pre-register will receive an official inaugural ride glow-in-the-dark t-shirt upon checking in for the ride.  The registration fee includes the T-shirt (for pre-registered riders only),   SAG wagons (support vehicles), and SAG station refreshments at the mid-point of the ride.  Additional T-shirts may be pre-ordered.

PLEASE NOTE THAT T-SHIRTS ARE NOT GUARANTEED AFTER JULY 13.  While we were THRILLED with the turnout last year, many participants signed up closer to the event and our t-shirt order estimate was too low.  If you know your plans and definitely want a t-shirt, please help us out with planning and save yourself some money as well.    T-shirts are men’s sizes so please order accordingly.

Riders may register online here, by printing off a paper registration or by requesting one at moonlightloop@columbus.in.gov.  If you live in Columbus, you may visit Animal Care Services between 10-5 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday or 10:00 am -12:00 pm on Saturday (closed Sundays & Thursdays) and check out our adorable adoptable pets while you sign up for the ride!

Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email, with additional information on accommodations and reminders.

Volunteers Needed!

If you are traveling with folks who are not riders or just want to come out and help with the cause, we can definitely use your help!  If you are interested in volunteering, please call 812-376-2505 or email: moonlightloop@columbus.in.gov.   We welcome individuals’ help as well as group help throughout the ride.  Volunteers will receive a free volunteer t-shirt and our never-ending gratitude!  Volunteers at the SAG/food stop need to be 13 to volunteer with a parent or guardian.  On the route, Volunteers need to be 16 and with a parent/guardian.

Who organizes the ride, who benefits, and why?

The Moonlight Loop is a fundraiser for Columbus Animal Care Services (CACS), which is a department of the City of Columbus.  The event is co-sponsored by their partner organization, Friends of Columbus Animal Care Services, the fundraising arm of Columbus Animal Care Services.   We are located at 2730 Arnold Street.  The agency provides shelter services as well as field services for the community. All Moonlight Loop funds generated through this event are used to support the agency’s Adoption Medical Fund which covers spaying and neutering costs, pet care services, veterinarian treatment for pets housed at the facility, medical requirements for transports, and pet food as well as promotion of adoptions and educational programs.

The Animal Care Services Department is operated by city tax dollars, through fines/fees and monetary donations.  However, the general operating budget only covers basic services including wages, utilities, and maintenance of both the facility and vehicles. The Adoption/Medical fund does not use tax dollars and is supported by fines, fees, and monetary donations.  Our budget relies heavily on monetary and in-kind donations by the public that allows us to stretch our dollars further than otherwise possible.   Donations made to CACS are considered tax-deductible as Animal Care Services is a department within the City of Columbus, a political subdivision of the State of Indiana, and all donations will be used solely for public purposes.


Unlike many bicycle rides, there is only one route on this ride and all cyclists will travel together as a group.  The ride begins and ends in front of the Bartholomew County Public Library/Visitor’s Center plaza, with a starting time of 9 p.m.  Please note this is NOT a rolling start as is the case with many organized rides.  Riders need to be lined up and ready to go by 9 p.m.  Please listen to announcements, have your bike and gear ready to go, and plan pre-ride bathroom breaks accordingly so you are not left behind!

The route first heads east and then north to the one and only scheduled SAG stop at the Columbus Learning Center for refreshments and restrooms.  There will be a required break at the SAG stop to allow the pack to reunite before continuing.   From there, the ride continues west and south and includes a loop through Mill Race Park on its way back to the Library.


Safety for all participants is our prime objective!!  As the ride begins promptly at 9.p.m., riders in the front will follow (be led by) a Columbus Police Department (CPD) squad car.  Rear riders will be followed by a vehicle using its flashers.   Along the way CPD or Sheriff Reserve Department personnel will be assisting with traffic at all major intersections and volunteers will be at smaller intersections along the way.  It is important to note that while everyone’s individual speed and skill level will vary, this is an organized ride, not a race, and therefore riders are asked to stay together as much as possible throughout the ride.

The route has been designed with the assistance of cyclists, to allow the rider to see as much as possible of the city (via the less-traveled roads) while achieving maximum availability of lighting along the way.  The route has been examined by area law enforcement staff to ensure the Moonlight Loop Ride has ample volunteers and security staff along the way.  While this is not a race, riders who can average a 10mph pace will feel the most comfortable on this ride.

NOTE: There will not be a road/lane closing so your vigilance is imperative.  Bicyclists are required to wear a helmet and have both a headlight and taillight to participate in the ride.  A small number of headlights, taillights, and helmets MAY be available for purchase at the ride through our bike vendors but please come prepared.

Due to the inherent danger of riding at night, individual riders must be at least 16 years old.  Younger riders are more than welcome to ride while attached to a person 16 or older via a tandem bicycle or bicycle attachment.

Be safe-be seen!! It is suggested that riders wear light, and/or reflective clothing to assist with visibility.  Riders are encouraged to obey all traffic laws and regulations.  It is also very important to note that the use of headphones, earbuds, etc. is prohibited. 

While this is a benefit for the animals, in order to keep both pets and humans safe, animals should not accompany the rider unless secured safely in a bicycle wagon or trailer.

Light Up Your Bike, Light Up The Night Contest

To assist us with being “seen”, and to simply have fun, prizes will be offered for the most well-lit bicycle (and rider).  Feel free to go crazy with your lights on your bikes… just remember not to blind yourself with your glow!  The contest will be held at 8:30 pm, prior to ride start.


The Moonlight Loop will be held in Columbus, Indiana, which is approximately an hour drive south of Indianapolis and 90 minutes north of Louisville, Kentucky off of I 65.  The ride will start and end in downtown Columbus, at 536 Fifth Street, which is directly adjacent to the Columbus Visitor’s Center.

Columbus is known as the “Athens of the Prairie” for its modern architecture.  Out-of-town riders are encouraged to spend the weekend and enjoy the local architectural tours! (Reservations are recommended).

Dining Options

If you are planning to come early, please plan to visit some of the downtown’s many dining establishments.  Within easy walking distance of the event, there are at least 15 different restaurants to enjoy.


There are over 5000 parking spaces in the downtown area, including parking garages.   All are within easy walking distance of the event start/end point.

Packet Pick-Up

Packet pick-up will begin at 7 pm event day.

Overnight Accommodations

There are numerous options for those interested in staying overnight on Saturday. A list of accommodations will be sent via email with your registration confirmation.  If you do not receive an email confirmation within 48 hours of your registration, please contact moonlightloop@columbus.in.gov.


First-Aid will be available at the SAG station at the mid-way point and roving radio-equipped SAG wagons will also be patrolling the routes for riders with biking issues.  Our emergency personnel EMTs will be on alert for any emergencies and will be placed within minutes of the route.

Important Notice

Please remember that this route is NOT a closed route.  As such we ask each rider to ride responsibly and be aware of their surroundings.  Please take notice of traffic waiting to pass, for possible oncoming traffic while climbing hills (very small hills, if any), and going around curves.  We will have volunteers and security personnel in as many locations as possible.  However, for your own safety as well as the safety of other cyclists, please keep your eyes on traffic and be ready to stop and yield the right of way if an automobile does not appear to be stopping or slowing.  Also, please stay to the right unless you are another cyclist. Don’t let an accident ruin your ride. 

Additional Questions

Still have a question about the ride?  If so, please feel free to call 812-376-2505 from 10 am to 5 pm eastern standard time or email at moonlightloop@columbus.in.gov. You are welcome to leave a message on the phone if calling after hours and someone will call you back the next business day.