About the 2023 Moonlight Loop

What is the Moonlight Loop?

The Moonlight Loop is a leisurely 19-mile evening bike ride around scenic Columbus, Indiana – passing several architectural gems along the way.

When is it?

Saturday, July 29, 2023 with a start time of 9pm.

Please Note: Because this is a night ride – this is NOT a race, (cyclists primarily travel together as a group) and everyone will depart the start line at 9pm, (so be there, be ready & plan pre-ride bathroom breaks accordingly).

Where is it?

The ride begins and ends in front of the Bartholomew County Public Library/Visitor’s Center Plaza at
536 Fifth Street, Columbus, Indiana.

View Course Map >>

Who benefits?

The Moonlight Loop is a fundraiser for Columbus Animal Care Services (CACS).  Located at 2730 Arnold Street in Columbus, CACS provides animal shelter and field services for the Columbus community. The event is co-sponsored by CACS and its non-profit fundraising partner, the Friends of CACS.

Funds generated from the Moonlight Loop go directly to CACS’s Adoption/Medical Fund.  This Fund is NOT supported by city tax dollars and relies entirely on fees, fines, fundraising (like the Moonlight Loop!) and tax-deductible monetary or in-kind donations to cover services such as:

  • Spay/Neuter Costs
  • Medical treatment for animals (both in house and in foster care)
  • Medical requirements for transport
  • Pet Food
  • Promotion of Adoptions & Educational Programs

Why should you ride?

Because it is for a great cause!! The animals need our help, and doing a bike ride at night is a lot of FUN!

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

Registration is $30 through June 30, 2023, $35 from July 1-28, and $40 on race day.

Please note that online registration will end at 11:00 pm Friday, July 28.  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 28 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 14. While we were thrilled with the turn out in previous years, 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.


The 19-mile ride begins and ends in front of the Bartholomew County Public Library/Visitor’s Center Plaza.   The route starts by heading east & then north to the SAG stop at the Columbus Learning Center (approximately the half-way point of the ride).  There will be a required stop at the SAG to allow the pack to reunite before continuing – so take advantage of the refreshments and restrooms while the cyclists regroup.  From there the ride continues west & then south, winding down a luminary-lit road and making a loop through the covered bridge in Mill Race Park on the way back to the library.  This is NOT a closed route!  Stay to the right half of the street & ride responsibly.

Please note: Although this is a leisurely ride, riders unable to maintain around a 10mph pace may be ‘picked up’ by our SAG vehicles and moved forward on the route or taken to the finish if they fall too far behind the other riders.


Safety for all participants is our prime objective! And we need your help…

We need you to:

  • Wear a Helmet
  • Have both a Headlight & a Taillight on your bike
  • Have riders younger than 16 ride on a tandem or bicycle attachment with someone 16 or older
  • Secure any pet companions safely in a bicycle wagon or trailer
  • Ride responsibly, follow traffic laws (yield right of way) & stay aware of your surroundings
  • Wear light colors or reflective clothing…and we encourage you to decorate yourself and your bike with lights & enter our “light up the night” contest

The Moonlight Loop provides the following:

  • Riders will be led by a Columbus Police Department (CPD) squad car
  • A vehicle using flashers will follow the final cyclists at the rear
  • CPD or Sheriff Reserve Department will assist with traffic at all major intersections
  • Volunteers will be at smaller intersections along the way
  • Roving radio-equipped SAG vehicles will be available to pick up cyclists experiencing issues or falling behind
  • EMTs are on alert & placed within minutes of the route
  • First Aid is available at the SAG stop
Light Up Your Bike, Light Up The Night Contest

To assist with being “seen”, and to simply have fun, a prize 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! Contest will be held at 8:30pm, prior to ride start.

Dining and Lodging

Use the following links to locate options for dining and lodging in the Columbus area.

To locate dining options: Restaurant and dining guide for Columbus, Indiana

To find a place to stay: Guide to lodging options in Columbus, Indiana


For event-related questions, please contact the Event Organizers at moonlightloop@columbus.in.gov, or call CACS at 812-376-2505.