The G'Knight Ride is gearing up again.
The combination bike ride and community party is now in its fourth year and expecting at least 3,000 people to show up Saturday at Roosevelt Park. If so, it would continue a trend of constant growth: 1,200 in 2011, 2,300 in 2012 and at least 2,600 last year.
All of them hungry, by the way. The number of food trucks demanded by the event has also shot upward, from four in 2011 to 14 this year.
"They've sold out every year," said Ryan Kragerud of Bicycle Longmont, which organizes the annual ride. He chuckled. "That's what a 12-mile ride is all about, right?"
Besides the main 12-mile ride, the event also features a 3-mile ride, a 1-mile ride, a kid zone, music by Thunk and the Freddy Jones Band ... and a chance to make a bit of a mess. The Firehouse Art Center will be spreading out floor mats with watercolors on them; cyclists will ride across the mats and then over pieces of canvas, creating a sort of bike art.
"What it sort of looks like is a forest and trees,"said Kragerud, who's seen what the method can do. "One trunk and a lot of branches off of it. It's a real neat layering effect you get to witness."
The name comes from Gordon Knight, a helicopter pilot and professional brewer who died in 2002 while fighting fires from the air near Rocky Mountain National Park.
The route itself a bit has changed due to the damage September's flood did to the St. Vrain Greenway and now includes a lane of Ken Pratt Boulevard between South Bowen St. and the railroad tracks. A complete description of the routes can be found online at http://gknightride.org/routes.html
The main G'Knight Ride launches at 5 p.m., followed by the 3-mile "Nite Ize" ride and the 1-mile "Heart of Longmont" ride. The concerts in Roosevelt Park will go on until 10 p.m.; an after-party will be held at the Pumphouse, 540 Main St., for riders who want to stay out later.
The ride is also the principal fundraiser for Bicycle Longmont, which uses the money for community programs.
"It's kind of cool to see it turn into a major event," said Kragerud, who still remembers expecting 20 people in 2011 and getting 200. ""And it's something the community gets a lot out of as well."
Contact Times-Call staff writer Scott Rochat at 303-684-5220 or firstname.lastname@example.org