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The Meritan Midnight Classic is an annual non-competitive bike ride in that is fun for the whole family Memphis, Tennessee. The 17 miles (27 km) ride begins at midnight and travels through Overton Park, East Memphis, Midtown and Central Gardens. Currently in its 16th year, the race is the largest cycling tour in the Memphis area. More than 2,000 people attended the 2014 race, which took place on August 23, 2014. The event charges preregistration fees ranging from $20–$40, which includes a t-shirt and snacks after the ride. (which most finished around 2am). The fastest time is 59 minutes and 51 seconds. The 2015 Ride is scheduled for August 29, 2015. People interested in this event can go here to learn more about it and register to ride.
The event is preceded by the Lunar Festival, which begins at 10 p.m. and runs throughout the bike tour. The festival includes food provided by vendors, music by local artists, and booths from various bike shops in Memphis. Proceeds from both the Lunar Festival and the bike tour itself benefit Meritan, a Memphis-based non-profit providing health, social and child placement services.
Participants in the tour are allowed to ride in the road, and both Memphis police and Midnight Classic volunteers act to divert traffic, providing cyclists with empty roads and clear paths for the entire 17 mile ride. There are also several "rest stops" along the ride, which are gas stations with food and drinks available.
Recognition is also awarded to the "largest organized group of people" at the event, along with a "Bling Yourself" and "Bling your Bike" Contest. This 2015 ride features two different custom jerseys to purchase along with fun and exciting glow paint for the riders to purchase at a minimal cost.
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