Dig Baton Rouge

The Biking Dead: The Zombie Ride

By John Hanley

This Friday, October 3rd, the Capital Region Planning Commission (CRPC) and the BRPD, in conjunction with local dance company Of Moving Colors and Marmillion/Gray Media, will be holding the Zombie Ride, a community bike ride in downtown Baton Rouge, alongside Of Moving Colors’ annual event, the Zombie Bash.

The goal of the ride: to promote safety among the young professional community of Baton Rouge bikers.

“It’s a way to engage the community in a fun way, while at the same time promoting safety,” J.T. Sukits, Transportation Alternatives Coordinator at the CRPC, explained, adding that shows like The Walking Dead have kept younger people interested in zombies, which he hopes will offer a good medium for young bikers to learn about safety.

“Research shows more than half of bicycle fatalities occur between 7 p.m. and midnight with 78 Louisiana bicyclists losing their lives during these hours and 19 more between midnight and 6 a.m. in the past five years,” CRPC Executive Director Jamie Setze said in a release. “We want to reach out to both drivers and cyclists to develop a message that encourages safe road habits.”

All ages are invited to dress up in their best Halloween costumes, grab their bikes, and head downtown to the Brickyard South Bar across from the 13th Gate Haunted House for an evening of biking, dancing, food and more.

The event begins at 7 pm and will traverse the Mississippi River levee from Brickyard South to LSU and back.

Zombie Ride participants will also be able to purchase tickets for entry into the Bash’s food and drinks that will be available after the run and Zombie Ride. Tickets will be sold at the event.

The Zombie Bash includes a 1-mile fun run and 5K run, which are $20 and $25 respectively, and can be registered for via the Of Moving Colors website, ofmovingcolors.org. On site payment will be an extra $5. The runs begin at 6:30 pm and 6:45 pm, and follow a different route than the Zombie Ride.

At the end of the Bash, a special moonlight rendition of Michael Jackson’s famous “Thriller” dance will be performed by the Of Moving Colors Company dancers, along with anyone who wants to join. Free classes are being offered by the company to learn the dance. Information on classes can be found at ofmovingcolors.org.

The Zombie Ride is free and open to everyone, but the CRPC reminds anyone participating in the Ride that they must have bike lights on their bike to participate, as required by law.

The CRPC has worked with the BRPD, local officials, the bike community, and the youth in Baton Rouge to put on the Ride as part of the CRPC’s Bike & Pedestrian Safety Campaign to promote safe transportation habits. With the launch of this campaign, the CRPC has been hoping to reach out to bikers and pedestrians in the community and teach them how to stay safe on the roads in and around Baton Rouge.

“Fall is a busy time with many activities going on at LSU, Southern and Baton Rouge Community College, in addition to high schools throughout the Capital Region which would allow us to reach our target audience,” Sukits said in a release.  “This is the first of several outreach efforts we will doing to reach students to encourage them to be safe on our roads, especially at night.”

When: Friday, October 3rd at 7:00pm

Where: Brickyard South Bar across from The 13th Gate

Why: To have fun and learn how to stay safe when biking and walking around Baton Rouge

How: Just show up! All you need is a bike!

More info: Go to OfMovingColors.org for more information about the Zombie Bash or to register for the 5K or 1-mile runs.

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