The Egyptian Theatre announced June 9 that its annual Ride Like an Egyptian event, originally scheduled for Aug. 15, has been cancelled.
Ride Like an Egyptian is an annual all-day bike ride event hosted by the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St., where participants ride 25 miles from the Egyptian Theatre to a Central Rest Stop in Maple Park, according to the Egyptian Theatre’s website. From this Rest Stop, riders can either ride back to the Egyptian Theatre or engage in three alternate 25 mile loops.
“With this design, you could do as much [riding] as you wanted,” Jeanine Holcomb, Marketing and Communications Director of the Egyptian Theatre, said.
Egyptian Theatre volunteers would assist in registration outside the theater while other volunteers, who participate exclusively in this event, would tend to the Central Rest Stop, Holcomb said. Among these volunteers is Bard Josh, a former board member of the Egyptian Theatre, who would help coordinate volunteers to pick up riders in the event of flat tires or exhaustion. Holcomb described Ride Like an Egyptian as Josh’s “baby” and has credited her as a driving force behind the event.
While the event will continue in the years to come, the next Ride Like an Egyptian will not occur until 2021, Holcomb said.
“The event is a massive undertaking and we’ve seen a lot of riders,” Holcomb said. “Many events have been pushed back to the fall and we don’t want to go up against other events.”
Ride Like an Egyptian begins with registration from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. outside the Egyptian Theatre. Riders must begin their trek by 9:30 and can ride as long as they want to until the routes close at 3:30 p.m. When riders return, they can enjoy an end of the ride meal which lasts from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to the Egyptian Theatre’s website. 2020’s meal would have also provided alcoholic beverages since the Egyptian Theatre obtained a liquor license this year.
Holcomb recommends that those who wanted to participate in the event, but couldn’t, donate to the Egyptian Theatre on its website.
The Egyptian Theatre, a non-profit organization, relies on multiple sources to get its funding including ticket and concession sales, theater rentals, box office fees, donations, memberships, scholarships, grants and fundraisers, according to the Egyptian Theatre website. Two of the largest fundraisers The Egyptian Theatre takes part in are Give DeKalb County and Ride Like an Egyptian, Holcomb said.
The former, which took place on May 7, is an annual, 24-hour online event that raises money for nonprofit organizations and funds from citizens and community partners, according to the Give DeKalb County website. The 2020 fundraiser, which aided 113 organizations, generated over $1.2 million from 2,777 donors. Of this $1.2 million, over $25,000 went to the Egyptian Theatre, according to a Facebook Live video on the Egyptian Theatre’s page.
Ride Like an Egyptian typically generates a large amount of funds for the Egyptian Theatre, Holcomb said. While the event has been cancelled, staff and volunteers at the theatre will be working on other ways to generate revenue including selling popcorn and merchandise, including shirts, magnets and tumblers, at the DeKalb Farmers Market every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Van Buer Plaza, Holcomb said.