Preparing Your Bicycle for a Night Ride.

Byron Kidd
Social night rides are taking off around the world. Inspired by the San Jose Bike party Tokyo's monthly Night Pedal Cruising and Melbourne's Ride the Night are gathering increasingly large numbers of cyclists and the concept is taking off all over the world.

 Night rides are a social occasion where bicycle lovers come together for a party, not a grueling 50km time trial that leaves your legs feeling like jelly. They attract people from all walks of life who ride a whole range of bicycles from your conventional road and mountain bikes, to city bikes, cargo bikes, recumbent and tall bikes. At these rides its not the price or brand of your bicycle that earns you respect, its how much your bicycle is loved and how much you love bicycles. If your bicycle came from a dumpster but you've treasure it more than any other bicycle that will show at a night ride.

Night rides aren't just for cyclists, they're for people who love bicycles.

If you're going to be on a night ride with a few hundred other people its important that you stand out and attract attention, for that is one of the aims of a night ride, namely to draw attention to the fact that cyclists have right to be on the road. In addition to this you also have a responsibility to show passers by just how much fun a bicycle can be as well!

What better way to draw attention to yourself and the ride than with sound and lights!

Spokelights are always a favorite. They're cheap, attractive and still raise an eyebrow as they're not exactly common among cyclists other than you and your night cycling friends. Monkeyletric spoke lights are easy to install and generate an unlimited number of psychedelic patterns as you ride the night. But if you want to go even more insane the FTL FH801 Programmable Bicycle Wheel Light gives you the ability to reproduce almost any picture or video on your wheel which will certainly turn more than a few heads. Just imagine the possibilities such a wheel brings to themed rides such as Halloween and Christmas .. I'm tempted to get one myself!

Of course everyone's budget does not extend that far, nor are we all prepared to draw THAT much attention to ourselves which makes simple strings of LED lights or clip on spoke lights a perfect option for someone just starting out. They're cheap, easy to install and certainly do draw attention.

Now you're kitted out with some eye burning psychedelic lights its time to concentrate on music and for that you'll be pleased to know there is a whole range of convenient portable Bluetooth speakers which are suitable for cyclists. Quite some time ago I reviewed two very popular speakers at the time the Scosche Boom Bottle and the Philips ShoqBox Bluetooth speaker but in the end chose to go with the Philips SoundShooter which has the perfect balance of portability, volume and sound quality for all my night riding needs.

So why don't you gear up and join your local night ride and if you're in Tokyo on the third Saturday of the month come join us on the Night Pedal Cruising ride!

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  2. Love this article, as someone who used to live in San Jose and a proud member sjb, glad to see such events gain popularity on Japan as well.

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