The nights are drawing in and you might be worrying what affect the lack of sun will have on your riding, but we’ve got your inspiration covered in the form of rides, races and events all of which take place after the sun goes down here in the UK and further afield.
No list of night rides would be complete without the Dynamo. Probably the world’s most well-known night ride, the Dunwich Dynamo celebrated its 27th year in 2019. Roughly 118 miles from London, the ‘Dun Run’ winds its way from London Fields out to the Anglo-Saxon capital of Dunwich. Leaving London Fields late evening, the horde of nearly 2000 ‘Dynamoers’ ride through the night down Essex country lanes into Sussex ending on Dunwich beach – hopefully ready to have a dip and greet the sunrise. With no official support stops it’s important to be prepared and make sure your equipment is up to the task before setting out, but with unofficial feed stops along the way as well as a couple of local cafes (and pubs!) that open early to help start your recovery, you’ll have other options if you need a mid or post race boost. Beers on the beach anyone?
Our friends at Beeline.co completed the ride last year – check out their report here – https://beeline.co/blogs/beeline-blog/dunwich-dynamo-2018-ride-report
Rapha M2L / L2M
Organised and supported by Rapha, the Manchester to London ride (this year’s ride switched start and end points) has been going strong for the past 5 years and is a charity ride in support of Ambitious about Autism. Setting off from the Allianz Arena in London bang on midnight, the ride takes in 220 miles of rolling English countryside with feed stations every 50 or so miles to keep you riding on through the night. As part of the ride, riders choose a side to represent – the North vs the South in a friendly contest for bragging rights over the quickest overall team time.
How about a 20 mile loop through a major city at night? The N.I.T.E ride (Navigate Indy This Evening) is just that! A leisurely, scenic tour of downtown Indianapolis. Setting off at 11pm and finishing with a post-ride party of live music and free food, there’s a lot to like about the N.I.T.E ride, that’s why 3000 or so riders attend the annual event.
Looking for an epic challenge? How about a 24 hour mountain bike race? Taking place in the depths of Leicestershire, Mountain Mayhem is an endurance XC race through the grounds and surrounding woodland of the private Marston Lodge estate. Nominated for the Best Event at the Singletrack Reader Awards, the Mountain Marathon takes place over a long weekend in June, making the most of the British summer (in theory!) for three days of camping, racing and entertainment.
LA Critical Mass
Taking place on the last Friday of the month, America’s largest community bike ride, LA’s Critical Mass rides attracted over 4000 cyclists to their monthly rides. Aiming to ‘celebrate bicycling and encourage cycling as a leisure activity, as a sport or as a means of transportation’ the LA Critical Mass offers an inclusive and positive way of exploring LA and getting to know other cyclists as part of a fun, social ride and ‘rolling conversation’ heading to a different part of the city each month departing in the evening and taking in 20-30 miles of riding and socialising.
Ride To The Sun
Some of these ideas aren’t fully completed in moonlight, so how about 100 miles through the night on quiet country roads from England across the border to Scotland – lit only by moonlight and bike lights? Following the route of the Roman legions who trudged the long road from Luguvalium (Carlisle) to the old garrison camp of Caer Amon (Cramond) this century ride takes in 1267m of ascent over the winding route to Cramond Beach. Unashamedly inspired by the Dunwich Dynamo, the Ride to the Sun follows the same informal organisation, taking in a couple of feed stops and finishing (if you’ve timed it correctly) with sunrise at Crammond Beach – don’t forget the mid route ‘CycloRave’ at The Crook Inn.
Now you’ve got some inspiration you’re ready to ride off into the sunset. Don’t forget the most important parts of any ride, whatever time it is – staying safe and secure! Don’t leave home without your helmet, lights, or a lock. There are a huge variety of all three available out there, but in terms of locks, we’d recommened one of our Z LOK security ties for any short stops – perfect for registraition, feed stops, or the post-ride rest.