Midnight Mystery Ride turns TEN

Meeting at the Night Hawk on N Interstate for the January 2007 MMR. This was also a memorial ride for our friend Ali, who never missed an MMR. Despite temps in the 20s F (around -5C), about 60 showed up. Photo: Jonathan Maus.

In one of those “I’m getting old” moments, tonight is the tenth anniversary of venerable Portland bike-culture institution Midnight Mystery Ride. The first ride happened on the second Friday of February 2003, and has happened every second Friday of the month, without fail*, since then. The format is simple: a ride leader proposes a meet-up location at a bar, and riders ride a distance of approximately five miles to a secret mystery location to hang out and such.

Now I’m not the creator of the ride, and can’t claim to be there since the beginning (my first attempted ride was December of 2003, and it wasn’t until April of 2004 when I attended again), but Ayleen Crotty, the founder of the ride, was inspired to create the ride after seeing my “Midnite Bicycle League” sticker that I created sometime in 2002. (Even back then I was creating mysterious, nebulous “organizations”.) I haven’t printed that sticker in years (but should at some point), but it currently lives on as a button.

Back when crappy Cateye halogen lights were the pinnacle of light-riding technology.

I’ve attended a boatload of Midnight Mystery Rides (or MMR for short) over the years, and have led a few rides as well. MMR has held a lot of meaning to me. I can’t say that I’ve been a good participant as of late, though. I don’t think I’ve been on a single ride since returning from the Cross-Con Tour in October of 2011. And I doubt I’ll attend the ride tonight, as I have to wake up quite early to lead the Battle Ground Lake camping trip this weekend. But I will make it to a few rides in 2013, I promise you.

The mysterious folks at MMR are in the midst of creating a map of all the ride destinations over the past ten years. I still need to add my destinos (as it is called in MMR parlance) to the map, once I remember exactly when and where they are. (I’m getting old!)

If you are down for some mysterious riding action tonight (Friday February 8), meet at the RED FOX, 5128 N Albina Ave, at 11pm. At midnight, we ride.

The Jan 2007 MMR ended by the Steel Bridge. The bonfire was quite welcome.

*Supposedly one ride leader bailed, but I’m not sure.

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