The 2020-21 Challenge is over! Look for info about the 2022 challenge around November 2021 or so.
It’s a Challenge…and a Club!
Do you like riding your bike at night?
I’ve had a lot of fun with my Challenges over at Society of Three Speeds, so I wanted to do something that’s not specifically about three speed bicycles! Like Three Speed October, this is about riding your bike several times. And like Society of Three Speeds, you’ll get membership into an exclusive club, the Midnite Bicycle League!
I’ve always enjoyed night riding, especially when I have a good headlight. And winter (in the Northern Hemisphere) means the most night time to ride. Winter can be cold and dismal, so this is a way to inspire you to get on a bike during the long nights!
And it’s always fun to be part of a club, especially one with no meetings and minutes. Unlike Society of Three Speeds, the club does not have “open enrollment” throughout the year. The only way to join is by participating in the Challenge!
Back in the day of 2002 I was all about creating pseudo-societies, clubs that didn’t have membership beyond deciding to be a part of it. I was also into riding my bicycle after dark. So I whipped up a sticker to celebrate, and the Midnite Bicycle League was born. I gave the stickers away and slapped them on bike racks all over Portland.
One of these stickers caught the eye of Ayleen Crotty, who wanted to do something with it. She got in touch with me and asked if it would be okay to create a ride around the concept of riding bicycles at midnight. I gave my blessing, and the Midnight Mystery Ride debuted in February of 2003. Nearly twenty years later, this ride still happens every second Friday of the month, with its founding principle intact: A ride of about five miles, departing at midnight, heading to a mystery location.
Now it’s 2020 and I wanted to do something with this Midnite Bicycle League besides making stickers and inspiring other rides. So a challenge and a club is born.
What is the Challenge?
It’s pretty simple:
- Ride your bike at night
- Each ride at least 3 mi/5 km
- Five times during the Challenge
- You can do a maximum of two rides in a week
- And you must do rides over two months during the Challenge
The Midnite Bicycle League Challenge will happen from 1 December 2020 to 28 February 2021. All times local.
And here are the specifics:
- What do you consider night? We’ll consider it anytime between sunset and sunrise as “night”. You can check out a website like Time and Date to see your local times. And yes, local. You can’t start a ride while the sun is up and say “Well, the sun’s already set in Newfoundland”, it has to be between sunset and sunrise at your location.
- Also, you do not have to ride specifically at midnight. It can be any time while it’s dark, after sunset but before sunrise.
- Your rides must meet the minimum requirement of 3 miles or 5 kilometres, depending on which measurement system you celebrate. Yes, the ride can be longer if you want.
- You must do at least five rides between 1 December 2020 and 28 February 2021.
- You can do a maximum of two rides in a week. We are considering “weeks” to be from Sunday to Saturday. And this is important: The week starts on sunset or Sunday. So if you did a ride before sunrise on Sunday, it counts for the preceding week.
- Also important: Your rides must be on separate overnight periods (sunset to sunrise). Meaning: You can’t do a ride on Monday at 8 PM, then do one on Tuesday at 1 AM. Your two rides in a week must be separated by a daylight (sunrise to sunset) period.
- And finally: You must spread your ride over two months. And we mean calendar months. You can do four rides in December, and one in January. Or three in January and two in February. Or one in December, two in January, and two in February. You just can’t do all the rides in one single month.
What do I get if I do the Challenge?
Everyone who signs up and does at least one ride, and submits their journal:
- A membership card with your member number
- Two stickers
And everyone who completes the five rides of the challenge and submits their journal gets all of the above, plus a patch made by Falls Creek Outfitters!
As a bonus, there will also be some Midnite Bicycle League buttons inserted in the prize packs. This is first come, first served and as long as supplies last. So the sooner you submit your Official Journal, the better the chance you get buttons! Please note that buttons are only available to US participants due to the prohibitive costs of shipping buttons outside the US.
You’ll need to sign up via Etsy. There is a fee for the club and prize packs, which will be determined around the time of the challenge. This price will cover my initial shipping of the reporting journal plus the shipping of the prize pack and returned journal. (Shipping of the journal to me is not included.)
When you sign up, I will send you an Official Reporting Journal. This journal will contain all the rules and pages for you to document your rides. If you are in the US, you must send me via post the physical journal. If you are outside the US, you can send scans/photos/PDFs of the journal.
Updated 28 May 2021