Midnite Bicycle League Challenge

The 2022 Midnite Bicycle League Challenge is over. Look for info about the 2023 Challenge by November 2022.

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!

Some Backstory

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
  • Three times during the Challenge
  • You can do a maximum of two rides in a week

The 2022 Midnite Bicycle League Challenge will happen from 1 January to 14 February 2022. All times local.

What’s different for 2022:

  • Shorter timeframe: Last year’s challenge spread across three months. While it gave plenty of time for people to ride, it turned into a logistical headache for me. Plus, because people thought that they had “all the time in the world”, there was a panic amongst a few of you when I reminded people it was the last week of the Challenge. “What? I thought I had more time!” Just about six weeks seems to be a good compromise.
  • Less rides: To go along with the shorter timeframe, I now only require three rides to successfully complete the challenge. Easy!

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.
  • Rides cannot be a continuation of a ride started before sunset. You can’t just count the “after sunset” minutes/miles of a ride you started in (theoretical) daylight. Each ride for the challenge must be a unique ride started after sunset and finished before sunrise. The whole point of the challenge is to get you out after dark and ride!
  • 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 three rides between 1 January 2022 and 14 February 2022.
  • 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 at sunset on 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 can do a ride on January 1st, so long as it starts at 12:01 AM or later, your local time.

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 three rides of the challenge and submits their journal gets all of the above, plus a patch made by Falls Creek Outfitters!

Registration

There is a fee of $25 USD plus s/h to register. This fee will cover my initial shipping of the reporting journal to you, plus the shipping of the prize pack and returned journal after completion. (Shipping of the completed 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.

Registration is now open! Click here to register.

Have you registered for the challenge and have not yet received the journal, yet the challenge has started and you want to ride? Read below:

Qualifying Bikes: Any and all bikes qualify, so long as they are human propelled. Electric assist bikes OK.

Timeframe: This challenge happens during the period from Saturday 1 January 2022 through Monday 14 February 2022. You must do your three rides during this timeframe. Weeks start on Sunday, but your “day” can only start after sunset, meaning you can’t do a ride at 1 AM on Sunday for that week, it would count towards the previous week.

You can do two rides in a week but no more. You can do a ride on Sunday January 1st as long as it starts after midnight. And you can have your last ride extend into the wee hours of Tuesday February 2022, but you must START that ride no later than 11:59 PM your local time on Monday February 14th.

Definition of night: Night is anytime between sunset and sunrise. 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.

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.

For each ride you must report:

  • Actual date (such as Tuesday January 18, 2022)
  • Ride Number
  • Bike Used (example: Brompton)
  • Start and end location of ride (It can be general, like: Minot, ND)
  • Sunset and sunrise time. Length of Ride (in either miles or kilometres)
  • Weather (example: Partly cloudy, 2 C)
  • A brief description of the ride. At minimum you should have two sentences per ride description. An image, whether photo or drawing, as a ride report is also OK.

Pictoral Reporting: We require participants to provide at least two pictures with their Reporting Journal. One picture has to be yourself and your bicycle (which can be taken during the day), and the other has to be of your bicycle in a setting from one of your rides. You can provide more pictures if you’d like, especially if you used multiple bikes.

This picture can either be a photograph, drawing, painting, or other piece of art. We do not judge photographic or artistic abilities, so please do not worry that you “can’t draw”. And we realize that night photographs may not be the best.

You can draw in the book if you’d like. Camera shy? You can also make yourself unrecognizable by not showing your head, etc. But there still must be “you” in the photo or drawing somehow.

If you are in the US, you must send a physical copy of the image with your Journal, no links to websites, etc allowed. You do not need to send in the original image if you don’t like. If you are including photos, please attach them to the Journal via staple, clip, glue, etc. Loose images will not be returned.

Timeframe and Deadlines

  • Sat 1 Jan 2022: Challenge starts.
  • Sat 12 Feb 2022: Last day to start challenge.
  • Mon 14 Feb 2022: Last day of Challenge.
  • Mon 28 Feb 2022: Reporting deadline.
    • Participants inside the US: Physical journal must be mailed in and postmarked by this date. Note that I said “postmarked” as it doesn’t need to be in my hands by November 15th.
    • Participants outside the US: Electronic copies of the journal must be emailed to me.

Updated 25 March 2022

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