Embracing the dark, Part 2: Biking!

Happy solstice!! Bring on those (ever so slowly) lengthening days!!

Speaking of lots of darkness. When last we spoke, I was extolling the virtues of teaching myself to embrace running after dark. Not only to extend the amount of time, these shorter days, available to me to run, but also to embrace the peacefulness of evening darkness — something I really do love if I can remember to muster to get myself out for it.

It hasn’t just been running, though. This season, I’ve also been embracing the dark via biking for totally gratuitous reasons (since there are hardly any “have to” reasons really in this work-from-home world.)


(like this totally gratuitous date-night biking to see the Christmas Ships!)


Enter a totally random challenge that fell into my lap: the Midnite Bicycle League Challenge!

This is a fun little thing that Shawn over at Urban Adventure League set up this year. The premise is, sign up for the challenge (here! You can still do it!:), get your fancy official ride journal plus other bonus mailed goodies, and then take and document at least five rides between sunset and sunrise between now and February 28th (they don’t have to happen at midnight, despite the name;)


(official ride journal plus sweet commemorative postcard:) And no, you don’t need to be in Portland to participate)


Perhaps like some of you, at first I thought, “Wait, why pay (a very nominal amount) to register for something that I can do on my own for free?” I understand this; as a hardcore and sometimes-recovering “I can do it myself-ist,” I sometimes have a hard time remembering that things can very frequently actually be better/more fun-ly done in community.

But despite my do-it-myselfness, I decided five things:

  • I like the idea of it,
  • I want to contribute to the sense of community that comes from doing something in the same way that other people are doing it,
  • I like to support people who are putting together cool ideas and art to go with it, and doing the work to make something happen,
  • It’s a stretch thing for me too, since it involves artwork and documentation, and anything that stretches me is a good idea, and
  • Why not?

And it’s been a super sweet little project so far! It makes my night rides not only fun in their own right, but also fun after the fact to document. To record. To collect for posterity.

Plus, I hear there are finishing prizes. And certainly tons of glory. heh.

This is one of the best times for night riding too, since holiday decorations are a perfect excuse to ramble randomly around the city, from well-lit block to the next (James and I spent a good 15 or so miles this way a few weeks ago, in quest of holiday lights;)

So if you’re trying to find me one of these nights, if I’m not out running, perhaps I’m out rambling on my bicycle. Either that or snuggled on the couch, or in bed by 8:30. That still happens too;)

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