Firstly, if you’re looking for an excuse to slip into some spandex or slip-stream a peloton of peddlers – then this isn’t the ride for you.
Note that the title says rider, not racer, because it’s definitely not a race when you cruise past a pretty girl in double denim and a basket on the front of her Maybelline, or some guys in big bushy beards smoking pipes. You drink beer before, after and during #moonlightmass, not NRG drinks from Camelbaks.
Still, that doesn’t mean that you can’t participate if you’re a downhill he-man like Steve Smith is, or training for your first Cape Epic, like Craig Kolesky. (Craig had just had a baby boy the day before and somehow got the pink slip to ride, enroute he told me that Oakley has agreed to sponsor 100 pairs of reading glasses to every town he rides into during the Epic, which is, well, epic).
But to be honest there were only a handful of hardcore bike types, most of the cyclists were on postman bicycles, fixies, bangers, bmx’s… and then even skateboards and unicycles.
Now it’s quite something getting 700+ Capetonians to commit to anything, let alone physical activity at nine on a Monday night, but to get Helen Zille to participate, just by tweeting at her, now that’s something. And it was humbling to see her meandering along in granny gear, considering that the deputy mayor of Butterworth can’t go to the Spar without a belligerent brigade of blue light bullies.
So what’s the point of all this, then?
Earlier this year Daniel Graham and Elad Kirshenbaum organized the social experiment on twitter, where they tweeted about the ride and got 250 cyclists to participate. They reckon it’s about raising awareness for cycling in the city and the safety of cyclists in urban environment. And yes, traffic yielded, cops helped out and cyclists were mostly polite. But to be honest it’s about having fun.
No nanny-state protective gear policies, no entry fee, no marshalls… no problem.
After pints at Hudsons we gathered under the Green Point Circle, rode towards Granger Bay Boulevard, turned into Beach Road, then onto the Mouille Point Promenade, up Three Anchor Bay Road, left onto the Fan Mile cycle lane and regrouped at the bottom of Long Street. Then we took over Long Street, before getting onto Loop, slipping into Longmarket Street and finishing up at Green Market Square.
I was surprised to discover that I’d covered 12kms, while talking, without water points, and I didn’t even have half-moons under my armpits. Casual.
The clincher? There are six more full moons this year.
If you have a bike, get on it.