Tonight, you should… pedal by moonlight

TUESDAY, NOV. 12

The full moon ascends tonight and with it the monthly full-moon bike ride, Moonlight Mash. For the last four years, this monthly ride-out has descended upon the streets of Long Beach, all for the love of the two-wheeled cruise. And what’s not to love? A bike-ride illuminated by the glow of the full moon, everyone wheeling in unison, all without the stress of daytime traffic.

What started as a modest group of about 20 or so friends coming together to pedal the streets of downtown has grown to several hundred participants, drawing people from all over Southern California. Rolling alongside bicyclists you’ll see four-wheeled compatriots and even the occasional scooter.

What can you expect at Moonlight Mash? A safe, coordinated group ride that’s more or less like a costume party on wheels. Every month is a new theme, encouraging participants to come dressed in their monthly motifs (responsibly, you are riding a bike after all). Last month’s theme was cats where riders dressed in their feline finest—which was mostly a lot of headbands with cat ears. There’s also a ton of music playing as many participants bring speakers and boomboxes.

This month’s theme celebrates the Nordic countries. Come dressed as a Viking or Elsa from “Frozen” or Henrik Ibsen, whatevs.

So if you’ve been cycling for a while now but don’t have any riding buddies, this is the ride for you. New to the world of cycling? This event is great for beginners to grow more comfortable riding on the street where you can learn the rules and courtesies of the road from veteran cyclists.

While the ride is free to join, this month the Moonlight Mash asks participants to bring one canned food item to contribute to their food drive. All donations will be given to a local shelter.

Another great thing: If you want to ride but don’t have any wheeled transport, the event has teamed up with Long Beach Bike Share to offer discount rides on those baby blue bikes you’ve likely seen around town. If you use their promo link, which you can find on their Facebook event page you can get your first hour-long ride for $2.

Giving us a moment’s pause: Might we suggest you brush-up on your directional hand-signals.

Moonlight Mash meets tonight at 7:45 p.m. at the Bike Station; 223 E 1st St. At 8:15 p.m., they roll out. For more information, visit their Facebook page, here

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