When you have David Van Patten doing your art and you create themes like the Pajama Ride, it is extremely difficult not to want to participate in Moonlight Mash.
“The Moonlight Mash is all about bringing people together to strengthen our community, learn how to ride safely at night, and have fun,” said co-creator Charlie Hockett. “We meet every full moon for an all-inclusive, themed ride where we bump music and explore new areas of our city. We always say that anyone—eight to 80—is welcome to come out on the Moonlight Mash.”
The monthly night ride, according to Hockett, was inspired by the ride of the same name in Eugene, Oregon, while he was studying there. Its iconic cassette tape with bike chain tape spooling out and its equally known nine-mile route that spans from Downtown to the river, has brought forth and connected tons of bicyclists of all ages, ability and style.
Long Beach’s version has already proven to be popular: while the first one in December garnered 20 participants, nearly 50 gathered for January’s ride and this month should prove even more popular: it is, after all, the Pajama Ride. From onesies to lingerie (should you dare), riders are encouraged to wear their bedtime favorites while pedaling under the glow of the full moon and music from speakers (should you bring some—and they are welcomed).
“The ride has doubled in size both times we have done it so far and we expect our numbers to keep increasing,” Hockett said. “Last month we had an older woman who told us that the Mash was the first time she had ridden her bike at night in over 40 years. She only felt comfortable because of our emphasis on safety and riding in a large group.”
The group’s emphasis on safety should not be understated. They have particular rules for how they roll:
- Ride on the right side of the street, never on the sidewalk, and stop at all stop signs/ red lights
- Leave nothing and no one behind- leave no trace and ride as a pack
- Roll past conflict- we ride for fun and spread nothing but good vibes
- Keep other riders in the loop- we inform each other of hazards, cars, and directions
- Encourage anyone and everyone to join us
This month, they’ll be meeting at the Bike Station at 1st and Promenade in DTLB to begin their adventure, complete with Pedal Movement offering free bike maintenance and free bike rentals for those wishing to take a ride but don’t have a bike. Win, win, win.
“The Moonlight Mash is a great way to get more people on their bikes,” Hockett said. “Although it is almost disguised as a bike party (and it is a party), we have the opportunity to spread information about proper biking techniques, sharing the road, and riding at night.”
We certainly salute those ideals. Now go get your full moon on. The event starts at 7PM.
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