In September, thousands of Vancouver riders are expected to converge for “a night of music, lights and decorated bikes,” as Bike the Night, organized by HUB Cycling, gets underway on Sept. 16. The event—touted as British Columbia’s only fully permitted, open-streets night ride—returns for its second edition.
Presented by MEC, the event, organizers say, follows the template of Montreal’s Tour la Nuit, a successful night ride drawing close to 20,000 cyclists each year.
The pre-ride party starts at 6 p.m. and features bike repairs, music, games and giveaways, all for registered participants. Once the event gets underway at 8 p.m., riders will follow a leisurely 10-km route from Concord Pacific Place through the heart of downtown, their wheels rolling through some of Vancouver’s most iconic streets. With organizers strongly encouraging participants to show up with decorated, light-festooned bikes and equally colourful costumes, a bike-mounted parade of 5,000 cyclists—everyone from casual commuters to roadies—are expected to attend.
“We’re very excited to be celebrating cycling in such a unique way,” said Tracy Wilkins, the organization’s special events manager. “Being fully permitted allows us to open the streets to riders of all ages who want to cycling in a fun and social environment.” It’s a sentiment shared by Laura Jane, HUB’s acting executive director, who noted the importance of such events in fostering a larger, more inclusive Vancouver cycling community.
“This is the second year we’ve hosted this event in Vancouver and we’re excited to see the experience grow,” Jane said. “Rides like this are important because they provide a fun and inclusive opportunity to encourage people to get on their bikes, meet others and contribute to a happier, healthier and more connected community.”
“When people ride together, it creates a very unique feeling of unity and togetherness,” Wilkins added.
Registration for Bike the Night is $15 until Sept. 1 and available online, and offers participants access to the ride itself, entry to win a bike courtesy of MEC and other prizes, as well as admission to the kick-off party—featuring live music, free bike tune-ups and decorating, relay races, giveaways and more — on Sept. 16.