Bike Night, cycling at night: because they like it so much

Forget the traditional cycling tours where you admire the view. When pedal at night, you don’t see the landscape but you smell it. Yeah, why go by bike at night sounds like a weird idea, but it’s actually a new perspective that activates all the senses and brings back to a more emotional and authentic experience. Simone Dovigo explains it well, a passionate cyclist who created the most representative event of this trend: the Bike Night.

«You ride at night for a thousand reasons. The cyclists of the first historic editions of Giro and Tour at the beginning of the twentieth century, for example, set off at night for the long distances to be covered. And so a night ride can, first of all, take you back in time. But there is also a component of freedom: leave whenever you want, even if it’s dark, even if it’s late, as if it were a sudden and sudden choice like some crazy exploits that take place on summer nights. Above all, pedaling in the moonlight allows you to regain possession of the sounds of the surrounding landscape, denied by noise pollution during the day: the streets of the cities are more welcoming and mild, with less traffic. And nature comes alive with the sounds of those who populate it: animals, streams, the rustle of leaves ».

Bike Night: 100 km from midnight to dawn

Born in 2014 in Ferraraone of the most bike friendly cities in Italy, the Bike Night is a annual event in stages that brought more than 15 thousand cyclists onto the night cycle paths. No race with the time trial, just a great desire to share the streets in the moonlight, without traffic and noise (the route is almost entirely on cycle paths and only for short stretches on low-traffic roads).

Everyone can register: from children to the elderly, it is not the performance that counts, but the shared pleasure of pedaling in the cool. Over the years the initiative has grown so much that the dates have tripled: we start from 3 different cities at midnight and cycle along 100 km of adequately lit cycle paths with refreshments along the route, medical and mechanical assistance. The routes? From Ferrara to Lido di Volano (the event took place on 11 June), from Milan to Lake Maggiore (25 June) and from Udine to Alpe Adria (23 July).

«Night rides are an opportunity to get to know the other side of the moon. Returning at night to a path that has already been faced allows you to know it in its entirety, vice versa, discovering a path in the dark will develop an incurable desire for daytime confirmations to everything that has been imagined in the dark. Finally, the more practical side of night travel is certainly linked to the summer heat: you can travel kilometers at more affordable temperatures », Simone Dovigo concludes.

In Treviso, Genoa, Rovigo: appointments everywhere

Summer night rides are now a deeply rooted tradition for FIAB- Italian Federation of the Environment and Bicyclewhich offers a full calendar of initiatives throughout the boot (andiamoinbici.it).

A few examples? On 18 June he cycled from Treviso to the Sile cycle path at night, listening to the flow of the water and the sounds of the animals. On 25 June, in Sicily, the Gela Night Camp was held, a night in a tent dedicated to cycle travelers who want to tell each other about their experiences, between music and debates. On 9 July, in the Marche region, he pedaled around Jesi with the Bike night organized by FIAB Vallesina Dal Mare ai Monti. On August 23 in Verona, with the complicity of the full moon, on a bike to San Pietro In Cariano to taste the excellent homemade ice cream with Gelatour in the moonlight.
On 25th August, 1st, 8th and 15th September, you ride in the night to Genoa. The 26 August by bike under the stars a Rovigo. Ready lights and reflectors.

How to prepare for Bike Nights

To tackle long bike rides at night, it is advisable to train a few months in advance for (daytime) outings to get the body used to being in the saddle for a long time. During the bike nights it would be good dress in layers for the cool at night, especially in the hills and mountains.

Finally, it is essential to have a bright lighthouse (at least 400 lumens), a reflective jacket and for those who also want a front light. The more foresighted can also bring a spare inner tube in case of a puncture.