Less traffic, fewer people, and a tranquillity all make these UK night rides as opposite from daytime rides as well…night and day.
Lighten up a boring ride routine by riding these night rides.
Riding at night exposes a side of cycling that’s just not visible during the day. Less traffic and fewer people mean less crowding on streets; darkness reduces your eyesight but heightens your other senses; and moonlight casts a glow that artificial light simply cannot match. While shorter daylight hours or a schedule that bucks traditional norms may compel you to ride in the dark out of necessity, there’s something ominously tranquil about night riding that will motivate you to ride instead. Should that happen, here are five of the best UK night rides that are as different from daytime rides as well, night and day.
Where: London to Dunwich
Distance: 120 miles (though due to coastal erosion, the ride gets shorter every year)
No mass start, no route signage, and no support has triggered the question “Where can I sign up?” for thousands of cyclists who sell out entries for the Dunwich Dynamo each year. The ride starts informally from London between 8 and 9 p.m. with the aim to arrive in Dunwich for sunrise and a swim in the ocean, perhaps a beer at one of the local eateries that open early specifically for the event. If you can’t do the ride, at least drop by the website for some light entertainment in the FAQ section.
Where: Manchester to Blackpool Illuminations
Distance: 52 miles
Set off at midnight from the iconic Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground to travel a 52-mile Lancashire route, heading for the glow of the Blackpool sea front, where the world famous illuminations will be switched on exclusively to welcome cyclists across the finish line.
Where: Various cities around the UK
Distance: Each event features two distance options: 100k or 50k
Each moonlit charity cycle ride starts at 10:30 p.m. and travels through an iconic city, past known landmarks. The first ever Nightrider London took place in 2010 with 300 cyclists and since then more than 21,000 cyclists have taken up the challenge.
Where: Oswestry, Shropshire
Distance: 70 miles
Founded in 2015, the Midnight Ride is a 70-mile circuit that travels from Oswestry northwest into Wales and drops south to pass by Llansantffraid and Llanymynech, before heading back to Shropshire and returning to Oswestry from the south. Its June date around the summer solstice delivers more daylight than any other time of the year so even if it’s called the “Midnight Ride” chances are you’ll be riding a good part of it before the sun sets.
Where: London, Edinburgh
Distance: 100 km
Part of a successful global charity series, Ride the Night has all the markings of a well-organized event that starts long before you throw your leg over a bike. Interested participants can download for free, a pre-event info pack unique to each city; and a training plan oriented around riding 100 km.
Men can participate as support riders in this series that’s been organised by and for women.
Organised night rides can lighten up your ride routine by giving you a project, no matter if it’s a distance goal or an aspiration to ride your bike once the sun goes down. Choose a night ride that’s inline with your abilities and make sure that it’s fun both to prepare for and ultimately, to do because a lively nightlife isn’t limited to bars and clubs. Find out for yourself on a night ride!