BENGALURU: There is no denying that the darkness of the night holds a different charm.
Daytime riding is becoming increasingly difficult with the busy traffic and onset of summer. But there is still plenty of fun to be had once the sun goes down - riding your bike during night-time is amazing.
25-year-old Shashank recently completed his 100th ride under the full moon. He says, “Many people could be put off by the idea of riding in the night. It is, after all, dark and cold. But with the correct equipment, it is totally safe and really enjoyable. Once you start, you will see that you can ride farther and longer at night than you realised.”
He now rides in a group. “I wanted to get in touch with people who are crazy and ride very fast. That’s how I came across Bums On The Saddle and went for one of their night rides. It was a very different experience. I had never earlier realised how beautiful the city looked at night. Since then, I regularly go for their night rides.”
Night rides in Bengaluru is picking up fast. Cycling groups have begun organising them weekly all across the city. The cyclists say, during night rides, they feel closer to Mother Nature. Everything, they say, gets lost in the hustle and bustle of the day time.
Apart from Bums On The Saddle, South Fire Cycling Group Bangalore also organises night rides every Thursday from 10 pm to midnight. Aditya Mandonca, a member of the group, says that their only aim is to do something different and explore the beautiful Garden City at night.
Yamini KL, also a member of South Fire, says, “I impatiently wait for every Thursday to tour through the city. The cloudness and starry skies fascinate me.”
A solo cyclist, Aparna Jayanth talks about a ghostly encounter she had recently in the night. “Travelling along in a little circle of light that stretches for a few metres in front, there’s a sense of passing silently and unseen, like a ghost, through something huge,” she says.
“One night, while riding the local trails near my house alone after sunset, I sensed an unwelcome riding partner. A dead body had been found on the nature reserve a few months ago, but I never gave it much thought. My regular one-hour loop was going as planned, but all of a sudden, I distinctly felt like there was someone looking over my shoulder for the whole way down. I was more puzzled than freaked out. I continued cycling without taking any breaks until I reached home. I can bet on anything and say that I had an invisible rider with me on the rear seat of my cycle that night.”
These nocturnal rides also often become ‘once in a lifetime’ experience for some cycling fanatics. Alan John, a solo cyclist, recalls one such incident: “I was fortunate to have picked an evening when the Geminid meteor shower was visible (December 13 and 14 last year) and happily saw many spectacular shooting stars, under a large, low and yellow moon. It was quite surreal. Riding along with my eyes to the skies... I was brought back to earth by a deep pothole, and a snakebite puncture from the rim. Twenty minutes of muddy fumbling with cold numb hands followed, and lots of cursing. But it was a happy night with just me quietly moving through space in my little bubble of light.”