A couple of weeks ago I received an invitation to a bike ride via Facebook. I get a lot of these. I paid attention to this one. A friend who has the crazy idea that riding a bike should be fun was setting up another one of his stupid rides that I hate to miss. Always with a theme, this one promised a full moon and would be ridden without the use of lights. Starting at 8:05 pm at the submarine.
As we got closer to the date of the ride, a Monday night, new details began to reveal themselves. There would be music. Not the iPod with ear buds music, we would have boombox music. I figured this would be a good idea giving me a noise source to point my bike at in the dark.
The day of the ride it was announced that we would also have a laser light show. A moving laser light show.
Yeah, right….lasers. We showed up a couple of minutes early and folks continued arriving for the next 20 minutes. I helped a little with loading the boombox in a backpack and then watched as the light show was rigged up. A single aluminum tube attached to the seat post of a bike with two large batteries taped to it and a small laser light contraption attached to the top. It was still light out so we wouldn’t know for a while if it was going to work. The overall feeling was very positive, how could it not work?
There must have been 20 to 25 of us rolling out from the submarine heading west on the North Little Rock side of the Arkansas River Trail. A casual ride, everyone chatting, DJ VinF was making adjustments on the tunage to keep everyone bobbing. By the time we got to the quarry area below Fort Roots it was time to switch on lasers before heading into the wooded section near the Burns Park boat ramp.
The leaves lit up. Dots of light danced all around us. We gasped, we smiled, we rode on. All I could think was that Central Arkansas is getting weird and we were right in the middle of it. People from all walks of life, engineers, moms, dads, young people, bohemians, business owners riding all kinds of bikes enjoying the beat and the spectacle. We needed to share the experience and soon found ourselves exchanging greetings with folks on the Big Dam Bridge and then the Two Rivers Bridge.
Lights on riders
The light show hit the ceiling and it created the atmosphere of prom night. It was getting late so Lisa and I left our group of friends, turned on our headlights and headed for the truck. We were soon a million miles from the party. We startled some animals along the trail. We caught up with some other riders who had no lights and helped them navigate through the first place we had seen the light show. We moved quickly. It was after 11 when we got home. We had certainly enjoyed the ride.
So if you ever get a email or Facebook invitation to go to some strange event on a bike, do it. If you want to get in with this group of crazies, start hanging out at Little Rock Bike Polo. These are the folks who brought us the Tweed Ride, the Alley Cat Races and the Rocktown Trackdown. All wonderful additions to our lives.