Summer Night Rides

Most of my end-of-the-day rides this summer have been in the late evening or night.   There are so many fun events in Chicago right now, I rarely go straight home after work.  Such was the case last night, when my friend Chika and I biked home at 11 pm after a wonderful outdoor concert by the Grant Park Orchestra.

Pritzker Pavilion in Millenium Park

Frozen Planet with a live orchestra

Chika and her Linus on the Lakefront Trail

Betty Foy sans rear light

Biking later in the evening is wonderfully refreshing.  I avoid evening rush hour: the hottest, most polluted, and busiest time of day.

Unfortunately, my rear light (held on by an old rubber band) fell off while I was going through a big intersection and broke into three pieces. The intersection was too dangerous to attempt retrieval, so now I need to buy a new light and actually attach it properly.  Luckily, my new Po Campo pannier has a huge reflector on the back, but I find a red rear blinkie light to be a necessity, in addition to a reflector.

Does anyone else find themselves biking home later this summer, either to beat the heat or as a result of other activities?  Make sure you have good front and rear lights!

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8 thoughts on “Summer Night Rides

  1. my hyggelig says:

    funny, I just posted about Summer Eve riding:
    I love it!

  2. Melissa says:

    I also just wrote about night riding! It is absolutely wonderful, and a great time for catch up with my husband. Thanks for the great blog, I love reading all your stories!

  3. Beth says:

    And *I* was going to write about my first night ride, which was last night – but I realized there’s really not all that much to say, besides how much I love it. It’s just so quiet and peaceful. I’ll probably start looking for excuses to go out at night, I enjoyed it that much.

  4. Yvann says:

    I love summer because I rarely have to ride at night! Not that I don’t like night rides, it just makes a nice change.

    Re back lights – check out Knog. They attach with a rubber clip so they’re really easy to unclip and take with you (cynical Londoner speaking here) and mine have proven pretty hardy so far. 

    Your reflective rims look fantastic – I recently got new tyres which have reflective rims – I’m a bit excited about my next night ride actually now I think about it…

  5. It’s probably overkill for city riding, but I swear by my Radbot 1000. The light is dazzling — as in do not look into laser with remaining eye — which is GREAT for my nighttime commutes on streets with only car headlights for illumination. Plus, the built-in reflector makes this light a two-fer. Were I riding somewhere with streetlights, I’d use my first taillight: the Planet Bike Blinky 3.

    Back to the actual point of your post, I haven’t done much in the way of night riding, unfortunately. It’s simply been too stinking hot even at night. :( I did sneak in a grocery trip by bike on Tuesday evening, but that’s been it. I am ~really~ looking forward to autumn.

  6. I regret not going to MP, considering that I live in Chicago. Once I move back I will indulge more in the bicycling culture there. Until then, I will indulge in one on my campus and it’s development.

  7. Eli says:

    We biked back home to Hyde Park, after that same MP concert!  The skyline from the aquarium is gorgeous, and often the moon puts on a fantastic show over the lake.

  8. ladyfleur says:

    I love riding at night after the frenzy of rush hour has ended and everyone has turned into couch potatoes.  I hear you on the broken rear light.  Happened to me once and after that I almost always carry a small front and rear spare.  I am a Girl Scout like that.

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