Midnight Misadventures

This weekend marked the end of “winter” for me as it was the first time I went on some longer rides out of the city. The first one started when a 2 mile trip to run some errands which somehow became me power-biking 20 miles.

I got home tired, but not satisfied. So I hastily installed new pedals on my bike, grabbed some sushi, and beelined for South Station for the Midnight Marathon Ride where a crowd of cyclists was gathering to board an 11pm MBTA train to the start of the Boston Marathon to bike 26.2 miles back into the city.

There I met up with friends including Emily from Hub Bicycle. This was my first midnight marathon ride and wasn’t sure what to expect. But we were ready for anything.


What took everyone by surprise was that 604 cyclists got on that train. (Well trains. The MBTA had to add on another one to accommodate everybody.) Seemed the whole city had taken their bikes out of winter-hibernation at the idea of a midnight bike adventure.

We all got off the train and set out into total darkness illuminated only by flashing bike lights. The very dense and wobbly crowd of cyclists started up the hill toward the start line. And then it started raining.


As we floated through pitch black darkness and rolling up and down hills towards Boston clumps of cyclists started pulling off to the side to attend to their neglected bikes. And while I felt bad, I suddenly realized I’ve moved up the beginner biker scale:


I’m moving off the chart. I’m very close to actually knowing something about bicycles. And kind of scared of turning into an asshole.

Saddened by my loss of bike-innocence (and also that I could not help any of the struggling cyclists as none of them had pedal problems) I thought I would take a moment to give a little visual guide to equipment & maintenance:

Quick Guide to Bike Equipment & Maintenance

I also advise starting out with a bike ride to the park or for ice cream before biking the Boston Marathon at midnight. However, after 26.2 miles struggling in the dark, biking 2 miles in civilization may seem like cake. Keep pedaling!

Next Post
Previous Post

You may also like

Leave a Reply

34 Comments on "Midnight Misadventures"

Notify of
This reminds me a little of the midnight mystery ride, which has been going on in Portland every month for close to 10 years. At midnight, riders meet up at a location set just a few days earlier. A little after midnight, everyone rides, but only the leader (which changes each month) knows where things are going. Sometimes, the rides are 10, 15 miles in the dark through the woods. Sometimes they’re 2 miles down the road through the city. Then we hang out and drink beer, have campfires, and maybe even dance (depending on how wet it is.) In… Read more »
Dan K

That sounds like a lot of fun – when do these usually happen (in case I find myself planning vacation time in Portland)?

el timito

2nd Friday of the month. By tradition the start location isn’t announced til noon that day.
Click link for info. And have fun in Portland!


And generally it’s meet up at 11pm, depart at midnight, ride 3-5 (or so) miles to a secret destination. Bring warm-enough clothes and beverages of your choice.

Gerg Hum

This is an excellent idea, we are going to make this happen in Boston.

We have a midnight architecture tour which has just as many people, but I think this year more people came on midnight marathon.


Whoa, wait, what’s this about a midnight architecture ride? What have I been missing?


It’s called Boston By Bike At Night. It happens in August. Usually announced in random places like this. http://bostonbiker.org/tag/back-bay-midnight-pedalers/


Nice—especially at 500-600 cyclists?! That’s got to be some seriously joyous cycling raucousness and madness! Some of my friends do “all night” runs in Tempe, AZ that last from about 1-2, maybe 230 am. Last time, they tried adding some pull ups into the mix, but ended up breaking both their asses and the street sign they were dangling from! Stick with 2 wheels fellas!

Dan K

It was a ridiculously large wrench.
Here’s to hoping it will be warm and dry next year.
And to anyone who rode one of the Hubway bikes, as they say: “mad respect”.


I wish I saw you on the ride, I would have loved to say hi to you, considering I’ve been reading weekly since you came to this address. I finished my first midight marathon this year too, I did it in 1hour 15 mins. Did you time yourself?


Midnight rides sound like fun. I don’t think we have one here in Burlington. I think I’d prefer a daylight one with lots of women and we end at a coffee shop or go for creemees.


One of the reasons I didn’t go, other than the getting up and going to work thing, was that I was worried it would all be go-fast bikers, and I’d be left as the last one all alone. Sound like that wouldn’t have been a problem.

1 2 3 5