When headlamps aren’t enough to illuminate the potholed, cracked, and traffic ridden streets of downtown Indianapolis, electric street lights begin to seem like one of the best inventions of the 20th century. For biking enthusiasts everywhere, night rides have always been a source of entertainment. The whole road changes at night: the stars are out, the wind is cool, and the pace of life slows down just a notch. The whole thing can be a relaxing, rejuvenating experience (especially if you have a fast bike or a lot of downhill slopes). But biking at night can also be dangerous: cars are less likely to see you (even if you have a reflector or rear light), drivers are prone to opening their doors without looking (inevitably resulting in a fun over the handlebars somersault) and it’s harder to see potentially tire-bursting potholes. It’s in the spirit of bicycle safety and post-sunset enjoyment that members of the Central Indiana Biking Association (CIBA) began the N.I.T.E. Ride in 1994; Indianapolis residents can participate in the 18th N.I.T.E. Ride this Saturday, June 25, 2011 and explore the streets of downtown Indianapolis in a two wheeled caravan unlike any other you’ve been in.
|Video of lots of bikers and fun being had at the 2009 N.I.T.E. Ride in Indianapolis; the 2011 N.I.T.E. Ride will take place June 25, 2011|
Since the N.I.T.E. Ride’s inception in 1994, participants have traveled over half a million miles in the dead of night. The event has grown from 600 participants in 1994 to the 2,500 (maximum registration) that have shown up every year since 2003. 2011 marks the 18th year intrepid Circle City cyclists have taken to the streets, and it promises to be a good one. The highlight of the N.I.T.E. (Navigate Indy This Evening) Ride is definitely the nocturnal ride itself (starting at 11:00 p.m.), but there are festivities going on all day on June 25. The cycling fun begins at 8:00, when riders can participate in the CIBA Morning “Club Ride.” The route begins at the Major Taylor Velodrome (a bicycling arena that’s named after Major Taylor, a Hoosier cycling legend who was profiled in a recent CIBA Lecture Series) and takes participants through several rural roads on the northwest side of Indianapolis. Stops for food and water are included, and cyclists can choose to tackle routes of 17, 35, or 52 miles. The Morning “Club Ride” is absolutely free and open to the public.
|Video of a few bikers taking laps around the Major Taylor Velodrome during the 2010 N.I.T.E. Ride in Indianapolis; the 2011 N.I.T.E. Ride will take place June 25, 2011 at IUPUI|
Registration for the N.I.T.E. Ride begins at 4:00 p.m., and the day’s second group ride, the Dinner Ride, runs from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Roughly 19 miles long, the Dinner Ride starts from Indiana University – Purdue University (IUPUI). Registration closes at 10:00, which is also when the evening’s contests start up. That’s right, just by attending the N.I.T.E. Ride, you can launch yourself into Indy biking history. The L.I.T.E. Up Your Bike contest challenges participants to decorate their cycle in all its glow in the dark glory, all for the opportunity to win prizes from Bicycle Garage Indy. Participants in the N.I.T.E. Ride also have the chance to win a Cruiser Bike Giveaway just by registering for the Indianapolis event.
|Channel 8 WISH TV video covering the 2009 N.I.T.E. Ride in downtown Indianapolis|
The N.I.T.E. Ride officially begins dark and late at 11:00 p.m. Bikers will take off from Michael A. Carroll Stadium at IUPUI and wend their way through 20 miles of well lit downtown Indianapolis streets. Along the way, you’ll see famous Indianapolis attractions and landmarks, including the Indiana State Capitol Building, Butler University, Monument Circle, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The route will also take cyclists through IUPUI’s campus and along the famous White River (and White River State Park). After the ride ends at 12:30, there will be a post-ride party with free dinner and live Indianapolis music for all participants.
|Video from a bike mounted camera documenting the 2010 N.I.T.E. Ride through downtown Indianapolis; the 2011 N.I.T.E. Ride will take place June 25, 2011|
There are a few rules to keep in mind if you participate in the N.I.T.E. Ride. Due to curfew restrictions, Indianapolis children under the age of 16 are not allowed to participate (kids can still bike in the Morning Club Ride and the Dinner Ride). You must bring your own bicycle; it can be any type as long as it’s functional and doesn’t present a safety hazard. All bikers must wear a helmet and equip their bike with a headlight (headlights will be on sale from Bicycle Garage Indy at the event). Also, if you’re coming from an Indianapolis bar, there’s no alcohol permitted during the N.I.T.E Ride, part of the excursion’s emphasis on safety. Registration is only $29 per person for this Indianapolis event. On Saturday, June 25, 2011, get on your bikes and ride…with a horde of other Indianapolis N.I.T.E. Riders.
18th Annual N.I.T.E. (Navigate Indy This Evening) Ride
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Morning Club Ride @ 8:00 a.m.
Dinner Ride @ 5:00 p.m.
N.I.T.E. Ride @ 11:00 p.m.