Friday, December 23, 2016

Winter Solstice Bike Ride

The weather cooperated to attend my first Winter Solstice Bike Ride. Ideal conditions: mid-30sF, dry roads, and a windless evening drew a record 30 like-minded riders who came with bikes decorated like holiday trees.

With a stellar forecast, I still wasn't sure I'd make it because of an incident that had occurred earlier in the day. I arrived at my workplace bike rack in the morning and heard something metallic hit the ground. Fortunately, it was only my kickstand, which had fallen apart, with bolts, springs, and the kickstand arm itself, scattered beneath my bicycle. I laughed at the shear weirdness of the unlikely event, then collected the parts in a bag. (I'll deal with that minor issue on the holiday weekend).

We met on Church Street, a beautifully decorated and lighted outdoor pedestrian shopping district. There was much conversation, bike and light comparisons, and introductions. I was happy to find familiar faces, plus some Girls Ride Out buddies my own age.

My bike is just behind the bike trailer, leaning against a wall, now lack a functioning kickstand!
Thankfully, I wore my trusty down jacket, but I was still chilled when we eventually rolled out. However, we immediately chugged up a long steep hill that warmed my core and continued for many miles, swinging around downtown, looping south end neighborhoods, then returning to the head of Church Street for silly circuits around a huge holiday tree.

Photo credit: Mark Bowman

Interesting rope lights adorned bikes.

We ended the evening at a brewery for more conversation then I pumped up the hill back home. What a fun group of bikers and a great reason to get together, light up the night, and welcome the return of lengthening daylight.


  1. This looks like a great ride! On an unrelated note: I love how your photos showcase how very effective highly reflective gear is!

  2. Rekindling the ancient tradition of marking the Winter solstice longest night with light. The deep memory part of me wants to try it once with blazing flame torches and drums.

    1. I sat through winter solstice festivities last year at a gathering on the waterfront. Lots of singing (Beatles's song, Let the Sun Shine In) around a campfire with talking and smudge sticks. Not sure what I expected or whether these were traditional solstices rights (I suspect not) but it was an interesting adventure. I would love to attend the ritual at Stonehenge.

  3. Somehow, Christmas lights make the solstice seem cheerier...


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