Boston By Bike – At Night
Each year for the past 23 years the Back Bay Midnight Pedalers, primarily composed of members of the MIT community (but not exclusively), have led an architecture tour of Boston, at night – on bikes. The tour begins at midnight on Copley Square in front of the Trinity Church and continues until dawn, passing by most of the city’s architectural places of note. The city is a different place in the darkness, practically devoid of cars. By the time the dawn comes more than 30 miles have been transversed and breakfast by the sea is had and enjoyed by all those who complete the trek.
The above photograph, from a helmet camera, shows more than a hundred cyclists gathered around the Galaxy: Earth Sphere fountain in MIT’s Kendall Square. The ride began in Back Bay, proceeded to MIT, to the Charlestown Navy yard (home of the U.S.S. Constitution), to Harvard University, and beyond. The group of individuals on the ride ranged in age from early twenties to mid-sixties. Bicycles ranged from tandems pulling trailers to fixie whips. We spotted another Montague in the wild, the Navigator on an adventure!
The cycling community is a diverse and curious bunch. There were many people on the ride who had come every year for the past 23 years. Those individuals running the ride where conscientious, assisting with flats and other repairs, counting to make sure all in the group were accounted for, posting riders at crucial turns to assist with making sure everyone passed through safely; and of course, providing architecture history and points of note. (Much gratitude for such a well run ride!)
These kinds of rides provide a space to experience parts of our cities and towns that we usually do not have time to see, in a way that is outside the ordinary. More so, these rides provide a place for cyclists of all ages, inclinations, and backgrounds to meet and share a love of cycling and adventure.