This fantastic, self-propelled city tour under the luminosity of the full moon was the precocious brainchild of Daniel Graham and Elad Kirshenbaum. It started out as a twitter experiment back in December 2011, and soon gained popularity and numbers. For the last couple of years, I managed to have not heard of it; not been in town for it; been too busy; too tired; too…inebriated, shall we say.
Last month, none of those reasons were relevant, and so a friend and I set off to Greenpoint on our bikes for the 9 o’clock start (pm). He had just finished putting together his new but old racing bike. It wasn’t a fixie, but changing the gears required qymnastic flexibility and multi-tasking skills that rivaled Apache pilots. I was on a trusty mountain bike, which meant I could perform small and unimpressive jumps off of curbs.
We arrived – late – at the stadium and were at the back of quite a substantial turnout. There were all kinds of bikes, boards, headgear, torches and shiny clothing. Competitive nature and the bewildering idea of cycling slower than one would walk meant that we were taking the gaps to get further in front, infuriating our fellow moonlighters (This is not an inference to their working habits). Nonetheless, we made progress and found some breathing room ahead, only to hear a clink of metal on tarmac and some profanity from my cycling partner. His pedal had fallen off. Mountain bike 1 – New but old, cool retro hipster racer helicopter bike 0. Of course neither had any tools with us, or at home for that matter, so we resorted to jamming it back on with a rock. This held – loosely – for about 200 meters, but luckily we had reached the Shell garage in Moullie Point, which housed a toolbox and a handy manager who fixed the pedal.
Off again! You would think. His back tire had suddenly had enough of turning, and so held stiff in the frame. MB 2 – NOCRHRHB 0. He did some coxing and the wheel started going round smoothly again. I’m pleased to say this was the last of our (his) technical difficulties and so we careered off after the group along Greenpoint main road.
After stopping briefly at the traffic department for an unknown reason, we all pedaled and pushed towards Long Street, then up Long, then down Loop and finishing off in Greenmarket Square for some cupcakes and coffee at the church. This wasn’t quite what we were looking forward to after a long and arduous ride, and so made one last press for P&G.
It was brilliant to be on a bicycle at night – as well as eco-friendly – and to be traipsing around Cape Town under the full moon; a hell of a lot of fun and I will be certainly doing it again on the 13th of this month. The concept struck home for me. We can all get around without sitting in traffic jams and sullying our clean air. I urge all citizens and holidaymakers to get out your gear and go for a ride through our beautiful city.
Quick Tip: Bring some spanners and make sure to test your new bike first.