Mike on a Bike: Halloween on Two Wheels in DC

Loads of options for Halloween themed bicycle rides in downtown Washington.

Halloween got you a hankering to mix Frankenstien and fixies, boogeymen and bicycles, vampires and velos or any other alliterative cycling-monster themed pairs? Well, if you live around Washington, D.C., then you have a plethora of options. 

And options are a good thing, especially with Hurricane Sandy breathing down our necks, potentially making for a wet and wild Halloween.

Here are some (all? I looked. I really did) of the area's Halloween bicycle events. 

Friday: Critical Mass Halloween Ride

Being that it's the last Friday of the month, there will be a Critical Mass Halloween ride on Friday evening. Riders should gather (In costume, preferably) at Dupont Circle at 6 p.m. on Oct. 26 for a 6:30 p.m. roll out. 

"Bring your bells, airhorns, noisemakers, glowsticks and everything in between, cause we're gonna make some noise audibly and visually," reads the event announcement posted to Facebook.

If you've never been to a Critical Mass, I suggest you read up on it. The Critical Mass movement started in San Francisco as a direct political action for bicycle advocacy. The DC Mass, at least the few times I have been, is not too political (nor too large), and can be a bit disorganized at times (the leader of the ride is frequently whoever is in front).

Saturday: DC Bike Party Halloween Ride

The young (four months), but increasingly popular DC Bike Party, which normally only meets on the second Wednesday of every month, has organized a Halloween themed ride for Saturday night. 

Starting in Dupont Circle, the preliminary route winds through Foggy Bottom, Georgetown, down Mass. Ave to Mount Vernon Square and then up 7th and 9th streets NW to Duffy's Irish Pub for post-ride libations. 

Riders are encouraged to come dressed up in costumes both whimsical and scary. 

Riders will gather at Dupont Circle for at 8:30 p.m. for a 9 p.m. roll-out. 

This ride also features a bicycle towed sound system playing the tunes you choose. Riders can use Spotify to add songs to the DCBP ride playlist to be used during the ride. 

Tuesday: BicycleSPACE Night of the Bicycling Dead Zombie Ride

It's undead horror on two wheels as two groups of undead, election-themed cyclists face off downtown. 

This ride will split into two rival groups (blue and red), who will each cruise the city before meeting at the end of the ride for a "gritty showdown."

Riders are encouraged to dress as rotting zombies, with prizes for the best zombie costume. (Side note, if you have make-up and costume skills and a desire for some cycling gear, you might want to check this out. BicycleSPACE gives out some sweet prizes. People got brand new Linus bikes at their August Hawaiian themed ride simply for having the best tropical floral print shirt)

BicycleSPACE rides are seemingly the most popular social rides in the city, too. Hundreds of cyclists show up to these things to parade through the streets behind a massive, bicycle-towed boom box. 

The ride takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m., meeting at BicycleSPACE at 1019 7th Street NW. 

Register for the event here to receive details as the ride nears.

Wednesday: Dead City Halloween Alleycat

For the uninitiated: Borne out of cycle messenger culture, an alleycat race has riders competing to complete a series of objectives, checkpoints and tasks as fast as possible. Not for the faint of heart, alleycats are raced in city streets among vehicular and pedestrian traffic and against experienced urban bicycle couriers.  

Details on the Dead City alleycat are scarce at the moment, but the poster advises that racers will need a bag and a lock to complete the event. 

Racers should gather at Dupont Circle on Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. for registration. The race begins at 8 p.m. It costs $5 to get a manifest. 

Organizers have setup a Tumblr blog, but right now all it has is a single post featuring Charles Bronson punching a gangmember from an early scene in Death Wish 3. 


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