Night riders unite: a review of the #moonlightmass

Now before I even begin to tell you what a blast last Tuesday night’s Moonlight Mass was I have to be honest about something. It almost didn’t happen, not for the organisers but for us here at the Nomadic Existence team. It was initially a combination of after work tiredness and the wind chill but in the end we just couldn’t let you or ourselves down. So with much courage and with a hint of trepidation we donned our helmets, switched on our bike lights and gingerly wobbled down Kloof Street on route to the Green Point circle. And what a relief it was upon our arrival to be joined by no less than 250 other brave souls. It was in short good to know we had made the right choice.

Now the Moonlight Mass is first and foremost in my opinion an initiative to get you outside on your bike or at the very least on any other self propelled set of wheels. And if that’s not enough then their city activation campaign – an initiative that rewards commuters via participating business who utilise a non motorised approach to commuting – will surely get you peddling. But if incentives is not your thing, then at the very least it’s an open invitation to take in the beauty of Cape Town under the light of a full moon in a way that most others have yet to experience. And in our book that qualifies it as a must do activity.

However if cycling is not your bag then don’t stress for as I’ve said before it’s an open event. As viewed by the hordes of BMX’s, skateboarders and roller girls we encountered along the way. And this, other than heightening the mood of the event, in my opinion further established it as a platform to promote the awareness and safety of non motorised commuting in Cape Town. With the added benefit of having carte blanche over Cape Town’s motorised only roadways for one night without the fear of prosecution and/ or death by car.

Of which there were none thanks in part to the helping hands of the cycle marshals and the traffic department. All were out in force and should be commended on doing such a sterling job of stopping traffic while directing all participants safely out of harm’s way. A special thank you goes out to them.

The ride as it’s called is not a race and consists of 12 km of generally flat plain cruising, which kicked off at around 21:15. The first leg saw us heading down past the stadium in the direction of the waterfront. From there it took a sharp left down past the Mouille Point beach front and then onto the Seapoint promenade. Then a quick right followed by another saw us utilising the bicycle path along Somerset Road. From there it was a quick hop over the highway onto Helen Suzman Boulevard and then onto Long Street for what felt like a makeshift homecoming parade. With the final leg encompassing a quick turn onto Bloem Street and then another onto Loop Street. One last strafe onto Long Market Street saw the front runners crossing the finish line at Green Market Square just in time for an end of ride cocktail or a quick getaway home or both.

Panda love

The highlights:

  • It’s a great opportunity to meet up with friends, catch up with old ones you haven’t seen in awhile and make some new ones.
  • It’s also serves as a creative space for the more artistic and inventive crowds as evident in the few who came with their bikes kitted up in fairy lights and fancy dress.
  • And our favourite it’s definitely a great platform to create awareness while showing support for your cause. As viewed by team Panda who were doing their bit for the WWF while dressed up in Panda suits.
  • And lastly it is a fun and safe way to experience Cape Town during the summer months (and winter months) in a way most others have yet to, so bring a friend or two next time. Everyone is welcome.

Tips for virgin riders:

  • If you don’t own a bike then rent one, most rental stores will also throw in a helmet and bike chain.
  • Be creative, other than your UV vest and bike light why not string some fairy lights on it or come dressed as a superhero.
  • And if you’re not into cycling why not come along on any other form of non motorised contraption such as a BMX, skateboard or rollerblades to name a few.
  • And in keeping with eco – friendly commuting why not catch a MyCiti bus to the event. It’s safe, reliable and allows commuters to take their bicycles with them.

The Moonlight Mass ranks highly on the Nomadic Existence: Fun Things to do this summer in Cape Town.

A big thank you goes out to the organisers, the City of Cape Town and to all who participated.

Some information was sourced from the #moonlightmasswebsite.

Our “virgin ride” took place on the 9 September 2014.

By Slippery Joe Lyzard © (Writer for Nomadic Existence)

Photography: Nomadic Bug © 

Nomadic Existence 2015 ©

 Explore. Conserve. Discover.

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