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Why We Glow? You Should Too on Your Bike

HINT: Staying Safe!

During my first semester as an exchange student, I remember sitting in a coffee shop downtown studying late one evening. Little did I know I was about to witness a collection of cyclists rush by with enough lights to illuminate a small town strung around the frames and lining the spokes of their bikes. Not only were the bikes easily visible, they were commanding of attention. The asphalt glistened as LED lights of all colors beamed in many directions. Reflectors highlighted each riders’ movement and created an almost mesmerizing trail. Joy radiated off of the riders, energy was high, and excitement was loudly expressed as cheering and hollering which could be heard down the entire street.

This was when I was formally introduced to “Bike Night” as my roommate explained that they close the downtown roads on a Thursday each month for the event. Anyone with a bicycle is able to join and is encouraged to decorate their own bike with lights. Glowing frames highlighted some more unusual sets of wheels (wheel?) such as the giraffe unicyclists, who were smoothly weaving in and out of the jumbled light show.

Light Up the Night Around the World

Although that was the first one I’d seen, glow rides have been taking place all across the world.

Considered to be the original, the Venice Light Parade is a long-standing tradition in LA, California. The founders, Marcus and Sebastian were frequently found along Venice Beach to the Santa Monica Pier. In 2017, they gave avid cyclist, Susan Gautsch, who was living in California at the time, lights for her e-bicycle. The concept stuck with her and she founded Free-To-Roam eBiking here in New Mexico who host their very own glow rides! Marcus and Sebastian encouraged not only Susan, but provided inspiration for countless other rides.

In Hermosa, California, they are in their eighth year of hosting a fundraising glow ride. They emphasize the importance of bringing the community together.

In Lexington, Kentucky, they have initiated a glow ride as a part of their “Safe Streets Lexington” program.

Pedal to the Moon” is the creative name of the ride that takes place in Castle Rock, Colorado and in Clearwater Beach, the group event has been coined as “Let’s Glow Riding”.

Most Amazing Glow Ride with the World’s Biggest Balloon Fiesta

Here in Albuquerque, the Free-to-Roam eBiking crew hosts glow rides during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and there isn’t a more magical way to experience the largest balloon event in the world. Not only are all of the Free-to-Roam e-bikes eye-catchingly luminous, but they are also in prime condition thanks to the incredible service crew. As they are beautifully maintained and ready to go, these pedal-assist bikes will provide an easy and worry-free experience. This allows for individuals of all ages and physical abilities to safely join in. Groups can avoid the traffic and leave parking struggles behind so that the balloons can be the main event. Not to mention, riding anywhere along the bike trails in Albuquerque and surrounding areas is guaranteed to include beautiful scenery. The unique landscape and crisp air of the desert provide the ultimate setting for a peaceful ride.

For riders who are asking “How can I light up my bike?” so they have their very own glowing set of wheels, Free-to-Roam has light kits which can be picked up or installed by us for you!

Bike Lighting and Safety

Visibility Concerns

Some may be wondering whether the glowing lights serve more than just a decorative purpose. In fact, it is likely that most individuals understand the value of lights in road safety. But there are further measures to take beyond the basic set-up of headlights and taillights. These additional precautions increase the visibility of a cyclist,