The big night is nearly upon us and to ensure that you have an unforgettable ride, here's some last minute reminders and important tips covering the three most important Bs; bike, body and brain.
Last minute entries
Keen to be part of Ride the Night Melbourne? Entries are still available and we’ll be selling them right up until the day of the event. Online entries close at 5pm this Friday 27 January. And if you miss the deadline, you can also purchase tickets from the event start site at Albert Park.
Important info - you should read this
- Rider kit collection - You can choose to pick up your registration kit either in the week prior to the event from Bicycle Network Melbourne's office or at the start line festival Aughtie Drive, Albert Park.
To beat the queues, head to pre-event kit collection at the Bicycle Network office:
- 9.30am - 5pm Tuesday 24 January
- 9.30am - 5pm Wednesday 25 January
- No kit collection Thursday 26 January - public holiday
- 9.30am - 3pm Friday 27 January
Bicycle Network HQ - Level 4, 246 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
We're located in the Midtown Tower building - just a couple of doors down from the Target Centre entrance on Bourke Street. Hot tip: head through the glass doors to the lifts at the back. Take the lift to level 4.
- Ride guide and event assistance - your all-in-one guide to the event. Read the ride guide online here. If you need help while out on the road and it's not an emergency requiring ambulance or police, please contact the event team directly on 0425 381 816 or 0425 777 484. Save these numbers to your phone now.
- Share your journey - we want to see your pics from the night, don't forget to #RidetheNight on Instagram/Twitter or join us on Facebook for event updates as they happen.
Bike (and gear):
- If you can sneak one in, it's always a good idea to get a bike service before the ride. But if you've run out of time, here's an easy 'M Check' that you can do at home to make sure you're ride ready and that bike is in perfect working order. Read more >
- While the forecast is looking clear for the first time in Ride the Night history, it’s still important that you prepare for all weather conditions - get your kit and gear sorted the night before so that you don't leave anything behind especially our compulsory items including rider wrist band, helmet and lights.
- We want to create a pedalling carnival of glowing bikes - so light up and don’t forget to be bright and bold – think colour, face paint, glowsticks, lights and everything in between.
- At Ride the Night Melbourne, you'll be riding with more than 1,500 of your new closest friends. To ensure that everyone has an unforgettable day we ask that you please ride with respect, put your rubbish in the bins provided, look after each other, keep left unless overtaking and communicate clearly.
Here's a great video with some tips for riding in a mass participation bike ride:
Your body is your Ride the Night engine, so it's incredibly important to look after it in the lead up to the day, during the event and after the ride.
- For those that aren’t used to staying up all night rest is incredibly important. Don’t forget to bank up some hours of sleep with nap on Saturday – we certainly will be.
- Before riding, the best warm up is dynamic stretching. Here's a great one to keep you limber and ready to ride.
- After a big night on the bike, give your body a post ride treat by gently stretching your hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors as well as your lower and upper back. Here's some of our favourites.
If your body is your engine, then food is your fuel. To meet the energy needs for Ride the Night, you'll need to eat plenty of carbohydrate rich foods and fluids before, during and after your ride.
- Food and hydration are a critical part of your preparation and ride day. We recommend a carb rich breakfast (like cereal or porridge) and lunch (pasta) with a lighter snack before the ride to settle your stomach.
- Make sure you're drinking plenty of water before, during and after the ride too - particularly if it's going to be a warm night.
- Each rider is different so while there will be plenty of rest stops along the way with water - we always recommend that riders bring a little extra for themselves.
Your brain is just as important as your body when taking on a big ride - especially if it's the first time your riding 62km or 42km.
- Take the stress out of the day by being prepared and knowing as much as you can about the ride. Read the ride guide, know your start times, cut-offs and rest areas.
- It feels good to give so make sure you give yourself a special boost by cranking up your fundraising in the lead up to the event. If every rider raised only $36 we can provide more than 1,200 hours of support for disadvantaged youth in need and help YSAS continue the incredible work they do.
- The bike riding community is a diverse bunch - take the opportunity to chat and get to know the riders around you. You never know - you could make a brand new friend or riding buddy.
- Lastly, as the sun rises over Albert Park don’t forget to take a moment to reflect and celebrate your achievement – you’ve just completed Ride the Night Melbourne, Australia’s biggest night time bike ride.
Good luck and have a great ride on Saturday. We can't wait to see what this year's Ride the Night Melbourne has in store.
With just over a week to go, it’s time to hit up your friends, work mates and family for some funds to help YSAS do the incredible work they do and brighten the future of our youth.
From overcoming mental health issues and the impact of abuse and neglect, to finding housing and tackling drug and alcohol problems, YSAS provides access to the resources and support young people require to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.
Every young person deserves the opportunity to feel valued, included and have every opportunity to thrive. And, every dollar raised through Ride the Night brings us one step closer to that vision.
But we know what you're thinking - asking mates to donate can be awkward, but it doesn’t have to be.
Here are three ways to encourage your friends and family to support your ride:
- A little goes a long way – any dollar amount counts. Aim for lots of small donations rather than a golden ticket. Ask friends to forgo their daily coffee or cheeky bev after work, with the knowledge that they can make a difference to the lives of young Australians.
- Share your achievement or reason for riding – what’s your motivation for riding? Is it the cause, the challenge or a combination of both? Whatever your reason, share your achievement and the cause with your friends and your workplace – you could be surprised by who backs you.
- Invite them along for the ride – riding is always better with mates and when it comes to Ride the Night, the more the merrier. Encourage your mates to join you, enter a team and maximise the fun (and funds) come Saturday 28 January.
Imagine, if by the end of the week, every Ride the Night Melbourne rider raised $36. Not only would we supply disadvantaged young people with access to more than 1292 hours of support with social workers, we’d contribute $46,512 towards the cause!
Will you accept the $36 challenge?
When you Ride the Night, you’re doing so much more than taking part in an awesome night ride, touring the best of Melbourne. There’s a serious side to what we do – brightening the future of Victoria’s most disadvantaged youth. We know it can be, but fundraising doesn’t have to be difficult and intimidating. In fact, supporting Ride the Night is super easy with these 5 top tips:
1. Personalise your fundraising page: when you registered to Ride the Night you got your very own fundraising page. Login, put up a few pictures and tell people why you are taking part.
2. Email your friends, family and colleagues: from your personal fundraising page you can send an email to everyone you know asking for a small contribution. Just login, click “fundraising tools” and you’ll see how to get sponsors. From as little as $9, your friends, family and colleagues could provide 15 minutes of support to a young person in need. Better still, up it $36, and there’s one whole hour! As the donations come in, remember to thank donors for their generosity.
3. Post to social media: share your personal fundraising page through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other platform you use to keep in touch. Asking for as little as $5 really can make all the difference to a very local cause. YSAS is Victoria’s leading youth-specific community service organisation.
4. Self-donate: if you’d rather support yourself than ask for donations, we’ve made that easy, too. You can donate as much as you like through your fundraising page.
5. Bring a little Ride the Night to your Australia Day: if you’re celebrating this Australia Day with family or friends, why not take along a little collection box or sell-off some home-baked goodies? Gold coin donations quickly add up!
We are so grateful for all of your support. We think you’re pretty great! Remember, it takes just $36 to provide one hour of support to a disadvantaged young person in need. In just one hour, Youth Support + Advocacy Service – our charity partner – can support a young person in finding someplace safe to stay, or help them to reconnect with education, or teach them to live in this world without relying on alcohol or drugs to cope. Please show your support for the amazing work of YSAS in Victoria.
Too many young people aged 12-25 in Australia are currently experiencing serious disadvantage. From mental health issues, abuse and neglect, to not having somewhere safe to stay or relying on drugs to cope in this world, these young people face unimaginable journeys. But they also have unimaginable resilience.
By taking part in Ride the Night, and asking your friends, family and colleagues to sponsor your ride, you are helping YSAS reach these young people, walk alongside them, and connect them in with the resources and support they require to access the opportunities every young person should.
In 2017, we have our sights set on $50,000.00, so that we can offer more than 1,300 hours of support to disadvantaged young people through youth workers. These youth workers works tirelessly to reach young people where they are, understand the needs of each individual, support them so that they may stand on their own two feet.
A large part of YSAS’s work with young people is centred around drug and alcohol problems and other behavioural issues who often do not have access to the opportunities nor resources they require to lead healthy, fulfilling lives. In fact, those facing the most adversity often have least access to resources the need to live in the world without drugs or other health-compromising behaviours to cope. This injustice is magnified when these young people are criminalised, marginalised, victimised and stigmatised. The shame and resentment that this engenders can diminish each young person’s hope for a better future and further entrenches drug use and other health-compromising behaviours as a way of coping.
From as little as $36, a young person can access one hour of support with a youth worker. In just one hour, we can start helping a homeless kid find a place to safe place to stay, inspire them to reboot their education or teach them how to live in this world without needing drugs or alcohol to cope.
Please get those donations in and show your support for young people across Australia facing serious disadvantage.
Are you looking to Ride the Night but are not sure if you’re quite up for the 64km route? Never fear, for the 42km option is here to give you an easy snapshot of Melbourne after dark.
Held from 11:00pm to 6:00am you’ll have the same amount of time to ride the 42km route as you would the 64km option, and it starts and finishes at the same spot in Albert Park.
After setting off from the event village along the world-famous Grand Prix track the ride heads down towards St Kilda, getting you up close and personal with the gaping mouth at Luna Park. You’ll also get a peek at the freshly repainted Palais Theatre.
Next you get to ride beside the seaside as you pedal past Port Melbourne Beach before heading through South Melbourne on your way to the Botanical Gardens, Shrine and Observatory. Did we also mention you’ll go past the arts precinct? You’ll want to keep eyes peeled on this section!
Now it’s time for the world renowned sporting precinct. AAMI Park, Olympic Park, the MCG – you’ll see it all. With the Australian Open finals on you might even bump into a few tennis champions (be sure to ring your bell if you do).
En route to Docklands you will travel through the CBD on Exhibition St and La Trobe St. Take in the city lights evening culture Melbourne is famous for.
Travelling along Harbour Esplanade at Docklands will give views of the Bolte Bridge to your right and Etihad Stadium to your left. Soon enough you’ll be riding across the Seafarers Bridge into South Wharf and looking across to the bustling Southbank.
You’re now on the home straight – it’s time to ride through Port Melbourne, back down along the beach and through to the event village at Albert Park. When you arrive the coffee is on us!
The 42km Ride the Night route is jam packed with Melbourne sights and sounds. With minimal elevation (eg: uphill bits) you’ll easily be able to make the journey and see Melbourne in a different light.
Swap the sunshine for an after dark pedal-powered adventure.
Riding your bike at night is just like riding your bike during the day, except it’s dark– shocking we know!
But all jokes aside, riding at night has its own benefits. Riding your bike after the sun goes down opens you up to a world of fun new experiences. Not only is it a great way to squeeze in some extra hours pedalling, it offers a unique perspective of your favourite paths, trails and roads that you miss in broad daylight.
As part of Ride the Night Melbourne, you’ll get the chance to soak up views of some of the city’s most postcard-worthy landmarks, all under the cover of darkness. These include Luna Park, the MCG, Royal Botanic Gardens, Royal Exhibition Building, Shine of Remembrance, Yarra River and plenty more. Even better is that you get to do it as part of a travelling swarm of more than 1,000 glowing bike riders, winding your way along city streets, lanes and paths.
While riding in the dark can offer some unique challenges, with the right gear and advice, it can be the perfect bike riding adventure:
- Light up – light up and be seen. When riding at night or in low light, all bike riders must have a white front light and red rear light along with a red rear reflector. Even if the paths are well-lit, you still need lights so that other road users and riders can see you.
**Event tip: To help your lights go the distance and to preserve the battery, bring some spares or keep them on flicker or flash mode. For the best and most affordable lights out there, check out the 2016 Lights Test.
- Keep chatting – Communication is even more important when riding at night as your intentions may not be obvious. Call out ‘stopping’, ‘slowing’ and ‘passing’ along with obstacles that others may miss. Watching the shadows on the ground is also a good way to get a sense of what’s happening around you.
- Take it easy – Obstacles and imperfections in the road can be harder to spot in dim light, even with bike lights. Enjoy the sights around you, slow it down a little bit, keep an eye on the road and stay alert for tram tracks, potholes and patches of gravel.
- Dress right – Temperatures will drop overnight so make sure you dress warmly with gloves and a wind/waterproof jacket. This is Ride the Night Melbourne after all! Don’t worry though, we’re in negotiations with mother nature to ensure that she doesn’t serve us up another year of summer thunder storms
Ready for your own night riding adventure? Then it's time to sign up to Ride the Night Melbourne and help brighten the future of our youth.
Get to know some of the dedicated YSAS team and find out what makes them tick. Here is a teaser to their stories, more coming soon...