At British Cycling we’ve long been there for our readers with helpful tips and advice to enhance your cycling experience. No matter what time of year, we’ve got practical, helpful advice for all kinds of cyclist. However, Halloween has got us stumped, so we’ve come up with the following instead.
Above: Fright night on knobblies - Rollapaluza's Halloween Cross.
Coping with Mischief Night
Mischief Night, 30th October, is a difficult time for every right-thinking person but especially so for cyclists. In towns and cities throughout the country, the ‘tradition’ of throwing eggs, flour or a combination thereof at passing vehicles has become firmly entrenched in recent years. Our advice – take the car, bus or cry off sick on the 30th October. Scraping encrusted egg and flour mix off your Dura Ace shifters is no way to spend your evening.
If you’ve got no option than to bike home through the flour and egg strewn melee, we suggest mechanic’s overalls, rubber gloves, wellingtons and flying goggles. A liberal coating of GT85 on bike and body will also help the pancake mix slide off.
Trick or treat?
Come the 31st and you face another swathe of perils, as hordes of zombies, witches, wizards, werewolves and assorted ghouls take to the streets, begging for sweets from terrified householders. Commuting home through this sugar-crazed, demonic rabble is no mean feat, as they wander aimlessly across the streets from house to house, distracted by the promise of Haribo and fun size Milky Ways. Quick reflexes, concentration and sharp brakes are your only friends.
On the flipside however, you could use the excuse of an evening training ride to avoid the dreaded night of appeasing your neighbour’s ghoulishly clad children with money and assorted tuck. Leave your other half in charge of the trick or treat duties, pop out for a quick interval session and return home as the last of the ungodly rabble have given up and gone home, forked tails between their legs. Time it right and there might be some sweets left for a post ride snack.
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!
Sometimes, you just can't fight the moonlight and it’s far easier to suck it up and join in with the devilish fun. In a number of locations across the country, on or around 31st October, cyclo cross races take on a Halloween, fancy-dress theme - combining mud, pumpkins, compulsory dismounts and Dracula costumes. Beats sitting like a prisoner in your own home, waiting to be egged.
Or if racing’s not your thing, why not trick or treat by bike? Just think of how much you could expand your Halloween begging empire by saddling up? Add a pannier to help you haul your Halloween booty home.
As for me, come the 31st I’ll be on the turbo, with the front door bolted, letterbox gaffer taped up, iPod turned up to the max, pretending it’s not happening.