Every Thursday night at about 7:30pm, several hundred of Boulder's oddest turn out for the Cruiser Ride- or, as it's more generally known, Happy Thursday. There's no message and no fixed membership- it's just a vibrant, energetic party on wheels.
This event started several years ago as a few people riding their single-gear bikes around town every week. It has evolved into one of the wildest parts of Boulder's culture. Bikes are rigged with lights, people wear outrageous outfits, and bikes tow battery-powered home stereo systems. Rides take a different route every week: down bike paths, through parking garages, clogging city streets, and stopping periodically at city park picnic structures for dance parties and alcohol. The ride lasts about three hours and ends up downtown, where riders give enthusiastic high-fives to startled tourists on the Pearl Street Mall.
I came along with my fellow NIST student researchers for nine of the weekly rides during my 12-week research program. On my second-to-last week in Boulder, I took my camera along. It's hard to take pictures of moving objects in the dark, but here's what I came up with.