When the full moon rises, they take to the streets, reveling in the darkness of night. They travel in a group, a swarm of fast-moving masses, their red eyes steady, staring. The headlights of passing motor vehicles catch their illuminated forms, warning them of potential danger.

They’re not creatures of the night, but these folks may be in costume when they flip up their kickstands this month and take to their bicycles.

Lunar Cycling Bangor will hold its next event Oct. 27, just in time for Halloween. The event was founded in 2014 by James Reiss, a local with a love for bicycling. The monthly moonlit bike ride is tied to the full moon, a recurring event that allows for flexibility.

“I thought it would be nice to tie it to some natural event — something that’s regular but not the same day,” Reiss said.

The group meets at 8 p.m. every month in Broadway Park, where they use the light of the full moon, along with lights attached to their bicycles, to navigate Bangor, from the waterfront and downtown to Mount Hope cemetery, among many other locations.

The event has many purposes, the most important of which is to boost awareness of cyclists and increase cyclists knowledge of traffic laws.

“We are beholden to the exact same laws, and we are also protected by the same privileges [as motor vehicles],” Reiss said. “I get really frustrated when I see people biking on sidewalks or the wrong way down streets. … It’s super dangerous. There’s a hefty lack of awareness on both sides.”

Reiss trained with the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, an organization whose goal is to make Maine a better place to bicycle. He has a love for cycling and a drive to improve conditions for cyclists and those who travel by motor vehicle in Bangor.

“When I got my driver’s license, I quit biking for a while. … Five years ago I started thinking about biking again and how much I loved doing it. I bought a rusted out mid-60s Raleigh … and I refurbished it as best as I could. It was way too big for me, but I rode that for a year or two. I sold my car and bought a really nice bike, and that’s my only form of transportation now,” Reiss said.

Anyone is welcome to join the group. For this month’s event, riders are encouraged to come in costume.

“It’s open to all skill levels, and we have a helmet and light lending program to make sure everyone is safe and illuminated,” Reiss said.

The event typically draws between six and 12 people. In the short time it has been operational, Reiss has already met one of his goals.

“I was hoping that I would eventually have people that I didn’t know coming on the rides, which ended up happening pretty quickly,” he said.

For more information about Lunar Cycling Bangor, visit facebook.com/lunarcyclingbangor.

Shelby Hartin

Shelby Hartin was born and raised in southern Aroostook County in a tiny town called Crystal, population 269. After graduating from the University of Maine in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in...