Full Moon Riders

By Andrew Rocha

Bicycling! Whether it’s a hobby, how you get to work, or a way of life, there are a series of events coming soon that you need to be aware of right away! For the fifth year, the Downtown Stockton Alliance is hosting the Full Moon Riders starting TODAY, April 20th. The Full Moon Riders will be gathering to ride every month on the evening of the full moon from April through October. Each ride will be led by various local organizations and be an opportunity to experience the wonder of downtown Stockton. This will also be the first time that the Downtown Stockton Alliance will be donating $1 per rider to a different non-profit organization at each ride.

Courtney Wood, the economic development coordinator for the Downtown Stockton Alliance  explained the background and purpose of the Full Moon Riders event. “I think the original goal was that downtown was kind of empty at certain times and [the Downtown Stockton Alliance] were like, ‘wow, this would be great to have bike riding here’ because there aren’t many cars in the evenings when people go home from their offices. So it’s kind of a cool place to bike ride. I think that was part of it: to get people down here to use the streets to promote bicycling.”

Bikes & Bites

Not only is this event an opportunity to give visitors and residents a unique look at downtown Stockton, but also a chance to grab a bite to eat with fellow cyclists. At the end of rides, leaders will direct the riders to some of their favorite restaurants in the area for a filling and delicious dinner or maybe just a quick snack. If anything, it is a chance for people to come together after a fun ride and take pleasure in some downtown Stockton cuisine. Some participating restaurants may even have special deals and offers for the Full Moon Riders.

And if that still doesn’t sound like a good time, there will also be a giveaway at each ride for the first 100 riders. Registration always begins at 5:15pm in Janet Leigh Plaza on the day of the ride.  

The Downtown Stockton Alliance Ambassadors will be helping out at the event. Special events ambassador Shirley Griffith explained the role that the ambassadors play during the event. “We have a table set up with giveaways and signup sheets, so at the beginning we get everybody’s name and email. We also take liability forms and give the riders the giveaway prize. And when they leave the plaza to go on their rides, we load everything up, go to the restaurant that is participating that night and put out bike racks.” So while everyone is enjoying themselves on their rides, it’s the ambassadors that are making sure everyone has a great experience. 

So if you’re someone who simply enjoys a leisurely bike ride or you’re a passionate bicyclist, you definitely want to join the Full Moon Riders and experience another side of downtown Stockton. Just remember to ride responsibly and that children under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet.  

Listed below are some more details on each of the upcoming rides. You can also find more information at https://www.downtownstockton.org/play/full-moon-riders-2/ 

April 20th 

6-8:15pm, led by the San Joaquin Bike Coalition.

Non-profit beneficiary: SJ Pride Center

Restaurant: Channel Brewing, Cast Iron, and Kabob & Gyro House

May 18th 

6-9pm, led by Deacon Steve from the HUB

Non-profit beneficiary: the HUB

Restaurant: Cancun

Bonus: After-ride bike-in movie!

June 17th 

6-8:15pm, led by the San Joaquin Bike Coalition

Non-profit beneficiary: Ready-to-Work

Restaurant: Papa Urb’s & Alfalfa’s

July 16th 

6-8:15pm, led by Roadfinch 

Non-Profit beneficiary: Mary Magdalene Community Services

Restaurant: All participating Downtown restaurants

August 15th 

6-8:15pm, led by Roadfinch 

Non-profit beneficiary: Child Abuse Prevention Council

Restaurant: The Downtowner, Subway

September 13th 

6-8:15pm, led by Stockton Bike Club 

Non-profit beneficiary: Mexican Heritage Center

Restaurant: Nena’s, D’lilah’s Cakery

October 13th 

6-8:15pm, led by Robby’s Bicycles 

Non-profit beneficiary: HATCH Workshop

Restaurant: participating Janet Leigh Plaza restaurants