Midnight Cycling

Nantes, 2012

I don’t remember the exact date, or month for that matter, but I do remember that it was one of those daylight saving time days, you know when the clock goes forward an hour. So it must’ve been about March-ish. I don’t even have a picture of the event, but I can still remember it. All I need is to press that “play” button in my brain and the memories would come rushing back.

The all hyped up The Hunger Games movie just came out. Diana and I were having an all girls night in, actually we didn’t really have an actual plan. I remember feeling exhausted from all the overwhelming assignments. Then, our friend Dominik decided to join us and then there were three and it was no longer a girls night in, and I didn’t mind, the more the merrier.

One of us suggested watching The Hunger Games downtown. I hesitated, as it was dubbed in French, yes no subtitle, dubbed, that’s how France does it apparently. Night had already came, and really, watching The Hunger Games in FRENCH in the middle of the night?! I said yes.

And so we set off. If our calculation was correct, we would be finished by just after midnight, meaning we could still catch the last tram back to our dorm. 

Surprisingly enough, I was able to decipher most of the conversations and the storyline of the movie. Yey me. When it was finished, we rushed off to the tram stop and the sign that usually indicated when the next tram was coming was blinking frantically. This usually was a sign that there were no more trams. Ok.

We could walk.

No way it’s too far.

Stupid tram!

How about we cycle?

Lucky for us, Nantes has those rent-a-bike stations all over the city, and one of the station is near the university, so if we could stop there then we only needed to walk 10 minutes back to our dorm.

And so we cycled. The almost Spring wind hit my face, I felt great. I enthusiastically cycled my way through the empty street. The hustle bustle of the city seemed to be swallowed by the night, and was now exchanged for a more serene atmosphere, as if it was tailored for our midnight cycling. 

I started loosing my breath when the road got hilly and even got down from my bike and pushed it with my own two feet, but I didn’t mind. The city was so quiet at night, only a few passersby, probably students after their night out. I glanced at my friends who were in front of me and thought of our struggles over the past few months. It had been hard for me, but my friends were always there for me, they supported me, listened to my complaints, cheered me on and helped me through whatever problems I had. I smiled. I looked up to the midnight sky and it was too smiling with its twinkling stars. 

(And OF COURSE the tram went passed us as we were cycling halfway down the road)

Exhausted, as one usually experience after some years of cycling hiatus, we walked through a shortcut in the park near our dorm. I was so happy for this spontaneous night. When we managed to return to each of our room, I rested my head into my pillow, looked at the clock and realised it had gone forward one hour, and I thought: I will never forget today.

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