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The 999: Bicycles, Salt Lake City, and You

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Utah chapter.

The weekend practically starts on Thursday, right? And if it doesn’t, it should! To get behind this idea, you should follow along with the group of hundreds of bikers that bike downtown Salt Lake City every Thursday night. Whether you associate with the biking community or not, you and two wheels are invited to cycle with other people fond of spontaneity and exploring various parts of Salt Lake. 

The biking gang starts to meet around 9 PM on 9th and 9th (this is where the name 999 comes from) in the parking lot just east of Cahoots, and the take off starts around 10 PM. Beforehand, everyone is welcome to hang out and meet fellow bikers. A man riding a red bike with the loudest speaker usually initiates the take off. The route is never the same, which keeps things interesting — you could ride down streets you would never have explored otherwise! On the way, there are a few stops that take place. The stops may include pausing at a Smith’s to restock, taking advantage of an open area for an impromptu dance circle, or racing around a roundabout. While riding with this group of energetic strangers, there are multiple people around with speakers to provide music to match the scene. Although I have not been able to Shazam songs so I could save any of the groovy mash-ups, the music is just as surprising and lively as the whole event. My favorite remix is Migos’s “Bad and Boujee” with Earth, Wind, & Fire’s “September”. 

The man with the red bike and the biggest speaker is the one that has this captivating playlist. His eye-catching bike is accompanied by a bandana under his hat, white Nikes, and loose-fitting light wash jeans. He is probably in his late forties, has hair long enough to poke out of his flat rim hat, and is as groovy as his music. I once was so inspired by his song choice while dancing that I approached him to see if there was a platform I could add his playlist on, and he told me that he doesn’t have a profile or playlist to follow; he just plays what he wants or random songs. I think this has to do with the magic of 9th and 9th at 9.

There is no stopping the flow of bikers when a red light appears; in fact, the bikers take control of the roads for a little while. Most people observing from their cars are surprised, but delighted, by all of the cyclists and are willing to let all the bikers go through their green lights and stop signs. The occasional wheelie or handless rider is always fun for people sitting in their cars to watch. Even into the winter months, there are people dedicated to the ride that will tough out all conditions. It’s just a matter of layering up and wearing some gloves to keep the ride alive!

Members of 999 will often bike until 1 or 2 AM, but I usually retire after midnight or so. You are able to choose your own adventure, but you will want to stay for at least a couple of hours. You will be surprised by how friendly and entertaining bikers can be!


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I am a sophomore at the University of Utah. I enjoy snowy mountains and wearing green shoes.