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Saturday-Sunday: The Nine to Five is an all-night scavenger hunt by bike

Blurry night photo of four people in a shopping cart.
This photo from 3:13 a.m. during the 2012 Nine to Five is a good representation of my mindset around that time. I’m assuming we needed a photo in a shopping cart for the challenge, though I can’t honestly be sure. It was a weird night.

The Nine to Five is a classic, legendary Seattle event that has been making its return in recent years. It is a wonderful counterpoint to the Fremont Solstice Parade bike ride. Rather than celebrate the long day of sun, the Nine to Five celebrates the short night.

Riders will hit the streets from sunset to sunrise, scouring the city to collect an eclectic and unpredictable list of items and to complete random challenges. Just keeping your mind functional while trying to, say, find a tutu somewhere in Seattle at 3 a.m. is probably the hardest part. But it was so fun. I’ve never been so happy to see the sun rise.

You can register online for $25 per person. Up to five people per team. It starts at Gas Works Park, and there are meetups throughout the night to get additional checklists. Check out the website for more details on what to bring.

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The Nine to Five ran for years as an event by Go Means Go, which disbanded in 2014. The new Nine to Five is organized by a couple fans of the ride who decided to restart it in 2019 only to have the pandemic squash the momentum. But they say they had a decent turnout last year and are hoping to keep it going. I wish everyone involved the best of luck. Here are some words of advice from the 2012 winners: “we’re old & have basements, married hoarders (ahem, collectors), ride cargo bikes. Oh, and sobriety. If only that night.”

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