Before the runners, come the bikers.
In the dead of night, hours before the Boston Marathon road race started, a group of locals experienced the historic route differently — via bicycle.
The annual “Midnight Marathon Bike Ride” took place early Monday, as bicycle enthusiasts took advantage of a clear, open road for up to 30 miles.
The ride has become a tradition since Boston University student Greg Hum launched it in 2009. It starts in Southborough and follows the Boston Marathon route from the western suburbs into the city hours before thousands line up to run the race, and offers cyclists two options of route length.
Hum previously told the Globe that avid bike riders enjoy the route, where markers are already in place for the morning run.
“The streets are quiet, and riding bikes at night is quite magical,’’ Hum said. ”It’s also an awesome experience if you’re riding your bike down the course. You get to use your imagination, like the audience and being in the marathon.’’
He previously described the ride, which takes two to three hours for most bikers to complete, as tranquil, yet invigorating.
“In the city, there’s heavy traffic all the time, and you’re always navigating your way around cars,’’ Hum said. “But once you get to the suburbs, especially at night, there’s very little traffic. It’s very quiet and peaceful for most of the ride.’’
Based on social media posts, this year’s ride came off without a hitch: