Night riding

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Night riding

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    • #126086

      I’d just like to share that I picked up 1100 and a 1200 lumen lights this year. Living in New England, the riding season is cut all-too short by the disappearing daylight, and when I saw the price on a few lights, I pulled the trigger.

      I have never enjoyed biking as much as I have this fall. I’ve done probably 7 or 8 "night rides" now, and they’re just a complete blast. The trails are new, everyone is engaged to the sport, your reaction is different, and the temps are cooler. This has really become my favorite part of biking!

      Anyone else getting into it?

    • #126087

      I’m still new myself, but all of the trails in my area close at dark. However, I think you’d definitely have to move much slower on the trails than normal and that may not make it worth the time/risk. I used to play paintball at a semi-competitive level and playing at night always sounded good on paper, but never worked out as well as it sounded. Just be careful out there.

    • #126088

      I have been riding at night for years and I agree that it is a blast. I particularly like night riding with a group when you can see a line of lights behind and/or ahead of you.

      With a good light there is minimal added risk to riding at night, especially on a familiar trail. Speeds are slower, but not as much as you might expect. The different perspective you get at night more than makes up for it and adds a fresh experience to a trail that may be becoming a bit routine.

    • #126089

      I recently got a cheapo light off of Amazon. So far the light has worked out great. It last for over 2 hours at a time and I’ve never had a recharge issue. Night riding adds a whole new level of intensity. You ride a little slower, and for me, areas where my look ahead is short freaks me out a little.

    • #126090

      I agree with others regarding the excitement, increased intensity, and more importantly extending the biking season as the days get shorter in New England. Also, I feel you are getting away with something you Mother told you shouldn’t be doing ("Riding your bike @ night") making it feel that more rebellious 😼 I do find while riding at night my skills/technique gets somewhat apprehensive, mainly due to the limited light…It is a total mind game, since during daylight I have no issues on the same trails. It can be frustrating (& slightly increases the risk of falling/injury), however it is all part of the experience of "night riding". As others have said, I will try to only ride more familiar trails, and tone down the speed. In addition, I usually try to ride a less technical trail, making it "ok" to ride some of those "boring" double track trails.

    • #126091

      My 300 lumen nite rider from 6 years ago is working well. Amazing how much light the new ones out out!

    • #126092

      Maybe it’s the cats I ride with, but the speed and technicality of my night riding is normal on par, or maybe a little ahead, of my daytime rides. There’s something not quite right in the heads of New England riders, but we’re all VERY used to rough terrain.

      Because all our terrain is rough. 😼

    • #126093

      Once the clocks change, it’s almost all night rides for me. We have a weekly night ride on Wednesday’s (weather permitting) and I usually try to get out one or two other times during the week. During the weekends I ride during the day, usually early morning before the sun turns the trails to mush.

      That said, I’m not a big fan of night riding. I have both a helmet light and a bar light so illumination isn’t an issue, it’s visibility. I can’t see as far down the trail as I’d like and I can’t see the scenery flying by either (although, that’s a good thing on some of the trails since it’s a 20- or 30-foot drop to the Missouri River in some cases.)
      I ride at night because riding at night is better than not riding.

      One thing I LOVE about night/winter riding is the frozen trails. The traction they provide is world class! It’s like riding on a ribbon of sandpaper. It. Is. Awesome.

    • #126094

      I think I am going to try riding at night to see if I like it. The only thing I am worried about where I am now is the wild hogs.

    • #126095

      Both times I’ve come across wild hogs while night riding, they took off like bullets before I got to where they were rooting up the trail.

      Of course, YMMV 😀

    • #126096

      Thanks Schwim. I was a little worried considering one the most dangerous animals in Germany is the wild hog.

    • #126097

      The only thing that hasn’t run from me so far is this mom.

      [flash=425,350:17qf21u5]http://www.youtube.com/v/uJW-c3I8rW4[/flash:17qf21u5]

      I hung out for a minute or two before pulling my phone from my pack and filming and I couldn’t figure out why she didn’t run like they usually do. She kept snuffling and seemed agitated. I turned off the camera when I looked to the other side of the trail and saw that I was sitting right in between her and her two cubs. Once I pedaled through, they ran over and the family took off into the woods.

      The freakiest thing I’ve witnessed is a deer that I guess got confused at the lights and just bolted into the trail right in front of me and ran the trail for quite a distance before shooting back up the hill. That was pretty awesome.

    • #126098

      Just ordered my light (Niterider Pro 1400)! Hopefully it won’t take a month to get over here.

    • #126099

      Be sure to carry a redundant light, even if it’s an el-cheapo commuter light. Lights(especially the inexpensive ones) sometimes fail. You can also end up with a trailside repair that burns up your battery. Last week, I started a night ride with three working lights and finished it with one working light and it was under 10% batt charge.

      I have a super-cheap handlebar mount light that runs on two AA batteries in my Camelback for situations like that, but if I didn’t, I would have just walked out using my cell phone’s light, so it’s no big deal, but it would have been inconvenient in 10 degree weather 😀

    • #126100

      I started cycling through the setting on my lights when I ride. For the more boring/mellow sections of trails, including any climbs, I put them on their lowest setting. When the trails turns to the fun side (namely down) I put the lights on full bright for max illumination.

      I’m now able to ride at least 30 minutes longer than I was while running them on full bright 100% of the time. (2+ hrs instead of 1.5 max).

    • #126101

      I have pretty limited night riding experience. I’d like to get some more lights. I’ve been riding a 605 LU NR. It probably would be enough light most of the time if it could cover much wider angles, which it can’t. I carry a 75 LU LEDLENSER flash light and extra batts and rubber bands, as back up. It’s pretty good, not the same and will burn through it’s single AAA quick. Had a blast out tonight, but it’s nice out. I have a real hard time heading out when it’s dark[i:1nw9ohtk] and[/i:1nw9ohtk] cold. 😳

    • #126102
      "Jared13" wrote

      I started cycling through the setting on my lights when I ride. For the more boring/mellow sections of trails, including any climbs, I put them on their lowest setting. When the trails turns to the fun side (namely down) I put the lights on full bright for max illumination.

      I’m now able to ride at least 30 minutes longer than I was while running them on full bright 100% of the time. (2+ hrs instead of 1.5 max).

      Thanks for the tip. I will keep that in mind when I start.

    • #126103

      I have a 500 lumen cygolight. I can either mount on the handlebars or my helmet. Currently I have it strapped to the helmet. I have never biked in the pitch black of night, though I have always wanted to give it a go. I have only used my light when I have either ended a late afternoon/early evening ride that ends right about dark; or on those early AM rides I will do sometimes before I get to work where I enter the trail right at sun up or just before.

      I ride solo most of the time so my biggest fear is taking a nasty spill in the middle of the night and being stranded out there… that is probably just a phobia I need to get over.

    • #126104
      "Zeds Dead" wrote

      I ride solo most of the time so my biggest fear is taking a nasty spill in the middle of the night and being stranded out there… that is probably just a phobia I need to get over.

      Almost all of my rides, night included, are solo. I try to simply govern myself, staying below the threshold of my ability.

      Of course, it’s safer to ride in groups but if you’re well prepared and know your limits, the risk of riding solo is minimal. At least well below what I’m willing to accept, anyway.

    • #126105

      Where I live, summer biking is mostly a night affair. Consequently, I have a ridiculous number of lights on my bikes.

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