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Old 09-03-09, 11:11 PM   #1
benajah
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Training in the dark is fun!

Rarely do I ride at night but I got stuck out after dark tonight, luckily had a blinky light, and it was a blast. 20 mph feels like 50.
If I can get used to pushing it in the dark maybe I won;t spend the winter on the trainer.
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Old 09-04-09, 04:49 AM   #2
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You'll need something more than just a blinky to be safe.
Go to the Commuters forum and look at some of the headlight alternatives.

I train all year in the dark - before dawn. It works for me and I enjoy it. But I make sure that my light setup is perfect for training. I even have a runners reflective vest that is visible 1/2 mile away.
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Old 09-04-09, 04:53 AM   #3
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I have had a couple of days before sunrise but this morings ride got called on account of heavy fog. I wasn't too keen to be riding blind. Any tips?
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Old 09-04-09, 04:58 AM   #4
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Riding in the fog? Don't do it. I did it once. ONCE! I almost got nailed by a truck. Visibility is bad enough before sunrise. People are still adjusting to the morning - may not have had their cup of joe. Add in dense fog and we're asking for trouble.


Your life is more important than a bike ride. Even if it's the most important training day.
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Old 09-04-09, 05:00 AM   #5
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the central park pack ride was always a treat in the middle of a NYC winter.
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Old 09-04-09, 05:04 AM   #6
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We have a fast group ride that attracts 30-50 ppl each Wed through the winter.

There are street lamps, and it is a wide road with a bike lane and little traffic, but there are sometimes when we have it rolling over 28mph for extended periods, it just seems a bit nutty.

I always had a love/hate with those twilight crits. But the OP is correct in saying the speed feels much higher in the dark.
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Old 09-04-09, 05:08 AM   #7
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Most of our Crossroads Classic Crits are at night. I love them.
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Old 09-04-09, 05:09 AM   #8
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i used to do a 'chain gang' in an industrial park at night, when i lived in scotland.

never enjoyed it much.
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Old 09-04-09, 05:30 AM   #9
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I agree with Sub. Get a good light...if you're going to ride without the sun a quality light is a lifesaver and very practical too. I use the niterider mini newt mounted to my helmet. Bright as hell, but when I glance down at the PT or speedo I can actually see the numbers (time/speed/Hr/watts), when I mount it on my bars I just wait for the beep and that is less fun, imo.

I only do speed workouts predawn, they are shorter. I can see a long ride being kinda interesting...but roads around here suck pretty bad and a few extra meters of visibility is pretty damn comforting.
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Old 09-04-09, 05:32 AM   #10
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the 3s and P12s race in the dark with blinkeys at the Gateway Cup tonight...I've heard people thinking their shadow is an attacking rider and then jumping to stem the attack. its got to be nuts...
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Old 09-04-09, 07:06 AM   #11
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I do some night training in the winter, plus, a lot of the group rides seem to come in after sundown this time of year. I suggest hooking up with a friend and use the buddy system though. I was out with a group last Wednesday, it was getting dark and we were still 20 miles out. I had a light and we made our way to a bike path that would take us to the shop. We came across a lone roller blader who had crashed. He was totally unconscious, laying face down in a pool of blood. His face seemed to be fractured and he was having trouble breathing. Took about 30 min. before the emergency personnel found us and this guy was knocked out for about 20 min. of that. Who knows how long he'd been there before we found him. Even when he came around some, he was unresponsive. It was pretty freaky, I hope he'll be OK.

So I'm just saying, having a buddy along could be a good thing. I'll still go out solo, but I have a teammate that trains at night too and we go together if at all possible.
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Old 09-04-09, 07:22 AM   #12
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Riding in the dark does have that element of feeling fast as hell. I hate racing crits in the dark though, because there are always stretches that are well lighted and others that are pitch black that don't allow your eyes enough time to adjust. It is freaky to see your shadow pass you moving from the light to dark areas also.

Riding in fog is a big no-no after a couple of really close calls. The other thing about riding in heavy fog is suddenly realizing your brakes don't work because they're wet from the droplets collecting on them.
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Old 09-04-09, 07:26 AM   #13
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Having ridden the LIE service road yesterday afternoon, I can say that I agree.

Daytime suburbia drivers are complete butt munchers.

Nights are much better. Just get decent lights. Bright LED or HID headlight, and two or more bright red blinkies.
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Old 09-04-09, 07:37 AM   #14
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Night riding is a blast. I think part of it is some natural adrenaline rush harking back to cavemen days - it's more dangerous at night because you can't see, and so you automatically get some adrenaline going.

I used to ride at night somewhat frequently (even have a helmet cam clip to edit). Rode in the downtown of a big CT city as well as Manhattan. I'd ride after work when I worked in NYC specifically so I could ride in traffic. I also drove over to the CT city so I could start a ride at 10 or 11 or midnight, and ride for 1-3 hours typically. I try and stay on one way roads (either one way for real or two way with a solid median that's hard to cross). This way I don't have to worry about oncoming traffic as much.

I've ridden up around here (it's kind of like farmland for CT), no traffic, long lines of sight, and it's great.

Once nice thing about night riding is the temperature doesn't vary much, esp in the winter. It gets to a certain temp and stays there.

I am extremely paranoid about being seen by others. If I had a choice, I'd make using Down Low Glows mandatory, they are so good. You simply cannot miss a rider using them. Combined with a blinkie in the back (Super Flash is great, and lasts long) and a real headlight for the front (if no streetlights - if streetlights then a blinkie is fine).

Post relating to night riding, and showing the DLGs, Super Flash, and a headlight:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...ight-ride.html

Fluency and night riding:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...nt-riding.html

cdr
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Old 09-04-09, 07:43 AM   #15
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^

riding in manhattan (day or night) is generally safer than riding on open roads in the burbs.
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Old 09-04-09, 07:47 AM   #16
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^I completely agree.

Riding back to NYC from NJ is awful.
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Old 09-04-09, 08:03 AM   #17
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^ Sometimes it doesn't really matter at what time of day or night you ride.
But I find less traffic early, early in the morning.
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Old 09-04-09, 11:03 AM   #18
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Quote:
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^

riding in manhattan (day or night) is generally safer than riding on open roads in the burbs.
It's hard to believe that folks actually pay attention driving in NYC, meaning on the major roads there, not in the park.

I forgot about my one experience with the fast night rides in Central Park.

http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...t-in-city.html

cdr
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Old 09-04-09, 11:39 AM   #19
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^

while not perfect, NYC drivers are a hell of a lot better than your average north american driver.

as a matter of fact, i'd say NYC is the safest major city that i've ever experienced as a cyclist/pedestrian.



*edit* i guess you now know that the pack ride finished at tavern, not at cat's paw, right?

Last edited by botto; 09-04-09 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 09-04-09, 11:47 AM   #20
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You haven't been to Pumpkin Center, NC have you? So your view of "better than average" is quite flawed.
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Old 09-04-09, 12:09 PM   #21
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You haven't been to Pumpkin Center, NC have you? So your view of "better than average" is quite flawed.
i've been in the south, where i believe the dmv test amounts to holding a mirror in front of the applicants mouth.

if it fogs up, they get a license.
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Old 09-04-09, 12:12 PM   #22
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i've been in the south, where i believe the dmv test amounts to holding a mirror in front of the applicants mouth.

if it fogs up, they get a license.
I always wondered why they did that. I thought if they saw a reflection we get a license. Otherwise, you were a witch and they burned you at a stake.
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Old 09-04-09, 12:50 PM   #23
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Try some dirt riding at night. Now there's a rush!

I do some night mtbing over the winter since it gets dark so early. With the temperature swings here in CO riding on the road at night in the winter would be a horrible idea, it's a good 40+ degrees colder at night than in the afternoon. Plus since it gets above freezing most days then way under at night, black ice is a huge problem.
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Old 09-04-09, 02:57 PM   #24
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Remember that time you were riding along at 20mph at night and suddenly hit a harsh speedbump which threw you over the handlebars?

oh wait, that was me.

-Eric
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Old 09-04-09, 04:40 PM   #25
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Try some dirt riding at night. Now there's a rush!
I have to talk to one of the guys involved, but we used to do a lot of riding from the shop, and if we went mtb, it would be dark. The big thrill is having your light die (after 1-1.5 hours some of our lights would go), then trying to ride behind someone and using their light as yours.

Then going faster and faster, until we were going about as fast as we could go regardless of light.

All this on narrow, rocky, rutty, rooty single track. What a blast.

We rescued a few guys that got lost (kids mainly). So dark that you couldn't see a thing with no lights, and once we saw two kids were literally just pushing their bikes in a sort-of straight line. We sent one of our guys (with a good light) to bring them back to the parking lot.

Quote:
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^

while not perfect, NYC drivers are a hell of a lot better than your average north american driver.

as a matter of fact, i'd say NYC is the safest major city that i've ever experienced as a cyclist/pedestrian.

*edit* i guess you now know that the pack ride finished at tavern, not at cat's paw, right?
Yeah, now I know that it's the Tavern. Waiting on Cat's Paw was not fun. This was back a while when crack was big and everyone was shooting everyone. I was just a tad bit nervous.

NYC - it's hard to believe that drivers are so aware of cyclists. I mean, yeah, you read about messengers and such, but livery and cabs, they are pretty good. I'd squeeze between cars and they always seemed to see me.

On the other hand, they honk so much that whenever I drive in the city, I honk just because someone else honks. Figure I'll enhance the "feel" of the city. Okay, I don't honk that much, but it's kinda funny to be watching the light, watch the other side turn red, then wait for the green, and when it turns green HONK!!! Before I can even twitch a toe, the cab behind me has hit the horn. My reactions aren't that fast.

cdr
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