Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling - Soloing questions
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05-20-10, 04:06 PM
With working on an R-12, I find myself putting in a lot of solo miles. I'm doing a non-rando distance event this weekend, and I'm just wondering how many other people feel comfortable with overnight solo riding?
I've done some solo night riding, but only for the finish of a 300k which was just a few hours up to midnight. I'm setting off on Friday after dark for a pre-ride lap of the Seattle Tour de Cure century course so I finish up in time for the morning packet pick up, and I'll ride my second lap with the organized event.
The last overnight riding I did was on a 400k last summer and I had a ride partner, plus it was a different experience; we were tired from riding all day. I'll be starting fresh for the night on this ride.
Are you comfortable with night time soloing?
Is there anything you do differently for a night time solo ride versus a day solo?
05-20-10, 08:11 PM
I love riding at night. Sure, riding in a group is probably at least marginally safer.
I've ridden solo at night quite a few times. I'm never quite as comfortable riding solo at night as I am riding solo during the day ... or riding solo at night as I am riding with someone at night.
One thing that makes me feel a bit uncomfortable is the fact that I'm a small-medium sized female ... and whether it is indeed something I need to worry about or not, I just somewhat vulnerable out there.
So, if I happen to talk to someone in a shop or wherever along the way, and if the person asks me where I'm going, I hint that I am riding to the next town where I'll stop for the night, or that I'm meeting friends out there somewhere nearby who will pick me up and take me home, or something along those lines. I never let it be known to strangers that I'm riding all night long by myself.
05-21-10, 08:23 AM
I've ridden a few "all nighters" - but they are getting harder and harder to come by.
Two issues are finding safe areas to ride and scheduling any refueling or water source stops. I'm going to try an all night ride next week. The moon phase will be right. And hopefully the weather will be right as well.
05-21-10, 10:12 AM
I'm pretty lucky by both concerns:
At 6'6" and 225 pounds, I present an intimidating enough stature that I don't worry about people at night stops. On the bike that's less helpful, so I still keep a sharp eye on my mirror to know what's going on behind me.
The Tour de Cure route here is based largely around using public and state parks for rest stops, so I don't need to worry much about water. There's only a 30 mile stretch I need to be sure I'm carrying enough for, because there's no park stop and the regular rest stop sure as heck won't be open at 4am.
The roads are all commonly used cycling routes along low traffic roads, so I'm definitely not worried in that regard. The bustling metropolis that is downtown Granite Falls :rolleyes: will be the biggest happening spot that I'll pass through. On the 400k last year, that stop was basically me and my ride partner, the cashier, and 2 guys stopping in to buy beer and chips. Truthfully, I'll be surprised to see more than a couple dozen cars all night.
05-21-10, 12:47 PM
I love riding solo at night. I live/ride in an area where the roads are particularly deserted. In fact I rode 151 miles last weekend and only saw about 9-10 cars. If it's a full moon I'll even turn off my headlight and ride by moonlight. It's very peaceful and it's amazing how many animals you'll see. The only thing I worry about is riding anywhere near a bar or pub late at night, drunks on country roads in the middle of the night can be problematic...let me rephrase that drunks on any roads in the middle of the night can be problematic. If you got your bases covered food and water wise I say go for it! You’ll have a grand time…btw, when you ride by yourself you meet a higher class of people. ;)
05-21-10, 08:07 PM
Night time is my favorite time in the summer, although I've never done an all-nighter. My only---not fear....let's say trepidation---is dogs, but that exists during the day, too. Well, that and I almost ran over a raccoon that darted in front of me last year, so I guess unruly animals in general fall into that category.
I discovered my love for night riding 2 summers ago. It'd be high 80s/low 90s, humid, blazing sun, and the wind would be kicking up out of the west. I didn't feel like riding, so instead I'd take a siesta, and come evening I was raring to go. It was cooler, less humid, and the wind was calm, and riding was pure joy.
I'd like to do a nighttime century this summer---but the daytime century comes first.
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