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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 11-10-10, 09:31 PM   #1
magohn
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Starlight, Starbright, did you shine on any Clydes tonight?



Went on my first moonlit ride tonight on quiet roads. With the early dark-nights having me riding under the stars tonight, I really noticed some differences from my usual daytime rides.

1. You REALLY need a bright light that lights up the road. I'm using a Cree flashlight and was very impressed - lit up the road quite well and only $13. Uses 1 AA battery and last 1+ hour.
2. Its much harder psychologically as you dont "see" the gentle hills until you feel your legs begin to get heavier.
3. Car headlights on a ink-dark road are quite blinding.
4. Get used to riding over roadkill that you dont see until much too late.
5. Dont get too reliant on the computer as when its dark, you cant see it!
6. 2mph slower than my usual daytime run.

Just some of the points I noticed tonight on the ride. Sure was pretty though, the moon was out and other than the odd car, it was VERY quiet/peaceful out...

Anyone recommend CHEAP nigthtime glasses that cut out car headlight glare?

Thanks!

Last edited by magohn; 11-10-10 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 11-10-10, 09:53 PM   #2
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I just got in from a 10 mile cruse under the stars myself. 4 miles of hilly cart paths on the local country club (shhh don't tell anybody), and 6 around town rolling through piles of dry raked leaves (don't judge me

I have a very expensive insanely bright Night Hawk light, but I really love the darkness and usually never take it, or ride unlit.

The golf course if the best. In the dark, I can hear groups (I guess that would be herds) of deer running all around me. They snort and bleat. It is really cool, and yet I can only make out their shadows.

60 degrees at 8pm. I gotta soak all of that up i can, as it will all go to hell very shortly.
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Old 11-11-10, 12:48 AM   #3
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A cheap helmet light solves the problem of a dark cyclocomputer. As for a bright headlight... it's on my Christmas wish list.
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Old 11-11-10, 05:16 AM   #4
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I commute home every night at midnight, but I can't imagine going on fitness rides in the dark. I feel like I'm pressing my luck in the dark riding home and I am lit up like a Christmas tree - two front headlights and two back blinkers. I also have most of my bike covered in reflective tape. I'd like to get a couple of those LED dealies you put on your spokes.

I don't feel particularly nervous riding at night except for the creepie crawlies that may pop out in my semi-bad neighborhood, but I still don't know if I'd go zoomin' around at night by choice.
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Old 11-11-10, 09:06 AM   #5
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I rode on the bike path last night, just under 17 miles round trip. I use a blinky on the back, and a MagicShine light from Geoman gear. The light is bright enough. $90 well spent. Comes with a rechargable battery, lasts about 4 hours per charge depending on how bright you use it.

Most of my night riding is on the bike path, or in town with lots of street lights so it doesn't bother me too much. Just part of winter.
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Old 11-11-10, 10:39 AM   #6
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I met the wife for dinner last night on the way home from work. After dinner she said it was silly for me to ride home; she could just put the bike in the car. I told her the riding conditions were great and no way I would accept a ride.

Unfortunately (maybe fortunately) I made a wrong turn or two and added a mile or two to the ride. I had to cut through a neighborhood I'm not real familiar with and came out in the wrong spot and had to backtrack a little bit. It was a good ride though, averaging about 14 mph (including time spent at traffic lights).

Since I commute I'm pretty accustomed to riding in the dark. I like it.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 11-11-10, 11:11 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by john423 View Post
I commute home every night at midnight, but I can't imagine going on fitness rides in the dark. I feel like I'm pressing my luck in the dark riding home and I am lit up like a Christmas tree - two front headlights and two back blinkers. I also have most of my bike covered in reflective tape. I'd like to get a couple of those LED dealies you put on your spokes.

I don't feel particularly nervous riding at night except for the creepie crawlies that may pop out in my semi-bad neighborhood, but I still don't know if I'd go zoomin' around at night by choice.
I gave up commuting because my 34 mile round trip involved a night return through a small city. Too many people were coming up to me at intersections.
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Old 11-11-10, 11:23 AM   #8
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Another issue for me was garbage cans - today is garbage collection day and so last night the cans were all over the road on my ride. Its a challenge to dodge can after can that "suddenly appear" out of the gloom. It was fun though, and much preferred over an indoor trainer - I just cant get used to riding indoors without the push and pull of a hill...
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Old 11-11-10, 11:36 AM   #9
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I guess I'm lucky; I don't have any of those problems.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 11-11-10, 11:34 PM   #10
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I've only had one run-in that worried me, when I first started riding about 15 months ago. So far it's been OK, knock on wood. I rode home on July 4 and was convinced I was gonna get firework-bombed, but it was cool. I rode home the Saturday of Halloween (when everyone around here did Halloween) with no problems.

Thankfully we've got a law that passed in July that says bikers can run red lights if it's clear (I figure that also applies to stop signs), and there isn't a great deal of traffic at night so I keep moving pretty well.
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Old 11-12-10, 09:16 AM   #11
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maghon, I like riding in the dark, very early AM my favorite. A good headlamp or no headlamp is best. (A headlamp with a poor pattern caused my worst crash ever.) Use a blinky red on the rear and a blinky white on the front with headlamps on only for detail when needed. I have very good night time vision so the last comment may not apply to all.

I also now use my mountain bike for night riding, the wider tires are more forgiving WRT asphalt cracks. My battery system is an old View Point with high (spot) and low (flood) beams and the high beam is seldom used. If you're going to single track in the dark a helmet light can't be beat.

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Old 11-12-10, 09:28 AM   #12
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I did quite a few fitness rides at night over the summer. Its a lot more pleasant than riding when its 100 degrees and blazing hot sun beating down on you. We had good routes with light traffic, sufficient street light coverage, and I invested in a decently bright light. It was a little weird at first, but like everything else in cycling (and life) you adjust and it begins to feel comfortable. I love night riding now.
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Old 11-12-10, 10:55 AM   #13
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Haven't done any night riding this year but as far as #2, I find it easier psychologically.
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