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Old 11-13-08, 05:10 PM   #26
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Riding at night is not a problem since I have good lights (Nite-Rider Blow-Torch and Princeton Tech Switchback), but it is more difficult to read the route sheet and see road signs in the dark. If I know the route, no problem.

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Old 11-13-08, 07:09 PM   #27
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I It's like the nighttime X/C ski feelin.
Exactly! That's what I always liken it to. When there's a full moon, it's a trancendant experience
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Old 11-13-08, 07:10 PM   #28
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Riding at night is not a problem since I have good lights (Nite-Rider Blow-Torch and Princeton Tech Switchback), but it is more difficult to read the route sheet and see road signs in the dark. If I know the route, no problem.

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Helmet light.
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Old 11-13-08, 07:56 PM   #29
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I'm with Tom on this one. Warm weather night and early morning riding is often a delight. In cold weather, I need at least some solar illusion of heat. When it's really cold I have to restrain myself from offering cyclists rides in the nice warm car.
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Old 11-13-08, 08:47 PM   #30
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I think what I dislike about night riding isn't the darkness itself.... but the fact that I get up in the dark, I get home from work in the near-dark, and I want to turn in for the night -- put on my flannel stuff, warm socks, and stay in. Changing into the gear and checking the tires etc. feels like I'm going out again (well, I am) when I really am just glad to be home and wanting to get settled.

However, once I'm out I get into the groove and the further from home I ride, the less likely I am to just circle around the block a few times. I don't do 20-30 miles at night like some of you (!!) I just don't have that kind of time in the evenings after work. But what little I do makes a difference.

I may need a different light. I have the CygoLite Nite Rider 12w dual beam headlight. It lasts for two shortish (45 minute) rides but the brightness isn't quite enough to illuminate a dark street, only a small spot in front of me. I want something that shines a brighter light on a larger spot, but not blinding to oncoming drivers. I know I am seen because drivers wait for me from a block or two away. I'm also planning to get a helmet light.
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Old 11-13-08, 09:52 PM   #31
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For me, night riding means I'm either going to or coming from work.
I hate my job, therfore I detest night riding.

As far as recreational night rides, my neighborhood gets kinda dicey
at night. Just after dusk and just before dawn isn't bad so the commute
is relatively safe but recreational night rides are just foolish in my hood.
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Old 11-14-08, 08:34 AM   #32
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Yen,

Group rides at night are nice, due in part, because you are among friends and are sharing the experiance. I look forward to those days. When I do solo night rides the same constraints you deal with go thru my head since the ride is for a purpose and not so much pleasure. However, once on the road I am a happy camper.

I use a NiteRider MiNewt X2 light and have a Cateye Opticube as a emergency backup. the NiteRider gives a nice lighted path ahead of the bike and is easy to aim if I want to change the position of the lighted area. The battery charge will last for over three hours when it's warm but on Monday's ride in 34 degree temps the warning LED came on at 1.5 hours. The warning lets you know that a certain % of the battery charge is left. The light has a dimer feature and I just switched to dim, which still provides plenty of light. When I'm in a group or paceline I point the light down to reduce the reflected light from the vest and reflective tape on riders ahead, once at the front, I'll pull the beam back up to light the road up ahead.

One bad feature of a bright light: When a rider in front has worn shorts the bright light penetrates the outer shell of the shorts and lights up ......... Another reason to point the light down.

Last edited by Allegheny Jet; 11-14-08 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 11-14-08, 12:41 PM   #33
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Good news for those who like to night ride..uh..informally
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Old 11-14-08, 04:09 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yen View Post
I think what I dislike about night riding isn't the darkness itself.... but the fact that I get up in the dark, I get home from work in the near-dark, and I want to turn in for the night -- put on my flannel stuff, warm socks, and stay in. Changing into the gear and checking the tires etc. feels like I'm going out again (well, I am) when I really am just glad to be home and wanting to get settled.

However, once I'm out I get into the groove and the further from home I ride, the less likely I am to just circle around the block a few times. I don't do 20-30 miles at night like some of you (!!) I just don't have that kind of time in the evenings after work. But what little I do makes a difference.

I may need a different light. I have the CygoLite Nite Rider 12w dual beam headlight. It lasts for two shortish (45 minute) rides but the brightness isn't quite enough to illuminate a dark street, only a small spot in front of me. I want something that shines a brighter light on a larger spot, but not blinding to oncoming drivers. I know I am seen because drivers wait for me from a block or two away. I'm also planning to get a helmet light.
Wow, I ride with the same CygoLite Nite Rider. I actually had an on coming car stop once and yell at me asking if I was "Trying to blind him." I didn't even have the beam angled up and it had that effect on him. In the dead of winter I also tend to ride with a helmet light. It makes a big difference, because while the CygoLite gives me a pretty good beam ahead, the helmet light follows when I turn my head to look in other places. Even with both of these, however, I tend to ride a bit slower when it's really dark (the 8pm to midnight winter rides). I'm surprised your getting such little time out of your light I generally get four hours before I need to do a complete recharge.
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Old 11-14-08, 06:06 PM   #35
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Wow, I ride with the same CygoLite Nite Rider. I actually had an on coming car stop once and yell at me asking if I was "Trying to blind him." I didn't even have the beam angled up and it had that effect on him. In the dead of winter I also tend to ride with a helmet light. It makes a big difference, because while the CygoLite gives me a pretty good beam ahead, the helmet light follows when I turn my head to look in other places. Even with both of these, however, I tend to ride a bit slower when it's really dark (the 8pm to midnight winter rides). I'm surprised your getting such little time out of your light I generally get four hours before I need to do a complete recharge.
Do you ride with both lights on all the time? I do... that might explain the difference. Just 6w isn't enough for my eyes to see the street well at night.
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Old 11-14-08, 08:14 PM   #36
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I used to dislike night riding but that was before I got some good lights. The lights I use are made by Dinotte and are available at Dinotte. They have some lights that are amazingly bright; I find that one of the 200-lumen ones on my handlbar and another on my helmet make a very good combination. I have a Planet Bike Super-something-or-other on the rear and it's really bright.

I also ride with a small group (about 6-8 people) and together we light up the road pretty well. Another rider on the same ride uses the 800-lumen one on his handlebar and the 400-lumen one on his helmet. It's like daytime...

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Old 11-14-08, 09:04 PM   #37
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I love riding at night because I love lighting gadgets.
Uh oh....then don't go here (if you haven't been there already):

http://www.bikeforums.net/electronics-lighting-gadgets/

or here:

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...splay.php?f=45

or here:

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...splay.php?f=86
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Old 11-14-08, 09:07 PM   #38
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^^^^^ I don't go to those forums because I don't want to buy stuff I don't need...
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Old 11-14-08, 09:26 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
Wow, I ride with the same CygoLite Nite Rider. I actually had an on coming car stop once and yell at me asking if I was "Trying to blind him." I didn't even have the beam angled up and it had that effect on him. In the dead of winter I also tend to ride with a helmet light. It makes a big difference, because while the CygoLite gives me a pretty good beam ahead, the helmet light follows when I turn my head to look in other places. Even with both of these, however, I tend to ride a bit slower when it's really dark (the 8pm to midnight winter rides). I'm surprised your getting such little time out of your light I generally get four hours before I need to do a complete recharge.
My helmet light is the Cygolite NiMh but I've adapted it. I replaced the 6w bulbs with 10w and run it with either 7.2v or 8.4v RC NiMh battery packs. The overvoltage really spikes the light output.
On my Fuji I have dual halogens and a selection of 25w and 35w high intensity MR16 bulbs of different degrees from 11 to the 20's and different color temps. The lights are driven by a LightBrain computer that runs them at 13.2v but has 5 intensity settings.
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Old 11-15-08, 06:02 AM   #40
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there is something peaceful about riding at night,,i love it
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Old 11-15-08, 06:57 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yen View Post
I may need a different light. I have the CygoLite Nite Rider 12w dual beam headlight. It lasts for two shortish (45 minute) rides but the brightness isn't quite enough to illuminate a dark street, only a small spot in front of me. I want something that shines a brighter light on a larger spot, but not blinding to oncoming drivers. I know I am seen because drivers wait for me from a block or two away. I'm also planning to get a helmet light.
Most of my night riding is done along a river trail. I need good lighting to stay out of the river

I have a TurboCat S10 with 15 watt flood light for the bike and a NiteRider helmet light. Both give excellent lighting and the two together allow me to see everything around me.

I especially like the TurboCat mounting as it's easy to switch between my bikes. I keep the helmet light mounted on one helmet and only use it for night riding. Now that I'm retired I plan to do more riding at night.....when the warm weather returns We did our last night ride last week and it was great but cold!
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Old 11-15-08, 09:19 AM   #42
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Beverly, I've considered that TurboCat many times since you mentioned it last year. Though I need more light to see, I'm afraid of blinding drivers. They see me very well now with 12w..... but maybe the additional 3w wouldn't be enough to blind them.

I love your idea of an extra helmet to keep the light on.
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Old 11-15-08, 10:34 AM   #43
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If you ride with two lights, make sure they are not attached side by side. From the perspective of oncoming traffic, they look like headlights from a distant car. When I went to a local bike skills class, the instructor told the story of a car making a left turn directly in front of an oncoming bicycle, almost hitting him. The driver pulled over immediately when she realized her mistake and apologized; to her the dual headlights positioned horizontally on the handlebars looked like an oncoming car that was a good block away.

Positioning the dual lights one on top of the other instead.
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Old 11-15-08, 11:52 AM   #44
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Quote:
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Do you ride with both lights on all the time? I do... that might explain the difference. Just 6w isn't enough for my eyes to see the street well at night.
Have to agree that 6w may not be enough but I used to used a twin 10W with only one lamp being used untill I needed that extra.


Quote:
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Beverly, I've considered that TurboCat many times since you mentioned it last year. Though I need more light to see, I'm afraid of blinding drivers. They see me very well now with 12w..... but maybe the additional 3w wouldn't be enough to blind them.

I love your idea of an extra helmet to keep the light on.

The helmet light works- and 15w is good . It is not a great deal more to brighten from a 12w- but is just enough to improve.
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Old 11-15-08, 12:11 PM   #45
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Another answer for dual headlights is to put one on blinking mode.

I have dual diNotte headlights on front of my bike. I can set them to "solid" or "pulse" - the pulse mode has them stay on but there is a big pulsing "blink" every 10 seconds or so. No way would someone mistake that for headlights.

BTW, last night on the way home from work, I got the remark from another cyclist about my diNotte tail-light that I have described before: "Oh my god, I saw you from a mile away, what kind of tail light is that?" (As usual, I asked if it had blinded the other rider, and the answer is no...).

Two things to take away from this story:
- diNottes are awesome bright tail lights
- I ride so slow that I am always getting passed by other bikers.

In this case, I was getting passed by a 50+ neighbor on a single speed commuter (on a very hilly route!)
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Old 11-16-08, 12:04 AM   #46
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Working 2nd shift w/a 40 mi rt commute means I cycle in the dark alot. My homeward leg takes between 1:15 and 1:30 depending on how I feel. The key is GOOD lighting and good tires. My lights are NR Trailrats w/a Universal taillight. http://www.brandcycle.com (no shipping) Also, Planet Bike Superflash blinkies. http://www.amazon.com (no shipping). Tires are Schwalbe Marathon Plus http://www.biketiresdirect.com on all my commuters. The fail/safe commuter has Nu-teck airless. http://www.nu-teck.com

A combination of thriftstore/yardsale finds, 70-90% off online sales(peformancebike.com, nashbar.com, bikeisland.com, universalcycles.com, bikepartsusa.com, lickbike.com, aebike.com) and biting the bullet on a few 'must have's' in terms of cold/wet weather gear(Lake winter road shoes, ip barrier jacket, j&G cyclewear raingear, Gordini Goretex gloves from campmor.com) makes for a very pleasant experience most nights. Having light failure means I learned the value of a back-up system and trying to 'scrimp' on cold weather gear taught me the value of quality.

We live near the Natchez Trace Parkway here in rural mid-Tn and the night rides are a joy. One might do 50 miles w/o seeing a car some nights. Knowing the terrain, your own limitations, potential hazzards, etc. can make night riding a pure pleasure. The only thing I worry about is startling a buck in musk who decides he doesn't want to run...it happened once during the day and I was fortunate to be on a 35 mph decent when he turned and chased for a few seconds...VERY scary.

People at work constantly remark about the dark, the cold, the wet, the distance, etc., etc. and I just smile and tell them if they would come with me just one time they'd 'get it'. There've been a few genuine queries about gear, logistics, time/distance, conditioning, but no one else has taken the plunge...yet. Out of 4000 people I'm the only cyclist-commuter and the security guards wave me in w/a look of bemused respect...I like that.

Just got my wife a Cygolite Night Rover w/2 6w halogens as she wants to ride after work and it's dark by the time she gets home. Seems like a good set-up for the money. The TRs are 10w halogen which is plenty for the speeds I ride...15-18 mph avg.

My night rides, though utilitarian, functional daily commutes are, also a part of my existance I've come to look forward to. I may go 3-5 legs home and see 2 other vehicles once I get off of the company property...life's good. The rides are getting better...I'm even doing a single speed 1 or 2 times per week. I could go on, but I think you all get the idea. The money I spend on gear I'll have for the rest of my life. The money I spend on gas lasts...maybe a month? Thinking about getting a trailer and going car-lite...but that's a different sub-forum and thread.
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Old 11-18-08, 11:31 AM   #47
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It's also a good idea to carry a small headlamp in case you need to fix something like a flat. Problems are somewhat more likely because it can be harder to see hazards like glass or screws on the road. I carry this very small model:
http://www.rei.com/product/749039
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Old 11-18-08, 04:48 PM   #48
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The only time I like night riding is when I go around looking at Christmas lights at people's houses in December
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Old 10-17-11, 04:19 PM   #49
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One of the reasons our eyes age is something called glycation. Glycation transforms the "proteoglycan" material our eye and lens are made out of gradually into something resembling cooked meat chemically.

At one point several years ago, my eyes were in really terrible shape, and I thought it was irreversible, but somehow, they have improved. Basically, I take a lot of different antioxidants, and some of them I think make a very big difference. In terms of bang for the buck a good one is alpha lipoic acid. Ideally, you should take a low dose several times a day.

Around that time I was diagnosed with glaucoma too, and I still have it but its dramatically better now.

Another thing that helps the eyes are many so called "phytochemicals". Almost all berries are good for the eyes, and so are those phytochemicals in them. Bilberry extract is known to be very good for night vision. Also ALL of the carotenoids are good for your eyes.. beta carotene, but also astaxanthin and zeaxanthin.

Resveratrol is super good for the eyes. One study I have seen verifies that but I know it from personal experience.

Another thing that is really good for the eyes is L-carnosine, but its expensive. There is a very expensive n-acetylated carnosine that has been patented and is sold as a nonoperative way of reducing cateracts.. However, if you look at the literature, and trace it back, you'll find one paper by the same Russian scientist who patented the n-acetyl carnosine, that reveals that l-carnosine in a very dilute saline solution has similar effects, it just has a very short shelf life. So, you can buy one 50 gram bottle of l-carnosine for around $25 and - making sure to keep it clean, make up small batches of eye drops AS YOU USE THEM, and never keep unused solution for more than two or three days. Also, refrigerate it.

This is also a good treatment for old dogs who often are going blind. Carnosine is the best way to reduce the opacity of the eye!

The body manufactures its own carnosine from histidine and beta-alanine but obviously, the eye is not so heavily vasuclarized so evidently, supplemental carnosine helps a lot. Its also an AGE inhibitor so it helps you get a leg up so to speak on the glycation process which otherwise will eventually kill all of us.
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Old 10-19-11, 09:43 AM   #50
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If you ride with two lights, make sure they are not attached side by side. From the perspective of oncoming traffic, they look like headlights from a distant car. When I went to a local bike skills class, the instructor told the story of a car making a left turn directly in front of an oncoming bicycle, almost hitting him. The driver pulled over immediately when she realized her mistake and apologized; to her the dual headlights positioned horizontally on the handlebars looked like an oncoming car that was a good block away.

Positioning the dual lights one on top of the other instead.
That is a cool tip, it never occured to me..though I'll usually keep one light off unless the road ahead is particularly dangerous. Personally, I don't like front lights, they interfer with the experience. A fork mounted flashy frog and then I'll turn the front beams off if I have moonlight or if there is street light radiation. Not only do I really enjoy riding in the dark, I like it DARK. ...but I have very nice roads to ride on.

Last edited by FrenchFit; 10-19-11 at 09:52 AM.
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