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Old 11-12-08, 11:20 PM   #1
Yen
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I really dislike night riding

In order to keep my legs in shape for long weekend rides, I need to ride at night after work. It's hard to say how much I dislike riding alone at night, but I push myself to go out and stay with it. I aim for at least 30-45 minutes and include hills for a challenge. Last night, I decided to tackle the hills the group rides on Mondays. I wasn't sure of the route in the dark (I've been on that route only once), but I followed whichever direction led upward, until I reached the crest.

Well, tonight I ran out of light before I ran out of ride. But I climbed the hills again and it seems like they are getting easier. MUCH easier. The very low gearing on the Surly helps, but I like to think I'm finally getting strong. Hubby used to say I was his "recovery ride"; now he says I'm a good climber.

I really dislike riding at night, but I always return with a great sense of satisfaction that I DID IT!
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Old 11-12-08, 11:50 PM   #2
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It could be a gender thing or maybe I just lack some native intelligence but I love riding at night.
I have to admit, though, I like riding in the light more but there's something about the peaceful solitude of a solo night ride.
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Old 11-13-08, 05:49 AM   #3
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3:15AM morning rides are wonderful.
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Old 11-13-08, 06:54 AM   #4
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For the next few weeks, it might be safer to ride at night here. Hunting season is in full swing. Since I live in the woods, near where I ride, hunting season was announced by the sounds last weekend of leterally hundreds of rounds of ammunition going off. I suspect that many of the "hunters" are more proficient at pumping the shotguns than aiming them. Based on the number of shots fired, I assume that there is no game left in my county....

This is the season for the brightest colors possible as yuppie america takes to the woods in search of their ancestrial roots. Pretty soon, it will snow and we will be safe again as they head for the slopes.
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Old 11-13-08, 07:10 AM   #5
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You can have your night riding, my eyes just aren't up to it anymore. I used to be able to walk around anywhere at night without any light except the ambient night, but nowadays, I'm stonkered. Riding a bike? I need a spotlight set to 'melt tar at 50m' so that I can just 'feel' my along the roads.

Mind you, riding blind means that you no longer worry about what's on the road - if you get home safely it didn't matter and if you hit it, you've just identified it.

Hang on, there's a flaw in that logic isn't there?

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Old 11-13-08, 07:25 AM   #6
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I like to ride at night if thats the only way to get a ride in. So far this fall I've averaged two night rides a week. We rode 36 miles in 34 degree temps on Monday and 31 miles last night with the temps in the low 50's at the start. last night's ride also included rain that came in two hours early and a flat tire repair 20 miles into the ride. When we were stopped for the flat a policeman pulled over and asked us if we were in a race or something like that since he had never seen 11 cyclist out in the dark and rain before.
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Old 11-13-08, 08:00 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Yen View Post
I really dislike riding at night, but I always return with a great sense of satisfaction that I DID IT!
That's kind of how I feel about riding from late fall through early spring. It's better than not riding at all, and better than not riding at all. I've learned to carry a small back up light in my jersey pocket in case I have too little battery for a too long ride. It doesn't do much to illuminate the road, but does make me more visible for other traffic. It has also been useful on the rare occasion when I need to fix a flat in the dark.

Finally..... good for you for getting out there and pushing the envelope!
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Old 11-13-08, 08:32 AM   #8
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I left my work at 10:35 PM last night, and got home out of the dark, cold, and wet at 12:30 AM. I must like night riding.
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Old 11-13-08, 09:01 AM   #9
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Several decades ago I had no problem strapping lights to my legs and cruising the rural roads of south Jersey at all hours of the night.

On Tuesday my friend and I left at 4:30 for our usual 34 mile loop. Her husband suggested it might be a little late for that long a ride, but we poo-poohed him and went anyway. An hour later we called him from under a street light, having run out of daylight and having nothing reflective on our bikes or persons. In the country you can go for quite some time between street lights.

My worry was that cars couldn't see us until they were nearly on top of us. I'd like to try night riding with proper lighting. I'll bet it's beautiful with a full moon.
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Old 11-13-08, 09:20 AM   #10
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When I first started running at night, out of necessity, I didn't care for it, but after a while I enjoyed it more than running during the day. I am still afraid of riding in the dark, not because of the dark but because of the motorists. They barely see you in the daylight! And to a lesser degree, I am concerned about road hazards, pot holes, debris etc. I would be riding in heavily conjested areas.


I admire your fortitude in going out and doing it.
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Old 11-13-08, 09:30 AM   #11
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Yen,
Glad you are getting some good riding in. At this time of year I often end up riding the last few miles in the dark. It's not to bad if you have the right lights. Last year I was riding home along a country road at twilight and had one of my headlights set to high intensity and the other flashing. A motorcyclist went by in the opposite direction and I though he was waving to me...Turns out my lights were blinding him. heh heh.
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Old 11-13-08, 09:50 AM   #12
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I ride occasionally at night, specially in the early spring when the days are still fairly short and the urge to get back on the bike after a long winter is strong. I haven't ridden at night so far this autumn. In fact, my last ride of the year was about 10 days ago. I'm trying to let a nasty pulled hamstring heal before cross-country skiing starts. I predict a trip to the physio for the old electrode treatment.

Many years ago I used to ride often at night during the warm summer evenings. At 10 or 11 pm the traffic was light and I could zoom through the streets on my way to a virtually deserted bike path that runs along the Lachine Canal here in Montreal. The path took me right downtown, through an industrial area under elevated expressways and across a bridge over the St Lawrence river to St Helen's Island and Notre Dame Island, the site of Expo 67. I'd loop around the islands and then it was back home.
Another cyclist seemed to have the same schedule as me and many times, as I would be howling along the canal bike path, I'd glance back to find him on my wheel. I came to expect that sooner or later on these night rides he'd be there. Sometimes, I'd spot him first up ahead of me and silently latch onto his wheel. We'd keep up a heck of a pace in the dark. This was back in the early '80s - alloy frames, 10 speeds, wool cycling shorts, good times
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Old 11-13-08, 10:00 AM   #13
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I just recently strapped on lights to get a few more miles in during the week. I'm still not comfortable going down hill at high speeds and riding in high traffic areas can be quite scary. The biggest problem I have is riding on the edge of the shoulder while cars are passing. You just can't see good enough to avoid the edge. I do however ride in the state park that is right by the house and the lack of traffic and good bike lanes make the night ride pleasant as long as the temps don't dip much.

I've thought about trying one of the group rides at night. Riding in a group with lights seems to make more sense as far as safety goes.
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Old 11-13-08, 10:06 AM   #14
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I went riding at dusk and later last week and got a mouthful of mosquitos. I usually stick to roads I know well since I don't see well enough (or have a bright enough light) to make other routes comfortable.
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Old 11-13-08, 10:42 AM   #15
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I'm commuting in total darkness now; I like the pre-dawn rides the best.

However, it's also nice to have a bike that's lit up on the weekend. On Saturday, I couldn't get around to riding until about 3 p.m....so I jumped on the commuter bike for a two hour ride + some errands, and I was in no hurry to beat the dark home because I knew I had my lights.
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Old 11-13-08, 11:17 AM   #16
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I love riding at night because I love lighting gadgets.
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Old 11-13-08, 11:38 AM   #17
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Sometimes I have to force myself to get out of the chair and go out for a night ride, but once I do it feels great.
I live in a town of 150 people. Outside of town it is all hills, woods, and farm fields. Very, very little traffic. I can hear cars coming from 1/4 mile away.
Sometimes it's scarey. There have been sightings of mountain lions and I sometimes ride gravel maintenance paths along the Mississippi River. When I get spooked I pedal faster and hope I don't have a breakdown. I always carry Mace and sometimes a collapsible baton but haven't had to use them. I've hit small animals and one dog that ended up breaking my collarbone.
Still, night riding is the best. Often when I meet a car, they slow down or stop till they figure out what I am. The people who know me probably think I'm nuts. I bought my neighbor a light hoping he would join me but he got busy hunting. Maybe after hunting season is over he will join me. We have taken a few rides together including one night ride and he liked it.
It would be great to have a group to take night rides with.

Last edited by sknhgy; 11-13-08 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 11-13-08, 12:03 PM   #18
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Sometimes I have to force myself to get out of the chair and go out for a night ride, but once I do it feels great.
I live in a town of 150 people. Outside of town it is all hills, woods, and farm fields. Very, very little traffic. I can hear cars coming from 1/4 mile away.
Sometimes it's scarey.
There have been sightings of mountain lions and I sometimes ride gravel maintenance paths along the Mississippi River. When I get spooked I pedal faster and hope I don't have a breakdown. I always carry Mace and sometimes a collapsible baton but haven't had to use them. I've hit small animals and one dog that ended up breaking my collarbone.
Still, night riding is the best. Often when I meet a car, they slow down or stop till they figure out what I am. The people who know me probably think I'm nuts. I bought my neighbor a light hoping he would join me but he got busy hunting. Maybe after hunting season is over he will join me. We have taken a few rides together including one night ride and he liked it.
It would be great to have a group to take night rides with.
You know that mountain lions like to stalk their prey, don't you? But, I'm sure they haven't seen you, yet. No need to worry. Really. You should be perfectly safe.
On a different topic, how's your sprinting?
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Old 11-13-08, 12:04 PM   #19
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They barely see you in the daylight!
It depends on conditions, but I think you are often more visible to motorists at night than in the day, assuming even a cheap blinkie. Some of the super bright ones probably make you way more visible in just about any conditions.

BTW: Personally I find twilight the worst.
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Old 11-13-08, 12:14 PM   #20
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It depends on conditions, but I think you are often more visible to motorists at night than in the day, assuming even a cheap blinkie. Some of the super bright ones probably make you way more visible in just about any conditions.

BTW: Personally I find twilight the worst.
Too true about night visibility to others. Clothing and bright colours don't always work- but at night- the amount that clothing reflects light does make you noticable. So do lamps that blink. On the attachment- This was taken in poor light at dusk but the white bits on the clothing and bag are just reflective patches.

And the lights- You need good lights- Better lights than a cateye lamp. Halogen are cheap but you need at least 10watts. The cateye is just the emergency light and the twin Luxion LED cost more than a set of good wheels. BUT- the helmet lamp is the best one. It sees round corners, or seems to, and will also act as a spare if the main lights run out of battery.
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Old 11-13-08, 12:15 PM   #21
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There haven't been any mtn lion sightings for the last year or two. People around here hunt a lot. I think they shoot the mtn lions and don't tell anyone.
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Old 11-13-08, 12:52 PM   #22
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It depends on conditions, but I think you are often more visible to motorists at night than in the day, assuming even a cheap blinkie. Some of the super bright ones probably make you way more visible in just about any conditions.

BTW: Personally I find twilight the worst.
+1

It's gray even in mid-day in Seattle in the winter; I wear a blinky pretty much all the time.
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Old 11-13-08, 01:28 PM   #23
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Light up the night

I love night riding. That's half the attraction of long-distance riding.

But appropriate lighting is de rigeur. Try to immitate an Xmas tree.You'll find discussion of such things on the long-distance thread and, of course "gadgets" thread ... and my website.
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Old 11-13-08, 03:02 PM   #24
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Haven't done much night riding, do enjoy it. The problem is that generally when one is riding at night in Wisconsin, it is very cold. Never ride at night in the summer, when it is warm, because it doesn't get dark until 8:30-9:00. Now it is getting dark by 4:45-5:00, but temps at 6pm are in the 30s, usually with a 10-15 mph wind.
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Old 11-13-08, 03:28 PM   #25
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I love going out for a night ride when snow is falling and there's about an inch or so on the ground. Nobody is around. Even the dogs are inside. It's like the nighttime X/C ski feelin.
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