Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-16-09, 11:51 PM   #1
Robert Foster
Banned.
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Southern california
Bikes: Lapierre CF Sensium 400. Jamis Ventura Sport. Trek 800. Giant Cypress.
Posts: 3,498
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My first night ride.

I have been having a bad day today. First I spent the day taking my wife from one doctorís appointment to another. I had signed up to join a small group from our Church and my wife had already promised a woman she would take her to a doll class so I was going to have to take the truck. Went out to the truck and I had a flat. So I decided I would just mount my lights and take my road bike. It wasnít far and I hadnít been out on my normal Monday ride anyway. I got to the group about 2 minutes late but it was an Ok ride. It is a gated community and I wasnít sure the guard was going to let me through.

After the meeting I started home and it was full on dark. Fired up the lights and set the tail lights to blink and decided to do the same for the front. First thing I noticed is it is hard to see what is on the road ahead of you. The second thing was the tingly feeling in my back when cars came up behind me and there was very little shoulder. I decided to ride on some of the main streets because of better lighting and traffic was pretty light anyway. Still all in all it was a tense ride coming home. I might get used to it but I am not sure. I am also not sure setting my front light to blink was the best move either. I might have made it easier for people to see me but it was harder to see the road.

How many other 50+ ride at night?
Robert Foster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 12:44 AM   #2
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Bikes:
Posts: 14,856
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Saturday I was riding "the seven climbs of death." From my house it is 70 miles, 6000 feet of climbing. I got to the foot of the main climb in time to get home before dark if I abandoned. I reasoned that I had my lights, and it would tempting fate to abandon a ride known as the 7 climbs of death. So I ended up climbing the last mountain in the dark. It really wasn't that bad. I also did over an hour of my February 200k in the dark. That was a little more exciting, unknown busy roads.
unterhausen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 01:23 AM   #3
Robert Foster
Banned.
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Southern california
Bikes: Lapierre CF Sensium 400. Jamis Ventura Sport. Trek 800. Giant Cypress.
Posts: 3,498
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Saturday I was riding "the seven climbs of death." From my house it is 70 miles, 6000 feet of climbing. I got to the foot of the main climb in time to get home before dark if I abandoned. I reasoned that I had my lights, and it would tempting fate to abandon a ride known as the 7 climbs of death. So I ended up climbing the last mountain in the dark. It really wasn't that bad. I also did over an hour of my February 200k in the dark. That was a little more exciting, unknown busy roads.
well I even avoided some of the roads I ride during the day because I knew there were pot holes I wouldn't be able to see. But I still believe the worst part was not knowing how the cars would react to me.
Robert Foster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 03:56 AM   #4
JimF22003
Senior Member
 
JimF22003's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Northern VA
Bikes: 2008 Trek Madone 5.5, 2009 Cervelo R3SL tdf edition, Cervelo R5 with Di2
Posts: 2,654
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I generally will only ride at night on the MUP (W&OD trail or loops down to the Potomac). Of course I have lights on early morning commutes as well, but it's not completely dark when I start out.
JimF22003 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 05:07 AM   #5
Jet Travis
Ride Daddy Ride
 
Jet Travis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Villa Incognito
Bikes: 1983 Trek 720; 1983 Trek 620; 1989 Gi Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra; LeMond Victoire; Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro
Posts: 2,648
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I love the idea, but years ago while riding at night across a bridge, I damn near went down a culvert and into the river. I've been too chicken ever since.
__________________
"Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer
Jet Travis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 05:19 AM   #6
Allegheny Jet 
Senior Member
 
Allegheny Jet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Medina, OH
Bikes: confidential infromation that I don't even share with my wife
Posts: 5,708
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I ride at night when that's the only time available. It didn't take long to get used to doing it. I also do some group rides with the Lake Erie Wheelers that start at 6:30 PM and continue through the year as long as the temps are above 22, the roads are dry and two guys show up. Christmas light rides are a lot fun on a group ride.

It wont take long to get comfortable riding in the dark as long as you have good equipment. I use the NightRider Minewt 2 light, have a blinkie on my helmet and a flasher on my bag.
__________________
oldschool areodynamic brick
Allegheny Jet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 05:48 AM   #7
BikeArkansas
Senior Member
 
BikeArkansas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Maumelle, AR
Bikes: 2015 Fuji Transonic 1.3, 2015 All City Mr. Pink, 2009 Surly Long Haul Trucker, 2009 Jamis single speed, 2012 Scorpion FX trike
Posts: 977
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
I ride with a group that goes out each Monday evening. During the winter lights are required for the entire ride. We mostly stick to the MUP but some road riding is thrown into the mix. I agree that good equipment is essential. My first few rides was made with a $29.00 light set. After a few near misses I made a MAJOR upgrade. Much easier to ride at night now.
BikeArkansas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 06:16 AM   #8
doctor j
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central Louisiana
Bikes:
Posts: 2,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
I learned to ride at night after we lost daylight saving time in '08. It was the only way to get in some after work rides. I experimented with various headlights until I found what works for me. I have a small Cateye blinky on the handlebars and two bright LED flashlights. I have a PlanetBike Superflash on the seatpost and one on the left seat stay. So far so good.

I've had one near hit. A cager pulled out to make a right turn in front of me. There's no way he didn't see me. I'm figuring he thought he would beat me into the lane. Anyway, he pulled out, I swerved left, he accelerated like crazy, and I pulled back into my lane and kept riding. That's about the only problem I've had with night rides.

The two PBSFs on the back work well as do the flashlights up front.
doctor j is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 07:27 AM   #9
Ed in GA
The "now retired" Old Guy
 
Ed in GA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Savannah, GA, USA
Bikes: Trek Madone 4.5
Posts: 546
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If we had an MUP around here, I would probably consider riding at night. Otherwise, No!

There is a fellow in my sub-division who commutes to work on his bike. For most of the year, it is dark when he makes the morning trip. I give him all of the room he needs but I see other who nearly run over him or run him off the road.

He has plenty of lighting on the rear of his bike so it's not like he can't be seen.

So, ride at night around here? Nope!
__________________
"The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?"
Ed in GA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 07:47 AM   #10
alicestrong
Pedal pusher...
 
alicestrong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Bikes: I've got a bunch...
Posts: 7,767
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Almost everyone in my suburb is tucked in by about 9 PM so it's a great night ride.
alicestrong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 07:58 AM   #11
PaulH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Bikes:
Posts: 3,336
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
During most of the Standard Time period, I ride home in the dark every work day. I just take it for granted, like driving at night.

Paul
PaulH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 08:02 AM   #12
Carbon Unit
Live to ride ride to live
 
Carbon Unit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Austin, Texas
Bikes: Calfee Tetra Pro
Posts: 4,895
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I have been riding at night for about a year and a half. I have a Dinotte 600L and tail light and the thing lights up the road like a car. So, I can see the road in front of me very well. The down side to night riding, for me, is that it isn't nearly as fun as riding during the day. I also only ride on roads with bike lanes and very little traffic.
Carbon Unit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 08:07 AM   #13
Stevie47
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: paradise
Bikes: Waterford, Orbea, Giant
Posts: 279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I once rode in a dark tunnel. I would guess it was no more than a quarter mile in length, but it was pitch black and all I could see was the little opening ahead. No lights. I couldn't see my bike at all. That was freaky.
Stevie47 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 11:15 AM   #14
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
Posts: 19,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Only one way to ride at night and that is with a searchlight on the front and two powerful rear lamps.

Don't do as much as I used to but We trained in the evenings of one winter on the Tandem offroad. We still hit trees and fell off though.
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 12:02 PM   #15
unixpro
Laid back bent rider
 
unixpro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Burien, WA
Bikes: Bacchetta Giro 20
Posts: 1,134
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm a commuter, so I regularly ride in the dark. Right now, because of the time change, I'm spending at least half my ride in under darkness. The ride home is all light now, at least.

The blinking headlight wasn't the best choice. I'll only do that if I've got two headlights, and even then only if I'm in an area where I expect to be facing a lot of head-on traffic. Strobing the pavement and trying to make sense of it is too much like going to a 70s disco.

The only things I can recommend for night riding are practice and lights. Lots of lights. I've got one handlebar-mounted (well, actually it's in front of the fairing on my recumbent) DiNotte 200L and another on my helmet. I also run two SuperBlinkies on my tail and another horizontal blinker on the back of my helmet. Further, I've got a Down Low Glow double-tube purple light giving off side light and making me more noticable (the unusual is noticed more). Finally, I have firefly lights on the valve stems of my tires. Have lights that make you visible from all directions, not just front and rear.

Don't forget the reflectors either. Clothing, bag, helmet, tires, whatever. Glow like you're radioactive.
unixpro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 12:11 PM   #16
Rick@OCRR
www.ocrebels.com
 
Rick@OCRR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Los Angeles area
Bikes: Several bikes, Road, Mountain, Commute, etc.
Posts: 5,999
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
When I ride double centuries I usually start in the dark and end in the dark. On the Cameno Real Double in Feb. we had an hour and a half in the morning (5:30 AM start), and two and a half in the evening (7:30PM finish), i.e. before the change to daylight savings time.

I enjoy riding in the dark as long as I know the course and don't have to stop and look at a lot of street signs along the way. I use a NiteRider Blowtorch for a front light, and have two Planet Bike Blinkies for the rear (one on my bike, one on my Camelback).

So far, no issues with cars, and the NiteRider lights up the potholes quite well, so no issues there either. Night riding is fun and esp. so on otherwise empty country roads.

Rick / OCRR
Rick@OCRR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 12:24 PM   #17
crtreedude 
Third World Layabout
 
crtreedude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Costa Rica
Bikes: Cannondale F900 and Tandem
Posts: 3,075
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 100 Post(s)
I have ridden at night around here. It is wonderful, especially when there is a full moon. Thanks for reminding me. I need to recharge the ole headlight.

My first ride was with my brother, doing single track of all things. Tends to keep you focused I can tell you.
crtreedude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 01:36 PM   #18
BengeBoy 
Senior Member
 
BengeBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Bikes: 2014 Pivot Mach 5.7 MTB, 2009 Chris Boedeker custom, 1988 Tommasini Prestige, 2007 Bill Davidson custom; 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper
Posts: 6,941
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I commute, so I leave for work and come home in the dark in the winter. Right now, with the time switch, I leave for work before dawn but return home while it's still light. About 5 miles of my commute is on a winding semi-rural road with *no* streetlights, so when it's dark, it's dark.

Occasionally I'll do training / recreational rides in the dark as well.

It's very handy to have the equipment/skills/comfort of riding in the dark because it allows you to "linger longer" on a winter afternoon when you're out riding and you don't want to worry about getting home while it's still light.

I invested $$$ in really good lights (Dinotte; there are others).

I wouldn't enjoy riding without quality lights.
BengeBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 08:21 PM   #19
Randochap
Recovering mentalist
 
Randochap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: On the Edge
Bikes: Too many
Posts: 2,810
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I ride extensively after/before dark. Good lighting is the key.

Blinkies on front don't make sense, as you discovered. Just as irritating to oncoming cyclists, especially on narrow MUPs.
Randochap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 09:48 PM   #20
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Bikes:
Posts: 14,856
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I'm hesitant to ride on a mup after dark because of ninja pedestrians. I have found that a helmet light is a great thing to have in traffic. It seems to keep people from pulling out in front of you and generally you can get people to dim if they are using their brights (a Pennsylvania specialty). I'm hoping to up my firepower considerably with new lights for my hub dyno.
unterhausen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-09, 11:06 PM   #21
Robert Foster
Banned.
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Southern california
Bikes: Lapierre CF Sensium 400. Jamis Ventura Sport. Trek 800. Giant Cypress.
Posts: 3,498
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am thinking about running two lights in the front and I don't plan on using the flashing feature next time. I just didn't realize how dark a moonless night can be on a road without street lights. The helmet light idea sounds good as well. This was just the first time I had been out on a dark night and I kept feeling like someone was going to side swipe me even though no one came close. It does make you ride slower however. I discoverd that because at one point I was motoring along at a pretty good clip on a wider portion of the road and I came upon what I thought was a lighter patch of pavement only to discover it was dirt. Hard smooth dirt thank goodness and I got back to the pavement but I can see my MTB would make a better night bike in some cases than my road bike.
Robert Foster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-09, 03:16 AM   #22
JimF22003
Senior Member
 
JimF22003's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Northern VA
Bikes: 2008 Trek Madone 5.5, 2009 Cervelo R3SL tdf edition, Cervelo R5 with Di2
Posts: 2,654
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
The biggest danger on the MUPs around here are from the deer as much as from the pedestrians, although both can get that "caught in the headlights" look...
JimF22003 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-09, 06:20 AM   #23
one_beatnik
Senior Member
 
one_beatnik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SW Iowa
Bikes: Waterford 1200, Raleigh Record converted to a single speed.
Posts: 560
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I find that on my commute (keep in mind I live in a rural area) the cars give me more space at night than I get during the day. I rode in the dark both directions yesterday. I think the blinking rear light draws enough attention that cagers are moving over out of not knowing what's ahead.

Do you have a mirror? That helps for me. It may just be psychological, but that's OK.
one_beatnik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-09, 06:49 AM   #24
Timtruro
Senior Member
 
Timtruro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: North Truro, MA
Bikes: Aegis Trident (Big Red)
Posts: 1,607
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Haven't ridden at night since I had a generator which operated the light on my 3 speed, I was probably about eleven years old.
Timtruro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-09, 06:12 PM   #25
Robert Foster
Banned.
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Southern california
Bikes: Lapierre CF Sensium 400. Jamis Ventura Sport. Trek 800. Giant Cypress.
Posts: 3,498
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by one_beatnik View Post
I find that on my commute (keep in mind I live in a rural area) the cars give me more space at night than I get during the day. I rode in the dark both directions yesterday. I think the blinking rear light draws enough attention that cagers are moving over out of not knowing what's ahead.

Do you have a mirror? That helps for me. It may just be psychological, but that's OK.
Yes I have the typical helmet mirror. It works great during the day but when it is dark you can only see if there is a car back there lighting the road.
Robert Foster is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:28 AM.