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Old 12-31-13, 10:46 AM   #1
NOS88
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What do you like about winter night riding?

I know that since we're past the winter solstice, more daylight will be creeping back into each day here in the northern hemisphere. This is something I welcome. Yet, I also know that there is a stillness in night winter riding that is hard to find anywhere else. For me it's one of the best things about night riding. This shot was taken with my smart phone while along the Schuylkill River near Port Providence on 12/22.

I know it could never experience this in day riding or even in summer night rides. So, what is it you like about winter night riding?
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Old 12-31-13, 12:14 PM   #2
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The sense that I'm doing something borderline eccentric, adventurous, dangerous, exciting while others sit home and watch tv.

Here's my trail. They recently did a "Finding Bigfoot" episode here. I never do see no bigfeets, not even at night.
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Old 12-31-13, 12:52 PM   #3
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In my book, the only good thing about night riding in the winter is that it can be done at 6:00 pm instead of 10:30.
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Old 12-31-13, 01:28 PM   #4
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I've done night-time single-track riding with friends once using borrowed, high powered lights. Never again. Undoubtedly exciting, but just too much concentration for me.

I ride occasionally at night on roads but only local trips in town. I just don't trust the motorists at night out in the country on unlit roads.
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Old 12-31-13, 02:36 PM   #5
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When you're dressed for it and warm, it can be most excellent. There something quiet and soft about snow on the ground with nobody around.
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Old 12-31-13, 02:50 PM   #6
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Just getting ready to turn 50 young in a few weeks. I do about 90% of my riding in the dark! It seems like that was the only free time I could ever find to ride. We do a regular FIFO (First In, First Out) before work ride at 5 am about 3 times a week. I find this is the best way to start the day, on a ride with my friends out in nature as it is just waking up. I have also found that riding in the dark can turn the most familiar trails into new ones and the best thing is you have the trails all to yourself. No Strava jerks. Here is a picture from our FIFO ride yesterday morning catching the sunrise coming up from Evergreen Mountain -



Here is a short video from the same ride -


Oh yeah, I also happen to build custom "built to order" bike lights (been building them now for over 6 years). Check out my blog for some more ride pics and videos - Amoeba - the simplest "light" form.


****
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Old 12-31-13, 03:07 PM   #7
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Almost everything.
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Old 01-01-14, 01:29 AM   #8
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Almost nothing.
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Old 01-01-14, 04:58 AM   #9
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I really don't dig it, man.

99% of my night riding is on the bike paths, so maybe that's the trouble. I have never tried a real rural ride after dark. Not really appealing either. Kudus to you night-flies out there, but I do not like.
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Old 01-01-14, 08:35 AM   #10
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Single track MTB on ice and snow is actually a lot of fun. If you want to reduce the level of concentration, use a smaller light!
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Old 01-01-14, 08:41 AM   #11
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When you're dressed for it and warm, it can be most excellent. There something quiet and soft about snow on the ground with nobody around.
No. 1. The city clears off the MUP on the river from time to time and the riding there is amazing in the evening esp. when the moonlight is bright on the frozen river and the stars are out.
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Old 01-01-14, 08:57 AM   #12
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The sense that I'm doing something borderline eccentric, adventurous, dangerous, exciting while others sit home and watch tv.

Here's my trail. They recently did a "Finding Bigfoot" episode here. I never do see no bigfeets, not even at night.
Well duh, it's not like they're going to carry flashlights or something. That's why that Goatman feller is so hard to catch. I leave him some blinkies under the trestle for his personal use, but he never seems to gets the what fer.

Anyway, riding at night is fun when you're going around looking at Christmas lights, but that's about it for me.
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Old 01-01-14, 09:23 AM   #13
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I like the concentration needed on ice and snow. It reduces my stress when my brain is occupied with the ride. I like the peace and quiet.
Something nice about being alone and almost no one knows where you are.
It's good exercise and it's a lot cheaper than driving to a mountain, buying a lift ticket, and, all the other costs that go along with skiing.
I can start at my house and all the gear is already paid for.
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Old 01-01-14, 09:57 AM   #14
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I don't like to ride at night, However in the Winter I have to ride very early in the morning to get any miles in at all so it does seem like riding at night, between the cold and the dark I would avoid it if I could but then I would get no miles in at all, looking forward to spring and more daylight.
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Old 01-01-14, 10:16 AM   #15
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I gotta say, there are some awesome pix up there!

I do a lot of night time winter riding to commute home from work. It's not usually all that cold, though. The thing I like most about night riding is the utter peacefulness of it.
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Old 01-01-14, 10:26 AM   #16
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Not early evening, but early morning for me. The suburban streets that will become crowded with traffic by 7AM are clear and quiet at 4AM. I figured out a loop route where I have almost all green traffic lights, so its easy to spend an hour cranking out 18-20 miles before going to work. And since I'm in Southern California the mid winter temps only get down to the high 30s/low40s; quite comfy compared to you crazies in the Midwest who go out in 0F temps!
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Old 01-02-14, 06:27 PM   #17
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If anything, I like the fact that I am not on a wind trainer in my basement!
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Old 01-02-14, 07:11 PM   #18
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Last year l rode at around 0430 five to six days a week. I developed a toe issue that took a long time to heal--I may have had a small bit of frostbite. This year I am avoiding sub 40. I did one ride back in November in the early AM where temps where in the mid 30s and my toe started aching. I think I won't try that again until next year.

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Old 01-02-14, 09:41 PM   #19
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Streets , actually Hwy 30, thru town is quiet , low traffic,

but for a few Over night Long Haul delivery trucks .

& the city and county constables, taxis and Medix .
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Old 01-03-14, 08:31 AM   #20
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Nice photo!

For one thing, night rides are all commutes home from work, back to my home and family. Last night was special because of the snowflakes swirling in the beam of the headlight and, at the end, the sight of my house lit up for Christmas. Alas, there will be no moon tonight, but I expect the night sky will be pretty good on the few dark sections. One thing it will not be is quiet -- the snow is crunchy today and the ride in was surprisingly loud.

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Old 01-08-14, 02:39 PM   #21
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using headlight on strobe while it's snowing
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Old 01-08-14, 02:43 PM   #22
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funny/painful story - thought it would be fun to go nite x-c skiing with a buddy w headlamps a looong time ago. we were doing fine until we hit a hill in the woods where we both crashed and he broke the tips off both skis. I duct taped them back together and we limped home through the forest
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Old 01-08-14, 02:49 PM   #23
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using headlight on strobe while it's snowing
Be sure to take LSD first !! And your anti seizure meds.
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Old 01-08-14, 02:56 PM   #24
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I gotta say, there are some awesome pix up there!

I do a lot of night time winter riding to commute home from work.<s> It's not usually all that cold, though.</s> The thing I like most about night riding is the utter peacefulness of it.
I agree. As a family man pre-dawn or night rides are the only time I get alone... and with my bikes.
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Old 01-08-14, 03:07 PM   #25
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using headlight on strobe while it's snowing
This is just my second Winter of riding, but while taking a break to walk around some on a recent ride, realized that the falling snow will cover my lights to the point of no longer being visible. Now it's reach ahead every few minutes to wipe 'em off!

I'm a morning guy that leaves before dawn to ride. Too much tavern traffic around here in the after work hours. Like the light traffic before dawn. Really don't like the level of concentration it takes to ride icy, rutted roads...doze off for a moment and you're down, even with studs. Otherwise, very nice riding in the dark!
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