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View Poll Results: Reason for a night ride
Commuting to work 21 46.67%
Exercise 8 17.78%
Transportation 5 11.11%
Recreation 11 24.44%
Voters: 45. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-20-02, 10:31 AM   #1
cyclezealot
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What kind of night riding do you do ?

With a pending work schedule change, Should I choose to keep my mileage up I will have to ride at night...I am used to riding at least 600 miles a month.. To stay over 400 miles for the next couple months- I will be out at night.
My question -what kind of night riding do you do and how frequently do you do it.?? ...Mine will be mostly riding for exercise. What does it take to get you out in the dark... Work commute , pleasure..what ? I would think it would take a higher degree of motivation to get anyone out, unless vitally needed for some reason like commuting to work., etc ..?
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Old 11-20-02, 10:40 AM   #2
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At the moment, all of my Commuting is in the dark, probably 450 - 500 miles a month. Living in Scotland, the days are short just now.

it's quite nice actually, very peaceful. Everything seems quieter in the dark, but I'm not sure if that's because you concentrate more on sight.
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Old 11-20-02, 10:42 AM   #3
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None. I don't have a light system and because I don't live in the city there is generally poor lighting (NONE) all the way to my house

Next year!
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Old 11-20-02, 11:13 AM   #4
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I don't ride at night No reason to... and with all the crazy blind drivers during the day, I can find better ways to find life challenging thrills then night riding. Going 100mph on my Harly, gives me a great rush For exercise, I am fortunate to have a Tectrix Bikemax at home or I can use one at my gym.

When I get on my bike, I like to ride hard, sweat...while seeing and smelling all the beauty around me. Night riding offers me nothing.
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Old 11-20-02, 11:19 AM   #5
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Mainly commuting.

With plenty of lights and reflective stuff, I think it's probably safer than at dusk/dawn.

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Old 11-20-02, 11:28 AM   #6
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With days getting shorter, it's impossible to avoid some night riding. The more I ride in the dark (especially in traffic) the more I realize how important are route familiarity, powerful headlights and due caution.

When driving at night, I can just bomb over most debris. When cycling, even an unexpected rock, stick or dead animal is a potential problem.

They used to tell us in driver's education: don't overdrive your headlights. Seems to fit cycling even more so.

This is also why I am cautious about trailing cars too closely on my bike. They hide unexpected potholes and such. I like to see the road in front of me far ahead of time.
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Old 11-20-02, 11:39 AM   #7
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I most only ride in the dark during my commutes. At this time of year, if I leave when I plan to, I have about 20 mins of my commute in the dark. On the way home, the last 40 mins is in the dark, unless I leave late and then it's all in the dark.

During the spring and early summer, it's opposite. My morning commute is in the dark and my ride home is in the daylight.

If I go for a "fun" ride (non-commute) then I never leave when it's dark. If I know I've got 2 hours of daylight left, then I'll try to be back home in 2 hours. A few times I've gotten back after dark. When I know it's going to be getting dark, I bring my lights just in case. I have a pretty good setup of lights (10W narrow beam, and 20W wide beam). I have 2 permenant red blinkers on the back of both my bikes, and 1 permanent yellow blinker on the front of each bike. So even if I forget my lights, I can get by if I'm careful... at least to get back home.

I don't mind riding in the dark, but I prefer riding in the dark in the morning rather than the evening. The mornign just seems more peaceful. Also, if there is a full moon or almost full moon then it's much nicer... you can almost ride just from the light of a full moon.

Also, I prefer to stick to the bike paths when it's dark and get off the road. Sometimes I can do that, sometimes I can't. My commute is 50/50 bike path/road.

I think once you get used to it, riding in the dark is just like riding in the daylight.

Tip: A small flashlight comes in handy. Something small enough to fit into your saddle bag or a side pocket on your pannier (if you use them).

PBW
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Old 11-20-02, 11:39 AM   #8
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Interesting thread

My night riding is all accounted for by commuting. It covers some unlit country roads, a bit of main road and a section through the town I have good bright lights, plus a high visability jacket in a fetching shade of fluorescent yellow-green. Of course, motorists still claim that they can't see you... In charitable moments, I think this is partly because when driving you are only expecting other cars and get into a "thinking rut"
The other tricky part of night time riding is remembering how many dark journeys I have made since the most recent charge of my front lamp. It is good for about four trips (about 2 hours total). Since the batteries are Ni-Cd types, it is not a good idea to recharge them before they are 80-90% exhausted, otherwise they are just suffering repeated bouts of overcharging. This is what does most damage.

Night riding is interesting, One can get really focussed if the conditions are right. I also agree that it is probably safer than dawn/ dusk riding, where the half light makes it very difficult to see anything.

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Old 11-20-02, 11:50 AM   #9
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I'm too far to commute (it's a freeway anyways) so I ride for 1 hour in the morning.

The reason? This summer I spend most of the time getting back the conditioning I had the previous fall but lost over winter. I don't want to do that again next summer.
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Old 11-20-02, 01:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by MikeR
I'm too far to commute (it's a freeway anyways) so I ride for 1 hour in the morning.

The reason? This summer I spend most of the time getting back the conditioning I had the previous fall but lost over winter. I don't want to do that again next summer.
Man do I know that battle. I am hoping buying a trainer will help at the very least keep me at this weight in prep for next year.
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Old 11-20-02, 02:37 PM   #11
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I have found during "season" here in Florida grocery shopping is so much easier at night." Season" being when all of the snowbirds come down for the winter.
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Old 11-20-02, 03:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ed Holland
Interesting thread

Of course, motorists still claim that they can't see you... In charitable moments, I think this is partly because when driving you are only expecting other cars and get into a "thinking rut"Ed
Ed - thats a real phenomenon. I used to see that all the time on my motorcycle (when I had one). People would stare right at you then cut you off - they are expecting to look for large objects, not a motorcyle, let alone a bicycle.

The best thing about riding a motorcycle was that it taught me to just assume that everyone out on the road was out to hit me. Perhaps that is why it is taking so long to gain road confidence now that I can't outrun cars on my two wheels
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Old 11-20-02, 04:39 PM   #13
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I try very hard to get 30 minutes minimum riding time in daily. With the work schedule, sometimes it has to be at night.
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Old 11-20-02, 07:22 PM   #14
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My night riding is all commuting. But just like my day commutes, I enjoy spotting wildlife, looking at the full moon, & listening to the night sounds. I ride a lot slower so I don't outrun my lights, so in the winter I don't mind the higher rolling resistence of studded tires or soft knobbies. During the holidays, it is a great way to look at lighted decorations. It's all riding, after all.
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Old 11-20-02, 07:33 PM   #15
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Rolling Greek... Friends who see me on the bike, say the ankle reflective stips really give away a cyclist.. no other activity is associated with the circling motion of your feet, in the dark, as that of a cyclist.. The question, will that cause the motorist to respect us..?
Since I do sometimes have to ride at night to keep up my mileage, I hope night riders are highly visible.. I do have good lights and reflective material on me from head to toe..
Most of my night riding is the overlap commuting to work as the sun sets..... But ocasssionally, I just go out to get in some miles at night.. I really is a good feeling atop hills when the moon is full... No other exercise is as rewarding to me as riding outside..Gyms just don't cut it. 45 minutes on a trainer in front of the news gets old...
Yet, as I motor home, I look for night cyclists.. I see very few. Is that everyone else's experience..?
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Old 11-20-02, 09:26 PM   #16
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My night riding is mostly commuting. I will do some short errands on the bike, but usually I try to tie those in to my commute in some way (It might give met an excuse to ride further ) I just picked up the tailight for my NiteRider system and it is BRIGHT!! When I turned it on at work to test something, it startled my coworker, as the beam was aligned right at her face at the time. It turned her flashing red.

I have reflective tape, another tailight I keep on solid red (to aid in depth perception for the drivers.. its hard to distance a flashing light), Reflective ankle bands, and some tape on my fenders. Plus the 32 watts up front.

There is only one strech of road that I am not fond of riding in the dark, but its rather short, and I haven't had a big issue. Mostly the motorists are nice enough to let me merge over for left-turns.

Bright lights are the way to go.. it makes outriding them more difficult. Thus far the only things I have hit (potholes/sticks) were more because I was daydreaming rather than going too fast.
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Old 11-21-02, 07:44 AM   #17
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You forgot in the poll the all great booze cruise!!!

Ahh how I miss those college days of having a few
jumping on the singlespeed or mtn and hit up campus for a booze cruise!!! It makes falling hurt less
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Old 11-21-02, 07:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
I am hoping buying a trainer will help at the very least keep me at this weight in prep for next year
You're better than I am. I don't think that I have the discipline to stay on a trainer.
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Old 11-21-02, 11:22 AM   #19
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Most of my night riding is commuting. I can relate allot with Jean Beetham Smith. That's what I enjoy the most about riding at night.
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Old 11-21-02, 12:48 PM   #20
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Most of my nightime riding is on the commute home as well. Sometimes I'll have a dark ride in to work.

I actually like riding at night, even more so than during daylight. It's the change I like. I feel safe, though I know I can be squished like a bug at any time. Like Sailguy I have one of those massively powerful rear LED lights. More importantly, I use the NiteRider Digital front lights on blinking mode most all the way home, even at night. There is enough ambient light on SJ streets to see clearly all around, and those babies really light up the street signs. It's almost as if a train is coming through !!!

I cannot recommend a better safety device than a blinking front light. I truly is amazing the attention it draws from the most dangerous area (in my experience): people hooking turns or pulling out in front of you.

I have the full compliment of other reflective devices and gear, including the reflective ankle strap. I agree with the earlier poster that the circular movement of the pedal stroke is what best signifies the existence of a biker. I also put reflective material on other moving parts, like the rims.
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Old 11-21-02, 02:46 PM   #21
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I do nekkid night riding.
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Old 11-21-02, 02:53 PM   #22
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None of the choices, I do urban riding.
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Old 11-24-02, 12:14 AM   #23
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Night riding is awesome, especially on lesser traveled roads. I commute home at night.
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Old 11-24-02, 06:46 AM   #24
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I would like to find the ocassional night rider to go out and try to form a pack against the mass of cars.
My question, do many our night riders see many other night riders out there and or you able to get others to join you at night. Particularily for non-commute rides?
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Old 11-24-02, 07:24 AM   #25
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I can ride down the lit trail along the Erie Canal; just a few miles in either direction but it is a beautiful serene ride especially with a full moon reflecting off of the canal. I can also ride on the sidewalks in town and even some of the side streets. The great thing is that traffic on the canal path is greatly diminished. I put on my headlight as a safety so that any cars pulling out of driveways have a chance to see me.
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