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Old 07-20-12, 12:45 PM   #1
Midnight Biker
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Riding at night

Since last year I have been going on nighttime bike rides. I leave my house at around midnight and come back about 1 to 2 hours later. I do this to avoid the unpleasant obstacles present on the roads during daytime and evening hours. This way I have the road (mostly) all to myself and I can breathe freely without having to worry about inhaling dangerous diesel fumes and other impurities resulting from human activity. I also enjoy the stillness of the air at night and the cool breeze. It's exhilarating. One time I rode for 3 hours straight.

So what do you think of this? Have you ever done it yourself?
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Old 07-20-12, 01:44 PM   #2
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I will be soon doing this, unfortunately all the towns with street lights are just one big line with hills up every sidestreet so the view gets boring, but still peaceful.
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Old 07-20-12, 01:59 PM   #3
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I've been out a few times with a night riding group that Doohickie introduced me to. Lots of fun. Since I put strong lights on my bike, I've also frequently gone out an hour before dark to ride the river trails around here. It's quite pleasant to be out after dark. Fireflies light my way through the forest and croaking frogs serenade me as I ride up the river. The gnats suck, though. Haven't done any midnight rides like you describe, however.
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Old 07-20-12, 02:31 PM   #4
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I have done some early am rides in the past for some of the same reasons. I would usually get up at 400am-ish when I was riding 100+ mile training rides. It's peaceful.

I'm attending a charity event in Boston tonight and will be riding 32 miles home afterwards. I plan on leaving the event by 2am at the latest, than once I get clear of the city it's straight sailing down a rural route the last 20-25 miles home.

My only concern is that my route takes me past the access road for a max. security prison and tends to be a lot of cops in the general area, looking for anything out of the ordinary. I hope they don't hassle me for riding in that area at night.
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Old 07-20-12, 03:04 PM   #5
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I love night rides. LED lights are the greatest bicycling invention since the pneumatic tire. I'll cut through a local park onto the river trail. The park is pitch black. Once got followed by a small pack of coyotes.

The city is different at night. I live in a suburban beach-adjacent community. Got everything from barrios of desperation to multimillion dollar homes owned by retired movie stars. Nature parks and industrial areas. Much better at night.
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Old 07-20-12, 04:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Midnight Biker View Post
Since last year I have been going on nighttime bike rides. I leave my house at around midnight and come back about 1 to 2 hours later. I do this to avoid the unpleasant obstacles present on the roads during daytime and evening hours. This way I have the road (mostly) all to myself and I can breathe freely without having to worry about inhaling dangerous diesel fumes and other impurities resulting from human activity. I also enjoy the stillness of the air at night and the cool breeze. It's exhilarating. One time I rode for 3 hours straight.

So what do you think of this? Have you ever done it yourself?
TI try to avoid those hours. The bars close at 2:00. I don't want to be on hte road between about midnight and 3.
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Old 07-20-12, 04:44 PM   #7
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You can get those same feelings from riding up in the mountains. Why wait till night?



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Old 07-20-12, 05:02 PM   #8
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I have done some early am rides in the past for some of the same reasons. I would usually get up at 400am-ish when I was riding 100+ mile training rides. It's peaceful.

I'm attending a charity event in Boston tonight and will be riding 32 miles home afterwards. I plan on leaving the event by 2am at the latest, than once I get clear of the city it's straight sailing down a rural route the last 20-25 miles home.

My only concern is that my route takes me past the access road for a max. security prison and tends to be a lot of cops in the general area, looking for anything out of the ordinary. I hope they don't hassle me for riding in that area at night.
Heh, I was stopped by a cop once who was all like "anything interesting happening tonight?", but once he got a clear look at my attire, my face and I told him why I was riding so late he smiled and told me I was a clever guy.
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Old 07-20-12, 05:04 PM   #9
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TI try to avoid those hours. The bars close at 2:00. I don't want to be on hte road between about midnight and 3.
I anticipate the worst, of course, so if I notice a car comming as much as 400 yards away from me I quickly get off the road and onto a sidewalk until it passes.
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Old 07-20-12, 08:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnight Biker View Post
Since last year I have been going on nighttime bike rides. I leave my house at around midnight and come back about 1 to 2 hours later. I do this to avoid the unpleasant obstacles present on the roads during daytime and evening hours. This way I have the road (mostly) all to myself and I can breathe freely without having to worry about inhaling dangerous diesel fumes and other impurities resulting from human activity. I also enjoy the stillness of the air at night and the cool breeze. It's exhilarating. One time I rode for 3 hours straight.

So what do you think of this? Have you ever done it yourself?
I did this exact thing for the exact same reason when I lived on arguably "The worlds most popular beach".

Which was also the worlds most congested tourist ridden suicide death trap much of the year. Not only during the weekdays but even worse on weekends.

I dont see anything problematic other than depending on your specific local , I got too used to cool light breezy nights with very low humidity. When I hit up a group ride during the day and ran back into 100* @ 100% humidy, it was a new kind of death.

But you gotta do what you gotta do in order to put the miles in.
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Old 07-20-12, 08:40 PM   #11
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I was introduced to night riding when I started riding brevets a couple years ago, and now it's my favorite time to ride in the summertime.
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Old 07-20-12, 08:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnight Biker View Post
Since last year I have been going on nighttime bike rides. I leave my house at around midnight and come back about 1 to 2 hours later. I do this to avoid the unpleasant obstacles present on the roads during daytime and evening hours. This way I have the road (mostly) all to myself and I can breathe freely without having to worry about inhaling dangerous diesel fumes and other impurities resulting from human activity. I also enjoy the stillness of the air at night and the cool breeze. It's exhilarating. One time I rode for 3 hours straight.

So what do you think of this? Have you ever done it yourself?
Your post reminds me of an interview with David Feherty I once read (his accident, at night, was pretty bad).

I have thought about trying this but a few things stop me:

1) I rise at 5:00 am on work days, and exercise before bed is sleep-disrupting for me.
2) Riding before work (i.e., before 5:00 am) would necessitate a very inconvenient bed-time.
3) Decent lights are not cheap.

Last edited by ZippyThePinhead; 07-20-12 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 07-20-12, 08:55 PM   #13
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So what do you think of this? Have you ever done it yourself?
Where I live, just too many critters at night and such to ride at night, we only have street lights in town. One skunk or opossum and ouch.
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Old 07-20-12, 09:22 PM   #14
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In the summer I ride almost exclusively at night as I have 3 little kids I have all day while my wife works and I work afternoons 3-11. I usually ride after work and try to avoid the main streets if possible or Ill go right to the bike path which is about 1/2 mile from work.
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Old 07-21-12, 12:18 AM   #15
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I commute home after dark. I never leave work until after 9 pm when the malls close and traffic dies down. I love my 8.5 mile ride home; the roads are empty, it's quiet and peaceful. Friday nights scare me a bit, though, since it's party night.
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Old 07-21-12, 09:05 AM   #16
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At 11 the roads are quiet here, in town, several taxi companies
and the PD,DUI arrest ..
are 2 choices to consider.
(Mayor is a Betty Ford Clinic Alumni)

for those who have had a few.. the taxis ,some , even have bike racks off the back.

rides home are nice and quiet, for the most part, Fresh though often damp sea air .

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-21-12 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 07-21-12, 10:09 AM   #17
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Nighttime is fast becoming my favorite time to ride. In the winter the days are short and if I don't ride at night, I don't ride. I have never liked being out in the bright sun. In the summer I can avoid the hot temps and glare and sunburn by riding at night. It's the best. Good LED lights are becoming very affordable. It is very pleasant and somewhat adventurous to be out riding at night. Maybe we should have our own forum?
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Old 07-22-12, 06:08 PM   #18
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I get home about 10ish once or twice a week and I really enjoy those rides. So little to worry about compared to the daytime worries.
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Old 07-22-12, 06:29 PM   #19
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Reading the responses in this thread make me laugh I've worked graveyards for about four years now. Night riding is an every day occurrence for me. It is an absolutely magical experience. I am always perplexed as to why I'm so alone out there at night. It's the best time to be out ridding. Cheers to you for discovering something truly special. The sensation of ridding down the main street of your city completely alone is unmatched.

It does come with its own unique dangers. There's a slightly higher rate of crime during dark hours, and of course there are lots of drunks. Compared with the dangers of heavy traffic though, I don't feel like it's any more hazardous than daytime ridding. Stay safe, well lit, and alert. And enjoy the solitude!
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Old 07-22-12, 07:09 PM   #20
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I haven't done any night riding, primarily for two reasons.

First, my glaucoma has severely impacted my night vision. My pupils are 'blown'- they can't constrict when facing bright lights and the glare from said lights blinds me, and then I it takes a few minutes before what little night vision I have left is restored.

Second, my town has a curfew of 11 p.m. and all of the parks that I'm aware of around me prohibit people from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. And since the local trail system falls under the jurisdiction of the Parks Dept., that means they are off limits as well.

But I'd surely love to be able to ride in the early a.m. to avoid the heat...
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Old 07-24-12, 12:49 PM   #21
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I love nite rides. Occasionally I'll hit a surprise object but it's never anything serious. I was toying with the idea of an overnote Martha's Vineyard century, where I would take the last ferry over and ride all night until the sun rose and then nap on a beach. if done on the longest day of the year the actual darkness would be over pretty earli in the am probably before the ride was completed.
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Old 07-24-12, 01:12 PM   #22
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So what do you think of this? Have you ever done it yourself?
+1, many, many times. So little traffic
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Old 07-24-12, 05:21 PM   #23
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I do a few night rides every year. I have the advantage of living 1 block away from the Badger rail trail and traffic is not a problem. I find it a totally different and enjoyable experience.
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Old 07-24-12, 05:30 PM   #24
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I'm with Sgt Ale. Most nights I'm working midnight-8am, so night riding for me = commuting. Granted, I live in the 'burbs and only have to go 2 miles or so in either direction, so it's no big deal, but I did almost run into a deer once while zipping downhill at 25mph!!! Cooler temps at night are a big advantage in the summer, for sure.
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Old 07-24-12, 08:34 PM   #25
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I am in the minority I guess. I only ride at night if I get caught out after it turns dark because of bad planning or because I have to. Last year I tried riding at night for training during the summer. There was a 9 mile climb up a canyon road that never has much traffic even during the day. The climb wasn't too bad once I got good lights but the decent was not as nice as durning the day. Even with two 150 night Riders pot holes don't tend to show depth and bumps don't show up at all. As someone else mentioned Racoons and Opossums are known to cross the road when you least expect it and it might be because they can't hear you coming? Whatever the reason I would rather ride when I can see the road and the things that are around me. for me there are few things as uncomfortable as seeing lights coming up behind you and not knowing how close they are till they pass.
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