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Old 10-28-12, 06:07 PM   #1
commodorefork
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The ideal time of day to ride your bike!

Hello, gentlemen!

I do believe that there is an ideal time of day to go for a bike ride. The time that's optimum in pleasantness and fun.

In my experience, it's 3 o'clock in the morning. And let me tell you why!

Simply, there is virtually no traffic at all. You can ride on ANY street and go anywhere you want (just about) at 3am. I suppose that someone might say that they can do the same thing in the day. My rebuttal to that is that cycling in high-traffic areas is stressful and low on the pleasantness factor. At 3AM, you can ride along the busiest thoroughfares in a care-free frame of mind. You can explore your surrounding area without waiting for cars to pass before you cross a traffic lane.

There are obvious hazards when you ride at night. You need to have a brave and adventurous spirit to enjoy the ideal cycling hour.

I love riding downtown late at night. All the buildings are illuminated and there's virtually no one around.

Who can deny the existence of an IDEAL time of day for cycling?

Last edited by commodorefork; 10-29-12 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 10-28-12, 06:12 PM   #2
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+1 3am is perfect. I can get a 2-3 hour ride in, get cleaned up, get the kids off to school, and still get to work on time. The bonus is that if I get back in 1 1/2 hours I can shower then just get an extra hours of sleep... You do need to have a lot of light installed on the bike though.
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Old 10-28-12, 06:47 PM   #3
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Getting around this time of year I suppose it doesn't apply as much, but when it's warm out, 2-3am is amazing... Especially when it's near a full moon.
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Old 10-28-12, 07:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by commodorefork View Post
I do believe that there is an ideal time of day to go for a bike ride. The time that's optimum in pleasantness and fun. In my experience, it's 3 o'clock in the morning. And let me tell you why!
Simply, there is virtually no traffic at all. You can ride on ANY street and go anywhere you want (just about) at 3am. I suppose that someone might say that they can do the same thing in the day. My rebuttal to that is that cycling in high-traffic areas is stressful and low on the pleasantness factor. At 3AM, you can ride along the busiest thoroughfares in a care-free frame of mind. You can explore your surrounding area without waiting for cars to pass before you cross a traffic lane.
In general, I enjoy riding my bike at night and very early in the morning. But at this time of year, it's danged cold at 3AM and unless I need to get to work I won't be on my bike.
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Old 10-28-12, 07:31 PM   #5
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I was out riding at 3:00 AM this morning. It was cold out there, and I had problems getting sleepy.
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Old 10-28-12, 08:20 PM   #6
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Hello, gentlemen!

The time that's optimum in pleasantness and fun.
Thanks. I had forgotten the pleasantness factor.
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Old 10-28-12, 08:33 PM   #7
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Where I live anytime between midnight-4am are ideal times for riding! No traffic and so every red light can be run.
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Old 10-28-12, 08:44 PM   #8
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Anytime you are awake.
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Old 10-28-12, 08:51 PM   #9
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Anytime you are awake.
+1 Finally a cyclist
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Old 10-28-12, 09:25 PM   #10
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I love riding in the middle of the night. I love riding just before sunrise in the summer but its around then that traffic starts to appear.
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Old 10-28-12, 09:41 PM   #11
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I was out riding at 3:00 AM this morning. It was cold out there, and I had problems getting sleepy.
Yes. Unfortunately it's too cold now to go out riding late at night. We had an unusual spell of warm weather last week here in St. Louis which I made sure to take advantage of. Now it's below freezing. :-/

And you need to be the sort of fellow that can be awake that early. It's an exclusive hour!

I do run into one or two cyclists that early in the morning sometimes.
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Old 10-28-12, 09:52 PM   #12
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Yeah riding at 3am is simply amazing, I've been doing more and more random night rides at around that time for that very reason.
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Old 10-28-12, 10:04 PM   #13
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Riding at 3am is the best as it allows to minimize smog exposition due to traffic.
As according to a french study from ORS ile de france, pollution is the number one killer for cyclists. Riding at 3am should save the life of the cyclist on the long run
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Old 10-29-12, 12:30 AM   #14
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I do run into one or two cyclists that early in the morning sometimes.
Boy, did that get my attention - till I realized you only meant you 'encounter' one or two.
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Old 10-29-12, 10:59 AM   #15
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'sidewalks rollup' at 10pm. here, so ride home from tavern is quiet.

usually the water on the road is liquid, not frozen.
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Old 10-29-12, 11:36 AM   #16
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Boy, did that get my attention - till I realized you only meant you 'encounter' one or two.
Haha, I better be careful with words around here to avoid dangerous misunderstandings...

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Riding at 3am is the best as it allows to minimize smog exposition due to traffic.
As according to a french study from ORS ile de france, pollution is the number one killer for cyclists. Riding at 3am should save the life of the cyclist on the long run
I hadn't thought of that, but it makes sense. There are clearly many benefits for riding that early with comparatively few drawbacks.

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Where I live anytime between midnight-4am are ideal times for riding! No traffic and so every red light can be run.
I was going to mention skipping red-lights, but I didn't want to get crucified for saying it.

Last edited by commodorefork; 10-29-12 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 10-29-12, 10:10 PM   #17
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This morning while pedaling at 6:30 a.m. I saw a full moon set into the ocean at the same time the sun was raising. It was pretty awesome.
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Old 10-29-12, 11:42 PM   #18
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I have to ask why would anyone be up at 3am? When do they sleep? Most of us are awake during the day at least after Starbucks opens. The bed feels so good between midnight and 6am. In the winter the spouse's body heat is most comforting between those same hours. Only people I know that are willingly out between Midnight and 4am are crooks, drunks, hookers and the police and people working graveyard. Statistically that seems to be the case in most cities.

But seriously if someone is up at 3am what are they doing the rest of the day? Utility cyclist don't have anywhere to go at 3am. Touring cyclist might need to get on the road early to get from one city to the next. Roadies can't run a paceline at 3am. Beach cruisers can't watch the girls on the beach before daylight. So what wakes people up at 3am? I know why people are out riding on the streeet at 2am.

Still once I am awake it is the best time to ride. Anytime I can see the pot holes, flowers, trees, animals, lakes, long hills, and other riders is a good time to ride. And if there is a tailwind, it is the perfect time.
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Old 10-29-12, 11:59 PM   #19
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This morning while pedaling at 6:30 a.m. I saw a full moon set into the ocean at the same time the sun was raising. It was pretty awesome.
Tonght that will be called the Hunters Moon. Took place about 7 am.
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Old 10-30-12, 12:15 AM   #20
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I used to have a schedule where I was up at nights. Living in LA and being awake from 9pm - 5am was GREAT. No traffic whatsover. I used to love love love my bike rides around the beaches and city. Only downside was getting stopped by the cops all the time but otherwise it was great.

Its so quite and calm too.
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Old 10-30-12, 07:22 AM   #21
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I love early, dark, solitary winter commutes. We get lots of dark here in the winter, so I get a good helping. So quite, peaceful, since there really isn't any traffic. My biggest issue is getting across the highway, where there is traffic at any hour I ride, since there aren't any cars to trip the sensor on my cross street. But I have to watch out for deer - they are everywhere, and can't figure out what a cyclist is, then exploding in some direction just as you get close. So far they haven't panicked my direction. Yet.
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Old 10-31-12, 11:40 AM   #22
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At 3 am there is a fun factor where you can ride freely in the streets where you couldn't during the day with heavy traffic. Since I am not a Vampire I prefer to sleep at night and ride during daylight hours where I can things clearly.
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Old 10-31-12, 11:48 AM   #23
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I prefer to sleep at night and ride during daylight hours where I can things clearly.
Yeah, I hate when I cannot things clearly. I figure if I am things, I want to things properly or not at all.
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Old 10-31-12, 11:54 AM   #24
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Yes. Unfortunately it's too cold now to go out riding late at night. We had an unusual spell of warm weather last week here in St. Louis which I made sure to take advantage of. Now it's below freezing. :-/

And you need to be the sort of fellow that can be awake that early. It's an exclusive hour!

I do run into one or two cyclists that early in the morning sometimes.
I was awake that late, not that early. We were coming in on a 400k that started 7:00 AM the previous morning.

Around here, it's too cold to ride about 2 months out of the year, and too hot to ride the other 10 months, so we just ride anyway.
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Old 10-31-12, 11:56 AM   #25
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Riding mostly in rural areas, my fear of night riding is critters dashing out from the side of the road and getting under my wheels. When driving, they're just road kill. On a bike, you could end up being the road kill when you hit an opossum.
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