Rando n00b here, I only have a few 200k's and one 300k under my belt, which gives me a grand total of about 4 night-time riding hours.
I am prepping my bike and mental strategy for the upcoming NJ Rando Shore by Night 200k. With a start of 10pm and a sunrise of 5:45am, I'll be looking at almost 8 hours of riding in darkness. I haven't done a 400k but I assume that this would be the most similar, considering for 27 hours you will probably ride a significant night portion no matter how you cut it.
I was trying to find a thread on night time riding specifically, but can't really find much. It seems like a big obstacle to tackle for the longer events, and it is somewhat intimidating. Yes, I suppose I could glean some of the tips in the 400-600+ km threads, but the advice in there is peppered with other suggestions on how to deal with sleep deprivation, fatigue, etc., which is a bit beyond the scope of what I am trying to figure out. This ride will be short and sweet, and hopefully a crash-course (without the crashing) in night time riding.
I feel fairly prepared in terms of lighting/reflectivity, what to bring, and finishing the course in good time, but I guess I am asking for other tips on situations that might be harder to foresee or prepare for. I've already read that riding with others at night is safer and good for morale. I am also planning on using bags with many pockets vs. one big container so it's easier to locate items I will need during the ride. All of the controles are going to be 24hr convenience stores it looks like, so I shouldn't have to worry *too* much about food/drink supplies. It seems that going slower in the night is par for the course, but how much more time would I be expecting to finish a similar course if I were to do it during the day?
Sorry if I didn't really have clear questions, but looking for as much advice as I can get to make this ride as successful as possible.