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Anyone else like riding at night?

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Anyone else like riding at night?

Old 08-08-21, 12:37 AM
  #26  
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I used to commute early mornings with Dyno lights. Such peaceful rides!
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Old 08-08-21, 12:50 AM
  #27  
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I’ve enjoyed night riding since my days training for centuries+ after work, then there were fun group rides of 30-35 miles every Wednesday evening starting at 7:30 PM year-round, and winter work commutes.

Now that I’ve retired, I get that quiet joy of night rides “commuting” 8 miles each way to Bike Works for volunteer efforts, 6:30-9:30 PM several nights/week. The going to at 6:30 through Seattle isn’t all that peaceful, but the trips home are fantastic. I go through the Sodo area where the stadiums are located, and the streets are sooo peaceful. Even on a Mariners game night, riding through the folks leaving the game can be fun.

I still have very good night vision, and use effective lights, and my wife gave me an battery-powered illuminated light “vest” several years ago. Bike lighting has really improved over the years!
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Old 08-08-21, 01:54 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
I do enjoy a night ride...

The dusk or sunset hours are my favorite aspect of night riding. Excellent lighting for photos, great sunsets, and the various critters are active (and waiting to jump into your spokes).





That train shot!

I have been known to do the odd moonlight ride, but in recent months I've been leaving my rides until late in the day/early evening as well. This was shot about 5 miles into a 30 mile ride a couple days ago, around 7pm:



DD
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Old 08-08-21, 03:45 AM
  #29  
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I love night riding.

Except the deer.
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Old 08-08-21, 06:29 AM
  #30  
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All very interesting and informative. It also lends credence to the thought that “my riding is foreign to you, and vice versa”. The heat issue and other perspectives are interesting. Being transported to a whole new frame of reference is enlightening. I’ve still never ridden down a mountain at 40+ mph either for example.
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Old 08-08-21, 08:32 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Commuting in the PNW means riding at night
For sure! Prior to retirement, half my 4+ mile commute was a 2 lane country road til I reached Martin Way, our main drag in Olympia,Wa. Route then went East, past I-5 to our building in Lacey WA. A shortcut thru St Martin's College, Benedictine Monk's cemetary and the Ecology buildings was available, but I quit using it after some cougar sightings in the area. I only ever saw deer, lots of deer and racoons, but just too creepy in the early morning half dawn. Really enjoyed the quiet, moonlit rides. The way a sound or smell crept into your revery. My commute was short and flexible hours allowed a round trip home for lunch. Sorely miss those days, but not the long hours of work. Retirement is great. Don
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Old 08-08-21, 08:43 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
I’ve still never ridden down a mountain at 40+ mph either for example.
Try it sometime, you'll like it! Don
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Old 08-08-21, 12:09 PM
  #33  
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As a cool-weather rider who never rode much at night I'm afraid I'll have no other choice if I want to get a decent amount of rides in for the season. Put up the bikes for the summer due to profuse sweating and breathing problems in high-temp/high-humidity conditions. Also I'm not a morning person so I'll have to end some rides at dusk or night.
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Old 08-08-21, 01:04 PM
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I used to love riding in the dark. Commuting, bar hopping, poaching the nearby mtb trails before they were legit. But these days the neighborhood is too sketchy to be out and about in the evenings, with so many crackheads around. It already feels like I'm already in a zombie movie without drawing them back to my house. I'm pretty sure I had been targeted before they broke into my garage and tried to hacksaw through the frame of my locked-up fatbike. They managed about halfway through before turning their sights on my basement door.

Now I only ride anything modern rarely in the early morning and vintage the rest of the time. Riding a 70s Raleigh with no helmet and I feel invisble.
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Old 08-09-21, 12:21 AM
  #35  
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Early morning or late night riding is the only cool way to do it around here.

Closest I can relate (although gugie mountaindave and northbend stories are so so cool!) is that I ride a dockable rental bike one-handed to go surf a couple times a week, pretty early.

If I leave by 5:30am this time of year, it's still dark and people are confused. Far fewer cars on the road than anytime after 7am, and it's a great warm up for some waves
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Old 08-09-21, 08:08 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by smurfy View Post
As a cool-weather rider who never rode much at night I'm afraid I'll have no other choice if I want to get a decent amount of rides in for the season. Put up the bikes for the summer due to profuse sweating and breathing problems in high-temp/high-humidity conditions. Also I'm not a morning person so I'll have to end some rides at dusk or night.
Get a strong light and go for it! My current light is 1200 lumens. I also have both front and back blinkers, and wear a reflective jersey (not those ugly yellow safety things, a regular-looking jersey with lots of reflective stuff built into it). Stick to routes you have already ridden in the day so you know where the bumps will be.

I am not a morning person either, I tried morning rides this summer and they were not early enough .. cars are still horrible at 8AM. Maybe one of these years I will be able to wake up for 6AM rides, but it hasn't happened yet.

Lately I have been leaving around 7:30PM for around an hour ride, it will be getting dark about the time I am back home. It is 10 degrees warmer than in the AM, but the lack of sun and the lower humidity makes it about the same feel. I am doing longer AM rides on the weekends but out in the countryside where there are few cars ever.
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Old 08-09-21, 02:15 PM
  #37  
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I have often thought that it would be fun to do a long nocturnal tour, starting to ride at sunset and camping sometime in the wee hours of the night. You'd have to enjoy the distant views during daylight, off the bike. But that would obviously present some logistical challenges, ie checking into a state park at 3 AM. Also probably an inherently greater risk of accidents.
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Old 08-09-21, 03:00 PM
  #38  
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I’ve done a few purposeful overnight rides, a couple of those 360k flèche rides with @rhm. Another was with a local Boston group for a 200k ride from Boston to Provincetown, MA. We left around 5 or 6 pm and intended to watch the sun rise on Cape Cod near the end of the ride. As we huddled on the beach, the sky became increasingly overcast as daylight increased. Soon it was raining. Not much of a sunrise, I’m afraid. I do remember worrying about riding on some of the busier Cape Cod roads at night, but at 2 am there was barely any auto traffic. We all had good LED lamps powered by dynohubs, so darkness was never a problem.
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Old 08-09-21, 09:03 PM
  #39  
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it was raining this morning, so no morning ride.
Too windy during the day.
The wind died down near sunset and the heat was tapering off... so it was time to ride! Got a nice sunset as a bonus!



The clouds ended up forming a pretty violent storm about 60 miles north, which provided a lightning show an hour later. It seemed closer, so I started pedaling a bit harder, not wanting to get caught in a storm.

a couple more of these pics will be posted in the "ride a bike, see stuff" thread.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 08-09-21, 09:22 PM
  #40  
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I don't do it that often, but love it when I do. Living in a rural area there's very little traffic at night. Deer and smaller mammals are a greater concern, but if you ride toward the center of the road you have a bit more room if something does dart out.
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Old 08-09-21, 10:59 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
Nope, as a motorcyclist for nearly 50 years, I want to know more about the road surface than a bicycle light can provide.
I used to commute by motorcycle for years so I know what you mean. But there are a few good bicycle headlights that are reasonably comparable now.

For the past year I've used the NiteRider Lumina Dual 1800, one of the few with a shaped beam using a proper lens and hood to shield spill from blinding oncoming drivers, cyclists or pedestrians. It's the best self-contained bicycle headlight I've found that's readily available through more outlets than just the manufacturer. My sample performs exactly as described by NiteRider, including runtime per charge and output. Great for seeing the entire lane ahead and enough spill to watch the roadsides for deer and other animals. I usually run video on every ride and the beam has a wide, oval, evenly distributed beam with little spill overhead.

I've used this quite a bit on the MUP, on low which is all I need on most of the MUP, and I no longer see approaching pedestrians and joggers frantically shading their eyes. That used to occur when I used my Light & Motion Urban 500 and Rando 500 (basically identical lights) and NiteRider Lumina Micro 850, or any single LED spotlight type bike headlight without a proper lens for shaping the beam. I'd try to quickly aim my lights downward to avoid blinding people. And I even homebrewed a shade using white translucent soft plastic pill bottles, cut with a craft knife -- it helped a little.

I could pick a few nits, but the NiteRider Lumina Dual 1800 is pretty good as-is. I'd like to see two buttons or a slider switch (physical or virtual) to quickly change from low to high, rather than the single button that requires cycling through low, medium, high, etc. Or a user programmable controller.

That particular NiteRider has been better than my former (and still occasional) trick of using two headlights, on either side of the stem, to create a wider beam to more evenly light the road ahead, and some spill to see the roadsides to watch for critters.

Reportedly the Outbound Lighting road and trail systems (separate head and battery modules) are even better. These also have proper lenses and shaped beams. It's on my short list of lights to try.

On the Electronics, Lighting & Gadgets forum, a fellow from Europe has suggested some good lights that are readily available there and can be special ordered for delivery to the US.
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Old 08-09-21, 11:49 PM
  #42  
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I've always enjoyed riding at night, ever since the 1970s when I commuted by bike to and from Camp Pendleton where there were miles and miles without a single light in some parts of the enormous base. Back then all we had were dim tire-rubbing generator lights or those Wonder Lights with pricey batteries that didn't last long (but it could be farm-rigged with ordinary batteries). Now I use a NiteRider Lumina Dual 1800, or a pair of single LED headlights on either side of the stem. Plenty of light for my speed and needs.

With better lights now I almost prefer night rides, especially in summer. Besides urban group night rides with friends I do a lot of rural night rides. Cooler, practically no traffic.

The latter -- little traffic -- seems more critical now. Drivers seem to be going insane the past year. And it's not just my imagination. Stats are way up for serious injury and fatality wrecks this year, per data from local law enforcement. Lots more road rage violence too. I'm hearing similar impressions from folks in other parts of the US.

I used to ride in late afternoon to meet folks for early evening group rides, but not for the past year. That cycling commute requires riding in rush hour traffic. That wasn't a major problem before 2020, but it's a lot weirder out there now. So I skip the late afternoon/early evening rides and either wait until late at night or start mid-morning and ride until early afternoon, then get off the road while the zombie hordes are raging.
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Old 08-10-21, 03:01 PM
  #43  
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I've almost always ridden at night, getting back into it now I'm out between 11pm to 1 am usually. Cooler, no traffic, no walkers...
When I was putting in 60- 80 milers I would go out around 9pm and return sometime before sunrise.
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Old 08-11-21, 04:31 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I love night riding.

Except the deer.
Thats the spookiest part of rideing after dark in my area.
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Old 08-11-21, 05:39 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
I don't do it that often, but love it when I do. Living in a rural area there's very little traffic at night. Deer and smaller mammals are a greater concern, but if you ride toward the center of the road you have a bit more room if something does dart out.
in regards to deer, there are a lot of them near me, mostly in the heavily wooded river bluffs along the Illinois river. My observation is that they are most active around sunrise and sunset. After dark, it's much less common to encounter them crossing the road.

The smaller critters are the ones that seem to be on the prowl well after sunset. There was one spot on my commute that was part of a skunk's route. There were a few times near where the road crossed a creek that I would see this skunk. Of course, seeing a black skunk at night isn't easy, and I got closer than I wanted now and then! Fortunately, the skunk didn't feel like he needed to fire a warning shot across my bow.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 08-11-21, 07:05 AM
  #46  
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I used to ride every night/morning while commuting for many years. I love riding at night, I knew the roads, cars gave me a lot of room because I was lit like a christmas tree. In fact, "we" (BFnet commuters) used to discuss great ways to make bike lights. Commercial lights were crappy or extremely expensive (Dinotte). We all would discuss various systems. Many, including me used halogen car light bulb inside of PVC plumbing pipe. I got the "small" ( 12v, 7amph, 3"x5", lead acid ) batteries from work for free. Everytime we had our microscopes serviced I would get the old backup batterries, essentially new but weighed a lot, I would bungie to my rack and off I would go. I was crazy bright.

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Old 08-11-21, 08:05 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by balto charlie View Post
In fact, "we" (BFnet commuters) used to discuss great ways to make bike lights. Commercial lights were crappy or extremely expensive (Dinotte). We all would discuss various systems. Many, including me used halogen car light bulb inside of PVC plumbing pipe. I got the "small" ( 12v, 7amph, 3"x5", lead acid ) from work for free. Everytime we had our microscopes serviced I would get the old backup batterries, essentially new but weighed a lot, I would bungie to my rack and off I would go. I was crazy bright.
Back then, I used a standard blinkie tail light suplemented with a home made lighting system of: headlight made from a GM truck 12 v parking light assembly for a headlight powered by a 12v motorcycle battery that stored inside front of a nylon tool box bungied onto my luggage rack. Tool box did triple duty as a battery box, bike "trunk", plus mounted an Amber Xenon strobe light on rear of the box. Good headlight, extreme visibility from side/rear and inexpensive, the battery lasted thru Winter. Biggest negative was its extreme weight compared to the weak commercial lights available then. Don
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