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First Night Commute!

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First Night Commute!

Old 09-23-04, 07:39 PM
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vtjim
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First Night Commute!

When I say night, I mean night. Unlit rail trail. Through woods. Dark.

I had a little Cateye micro-halogen for a headlight. Did a surprising job of lighting up enough trail for me to cruise comfortably around 15MPH. I'm probably going to get a Nitehawk Digital Emitter for a primary night light.

Also had a clear front blinkie and a red rear blinkie. (And reflector vest.)

Noteable:
1 runner with tiny amount of reflective material on shoes.
1 runner without ANY reflective material that I saw.
2 cyclists with NO lights. I saw them because my Cateye reflected their pedal reflectors.
(keep in mind that this is a completely unlit trail. no street lights. no buildings. etc.)

1 skunk. A real beefy specimen. Cateye lit it up as a dark shadow far ahead and I got on the brakes. Once I had identified it, I came to a dead stop and let it cross the trail. I saw a bike headlight coming at me. Wagged my handlebars so my headlight would flash the oncoming rider. Other rider slowed down. Skunk wandered into brush next to path. I started moving again. There was an unlit child behind the lit cyclist (sigh). I said, "There's a skunk up there." Woman thanked me.

This night riding stuff is fun! Highly recommended.
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Old 09-24-04, 04:58 AM
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Lufty
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Cool! I can't wait to try it. Thanks for the post!

(researching lights this weekend) Lufty
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Old 09-24-04, 06:00 AM
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John Ridley
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I just started night commuting last week, with a 20W halogen DIY front light, cateye 3-LED blinker on the helmet, Nashbar 5-LED red blinker in the back, plus some aftermarket reflectors.
Out of 7 days, 2 days I've ridden past a jogger (same guy both times) carrying a flashlight and a little reflective stuff on his shoes/jacket. I have also noticed field mice sniffing alongside the gravel road next to the corn fields. Plenty of roadkill to avoid. Apart from that, just cars.

But it is fun. Not sure if it's better than day riding, but it's different, and that's worth something when you're going to be riding the same route hundreds of times a year.
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Old 09-24-04, 06:48 AM
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rule
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LOL...nice going vt. Skunks always have the right of way down in Texas too.

I do a ton of my riding after dark, both late and early. On one of my favorite sundown rides, the bugs come out right at dusk, the bats and toads follow next, then the snakes. After that and all the way through to morning its rabbits, armadillos, possums, coyotes, skunks, raccoons, and owls.

And as you mention, I too am still amazed at how many runners and cyclists go out on the trails in the pitch black with no lights or even any thought to how invisible they will be. Not surprisingly a lot of them learn their night visibility lessons the hard way.
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Old 09-24-04, 03:50 PM
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awesome... can't wait to start myself... just ordered a rechargable headlight of sorts off of ebay... and got some cateye led's from the LBS

my morning commute starts at 7 am (not dark now, but will be soon enough), and the ride home starts at 9:10 pm... so most of my riding will be done in the dark over winter
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