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How dangerous is it to ride by myself down a rarely driven road?

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How dangerous is it to ride by myself down a rarely driven road?

Old 07-14-13, 08:54 PM
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AaronCommuter
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How dangerous is it to ride by myself down a rarely driven road?

I want to do some star gazing at night away from the city light haze. I found a road that turns into a back highway in between crop land in southern Idaho. I want to ride 8 miles to an area in between crops where there won't be any porch lights, and then take a path off the road to star gaze.

Maybe two cars drive through there each hour. Am I being paranoid worrying that one of them might try to hit me or even pull up behind me to mess with me? I think 99% of people would never do that, but if one did, I don't know what defenses I'd have. I'd drive there, but there is no where to pull off in a car away from the lights.

I'm thinking of going ninja, since I can see any cars coming and get off the road long before they see me.
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Old 07-14-13, 09:08 PM
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I dont see a problem with it as long as you got a good pair of bright lights (Front/Rear) and maybe some reflective clothing. Going ninja so to speak is definetely the worst thing to do, you want to make yourself as visible as possible to drivers and also a good front light to make the road visible as well.
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Old 07-14-13, 09:13 PM
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AaronCommuter
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That is the one problem I see with going ninja:
If the star gazing area I'm headed to is so dark, maybe I won't be able to see the road, which would dramatically reduce how fast I can ride.
As for getting off the road to avoid cars, it takes a minute or two for them to pass from the time I first hear them in the distance. That would be a problem if the traffic increased that night.
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Old 07-14-13, 09:17 PM
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If it's that deserted a road, you'll hear and see cars long before they get close and you'll have plenty of time to pull off and switch on all sorts of lights.
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Old 07-14-13, 09:42 PM
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I would think that the odds of a violent person breaking into your house, highly unlikely and not worth losing sleep over, is higher than the odds that one of the handful of motorists who happen past you on a deserted road will do you harm. Unless you're living in some Stephen King novel, of course.

If you are out there during the witching hour (2:00-3:00 A.M., assuming your bars close at 2:00 A.M.), then things change a bit. If that's your time frame, be sure to move off the road and turn your lights off when you hear/see overtaking motorists. Bar hoppers aren't generally known for their ability to avoid running into unusual objects.
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Old 07-14-13, 10:26 PM
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I have never felt endangered riding on deserted roads. I worry a little bit about bears, but mostly the problem is running into them. Deer are my biggest fear, they can really take you out
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Old 07-15-13, 05:53 AM
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I think it should be fine, but you are isolating yourself and it is like anything. You should be safe but it's always possible to end up at the wrong place at the wrong time.
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Old 07-15-13, 08:27 PM
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This probably depends entirely on where you are.

I've been riding year round for 10 years and 30K miles now. All winter long I ride 11 miles to work and 11 miles back, both in pitch black on rural roads with little traffic on most of the route. I've never had a problem.

I wouldn't even CONSIDER going ninja - for one thing I couldn't possibly stay on the road because it's too dark to see my hand in front of my face. I run 300 to 500 lumens up front (depending on road conditions - in some places I kick it up to high to avoid potholes) and at least 50 out the back.

The lighting will affect your dark vision but I assume you'll be staying there long enough to get past that. I have not used my bike to get to dark sky sites since they're too far and my equipment would be ridiculous to haul on a bike (15" Dob or 8" computer controlled SC with a 12V battery). If you're using binocs it should be fine.
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