Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Mountain Biking
Reload this Page >

My first night-time ride.

Mountain Biking Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Check out this forum to discuss the latest tips, tricks, gear and equipment in the world of mountain biking.

My first night-time ride.

Reply

Old 07-31-04, 01:11 AM
  #1  
Bokkie
Jubalayo Unogwaja!
Thread Starter
 
Bokkie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Bollocks!
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
My first night-time ride.

Now I know what the fuss is all about! I left home about 21:00 (sunset) UK time last night and I took it easy on my first night ride experience, preferring to stick mostly to a bridle path. I rode out about 15km, stopped for a drink and to munch a banana and wait for darkness to fall...and wait...and wait.

I turned around for the trip home and switched on my bar and helmet light. Man! This riding thing is so amazing at night. The lights I have (imported Jetlites) lit up the track and the transformation was simply 100% wow! I never knew just how busy the countryside is at night. I came across several foxes, rabbits by the ton, and every darned moth homed in on me. The small midges were very busy and out in their 1000's and I had more protein intake than the late Atkins would have recommended. I really liked the helmet light and the ability to look around opened up a whole night time experience. I found shadow lines the hardest to adapt to as perspective and perception of distance all seem strangely different. I eventually turned off the track and bopped around in a forest area for a little while and the concentration needed is definitely raised a few bars. That innocent looking branch your face is pointing at suddenly becomes an offensive weapon as you need to look more intently at everything. I got home about 23:00 thoroughly exhausted. But the satisfaction and enjoyment of one of my best rides is still with me. I slept like a log. Next week I will do the same again.

Just had to share that!
Bokkie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-04, 01:42 AM
  #2  
MudPie
Senior Member
 
MudPie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,874
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Bokkie
Now I know what the fuss is all about! I left home about 21:00 (sunset) UK time last night and I took it easy on my first night ride experience, preferring to stick mostly to a bridle path. I rode out about 15km, stopped for a drink and to munch a banana and wait for darkness to fall...and wait...and wait.

I turned around for the trip home and switched on my bar and helmet light. Man! This riding thing is so amazing at night. The lights I have (imported Jetlites) lit up the track and the transformation was simply 100% wow! I never knew just how busy the countryside is at night. I came across several foxes, rabbits by the ton, and every darned moth homed in on me. The small midges were very busy and out in their 1000's and I had more protein intake than the late Atkins would have recommended. I really liked the helmet light and the ability to look around opened up a whole night time experience. I found shadow lines the hardest to adapt to as perspective and perception of distance all seem strangely different. I eventually turned off the track and bopped around in a forest area for a little while and the concentration needed is definitely raised a few bars. That innocent looking branch your face is pointing at suddenly becomes an offensive weapon as you need to look more intently at everything. I got home about 23:00 thoroughly exhausted. But the satisfaction and enjoyment of one of my best rides is still with me. I slept like a log. Next week I will do the same again.

Just had to share that!

I must agree with you - night riding is quite an experience! I started riding last fall/winter with my Jet Lites and I am looking forward to more night riding this year. Those old, tired trails become new. I feel my concentration is keener on single tracks because your eyes are focused in the light beam. The shadowing obscures or accentuates road conditions (sandy spots, ruts, rocks). There are some local birds (southern California) that actually play in the light beams. I do notice lots of pairs of eyes off to the sides reflecting in the lights. I always hope those eyes are not set too far apart.
MudPie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-04, 02:02 PM
  #3  
Bokkie
Jubalayo Unogwaja!
Thread Starter
 
Bokkie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Bollocks!
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Originally Posted by MudPie
I must agree with you - night riding is quite an experience! I started riding last fall/winter with my Jet Lites and I am looking forward to more night riding this year. Those old, tired trails become new. I feel my concentration is keener on single tracks because your eyes are focused in the light beam. The shadowing obscures or accentuates road conditions (sandy spots, ruts, rocks). There are some local birds (southern California) that actually play in the light beams. I do notice lots of pairs of eyes off to the sides reflecting in the lights. I always hope those eyes are not set too far apart.
I take it you are referring to mountain lion? I recall something earlier this year where one rider was killed and another badly injured in an attack by one? I'm also curious why they hunt and shoot the animal rather than dart it and relocate it somewhere.
Bokkie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-04, 07:05 PM
  #4  
MudPie
Senior Member
 
MudPie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,874
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Bokkie
I take it you are referring to mountain lion? I recall something earlier this year where one rider was killed and another badly injured in an attack by one? I'm also curious why they hunt and shoot the animal rather than dart it and relocate it somewhere.
Last January, one rider was killed and another rider mauled by the same mountain lion in Southern California. The first rider was fixing his bike on the trail, and fell prey to the mountain lion. A second set of riders rode by, noticed a riderless bike on the trail and one of the riders was attacked. One can assume the lion was protecting its food (the first rider). Subsequently, the lion was shot and killed. In this case, the authorities deemed it necessary to kill this lion, probably because of its aggressive nature. Killing wild animals in Califorina (mountain lions, bears) that cross paths with humans is the exception more than the rule.

Mountain lion attacks are a risk to hiker and riders in Southern California. However, attacks and more so encounters are very rare. For the most part, (I've been told) mountain lions are extremely shy animals and avoid human contact. I see quite a few bob cats (twice the size of a house cat) and they are extremely shy. By the time I spot them, they're already running away.

I think most would agree that relocation of animals is preferrable to killing, especially with the dwindling numbers of animals as man expands and encroaches into their habitat. Californians are probably more conservation minded than the general public, too. I'm willing to take a chance to enjoy nature rather than to sanitize it for our protection.
MudPie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-04, 12:48 AM
  #5  
Bokkie
Jubalayo Unogwaja!
Thread Starter
 
Bokkie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Bollocks!
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Originally Posted by MudPie
Last January, one rider was killed and another rider mauled by the same mountain lion in Southern California. The first rider was fixing his bike on the trail, and fell prey to the mountain lion. A second set of riders rode by, noticed a riderless bike on the trail and one of the riders was attacked. One can assume the lion was protecting its food (the first rider). Subsequently, the lion was shot and killed. In this case, the authorities deemed it necessary to kill this lion, probably because of its aggressive nature. Killing wild animals in Califorina (mountain lions, bears) that cross paths with humans is the exception more than the rule.

Mountain lion attacks are a risk to hiker and riders in Southern California. However, attacks and more so encounters are very rare. For the most part, (I've been told) mountain lions are extremely shy animals and avoid human contact. I see quite a few bob cats (twice the size of a house cat) and they are extremely shy. By the time I spot them, they're already running away.

I think most would agree that relocation of animals is preferrable to killing, especially with the dwindling numbers of animals as man expands and encroaches into their habitat. Californians are probably more conservation minded than the general public, too. I'm willing to take a chance to enjoy nature rather than to sanitize it for our protection.

Thanks, Mudpie, for that reply. I think you've got a good head on your shoulders when it comes to conservation. What's the case with bears on the trails? I get the impression that a bear with a sore head for example can be one mean of a motherf***er if you run into one. How do you handle that on the trail, day or night? Can you outrun it or is it down to luck whether it pursues you or not?

I lived for a while in an area north of Pretoria in South Africa long before it become urbanised and leopard, though rare were a potential threat to livestock and rarer still a threat to people. Even so, as kids just riding around the bush during the daytme I remember on occasions keeping a wary eye open when passing by trees. Quite irrational I know, but there is something about 1% risk that suddenly becomes 99% risk especially when your get-out-of-town-in-a-hurry ticket is of no use!
Bokkie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-04, 01:04 AM
  #6  
Maelstrom 
Wood Licker
 
Maelstrom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Whistler,BC
Posts: 16,966

Bikes: Trek Fuel EX 8 27.5 +, 2002 Transition Dirtbag, Kona Roast 2002

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
More than likely the bear will run. Bears are generally very passive EXCEPT in situation of mother and cubs. But even then bears are not likely to attack. Just back away and DO NOT RUN (this turns on the bears predator instincts when you run, you become valid prey...yummy...) Make yourself look big and when you are far enough away walk until you are at a distance.

The real key with mother and cubs is not to get in between the cub and mom. Otherwise...just keep yourself calm. Remember bears like salmon and berries...not humans or things that are very big.
Maelstrom is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-04, 01:08 AM
  #7  
Maelstrom 
Wood Licker
 
Maelstrom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Whistler,BC
Posts: 16,966

Bikes: Trek Fuel EX 8 27.5 +, 2002 Transition Dirtbag, Kona Roast 2002

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
BEars are a real 'problem' in bc but for the most part it is humans being ignorant of bears natural instincts. HEre is a BC based site to make people aware of bears and how to deal with them.

http://www.bearaware.bc.ca/
http://www.bebearaware.org/confrontationsnfnfb.htm

How to handle confrontations. Keep in mind the rules I explained are more for black bears. Grizzley's are quite a bit different. The second link has some info on those big beasts of nature.
Maelstrom is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-04, 01:12 AM
  #8  
khuon
DEADBEEF
 
khuon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Catching his breath alongside a road near Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 12,234

Bikes: 1999 K2 OzM, 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Another happy JetLites user here. I've had mine for several years now and they get a workout about twice a month. Most of the time, I go riding in the trails behind my house which consist mainly of 10 miles of twisty singletrack that winds its way through thick forest with some moderate climbs and descents. A lot of times I'll come across all sorts of wildlife including deer, rabbits and every once in a while coyotes. Night riding is a blast.
__________________
1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte
"Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122
khuon is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-04, 07:42 AM
  #9  
MudPie
Senior Member
 
MudPie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,874
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Bokkie
Thanks, Mudpie, for that reply. I think you've got a good head on your shoulders when it comes to conservation. What's the case with bears on the trails? I get the impression that a bear with a sore head for example can be one mean of a motherf***er if you run into one. How do you handle that on the trail, day or night? Can you outrun it or is it down to luck whether it pursues you or not?

I lived for a while in an area north of Pretoria in South Africa long before it become urbanised and leopard, though rare were a potential threat to livestock and rarer still a threat to people. Even so, as kids just riding around the bush during the daytme I remember on occasions keeping a wary eye open when passing by trees. Quite irrational I know, but there is something about 1% risk that suddenly becomes 99% risk especially when your get-out-of-town-in-a-hurry ticket is of no use!
Fortunately for me, there are no bears on my usual trails, but I don't have to travel far to ride in bear areas. Bears can pose a big problem, but as Maelstrom said, don't run, face the critter, make noise and try to appear big (by raising your arms). Same advice applies to mountain lions. Also, don't surprise an animal. Hikers and cyclists can use "bear bells", bells intended to sound when moving. This is supposed to give critters ample warning of your presence. I believe bears and mountain lions would rather get out of our way. Basically, don't pursue a critter and never corner it. I have not had to try any of this advice, and who knows what'll I do if I ever encounter one.

I'll check out Maelstrom's links later. Those in British Columbia have a bigger chance of running into a bear.

Critters I usually see at dusk/night: deer, coyotes, bobcats, rabbits, bats, mice, birds, other riders.

I agree, that 1% (it's even less for me) chance of running into a mountain lion/bear can get exaggerated when the imagination runs wild.
MudPie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-04, 12:39 PM
  #10  
Bokkie
Jubalayo Unogwaja!
Thread Starter
 
Bokkie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Bollocks!
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Originally Posted by MudPie
Critters I usually see at dusk/night: deer, coyotes, bobcats, rabbits, bats, mice, birds, other riders...I agree, that 1% (it's even less for me) chance of running into a mountain lion/bear can get exaggerated when the imagination runs wild.
That's true enough. I was riding along the track and I spotted some eyes ahead of me which was a mummy fox and two cubs. No douby mom was teaching the kids the noble art of how to hunt at night. They stood there until I was about 50 meters away (or so it seemed) and they eyes disappeared. A little later I spotted another pair of eyes to my left and I turned my head to look at them and suddenly out of nowhere, a fox ran straight across the track just behind me. I tell you, I darned near crapped myself! I was fairly close to town by then and the immediate thought was that someone was chasing after me (1% promoted to 100%!). I had an adrenaline surge, and thought after that it could have been a druggie shooting up or an axe-murderer burying a body! Imagination overload!
Bokkie is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service