Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

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AndreR
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by AndreR »

Tonto wrote: Fri Dec 09, 2022 8:52 am I have fond memories of night riding in Epping forest with smart lights. The battery weighed a couple of pounds and the bulbs where as bright as a Christmas tree decoration.
Like the dim light of an unlit candle!!
If at first you don't succeed you're running about average!

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fatbikephil
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by fatbikephil »

Bearbonesnorm wrote: Wed Dec 07, 2022 11:26 am
It is however easier to outrun the werewolves on a bike.
Unless they have E-bikes, which many round here seem to have purchased recently.
You don't have to outrun the werewolves, you just have to outrun your mate.
Cyclepeasant
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Cyclepeasant »

Werewolves?
I thought we Nightriders are the werewolves!
🐺 :wink:
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PeterC
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by PeterC »

All this talk of werewolves reminded me of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaXmIPHrHmY

Imagine that a few metres from your bivvy.

Sort of reminds me of the time when I was fifteen or sixteen camping in Glencoe and hearing stags roaring for the first time, being a city boy I had no idea what it was making the noise, a bit scary, just hoped they were'nt coming my way.
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by fatbikephil »

:shock: Can those things climb trees?
A barking deer scared me witless in my bivvy last year - I'd visions of some horrible hell hound descending on me!
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Alpinum
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Alpinum »

fatbikephil wrote: Wed Dec 14, 2022 10:17 pm :shock: Can those things climb trees?
A barking deer scared me witless in my bivvy last year - I'd visions of some horrible hell hound descending on me!
Aye. They can not only climb them, but also jump up.

I could share at least a dozen of scary, wildlife related tales from camping in the wilderness. But let's not go down that hole :lol:
"It's only the wind"
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Verena
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Verena »

So, at long last, I think my night riding penny has finally dropped you'll be pleased to hear :-bd

Thanks again to all those of you who have posted your thoughts and experiences on here, it helped.

Thursday night I finally went out for the "proper" night ride I'd originally hoped to do in December, and which got put off for one reason or another.... (I like this by the way, these days I keep a list going of the rides and bivvies I'd like to do, and if it doesn't work out I just move them along for another time, so it doesn't feel like I've "failed"....same with the Audax I entered and didn't do in January)

I picked a Brecon, Crickhowell, Gospel Pass, Hay then back to Brecon ride, partly because it's a beautiful ride anyway, I've done it a couple of times before so know it (ish, though the bit after Crickhowell and the lanes around Llangenny and Llanbedr still always confuse me and I usually end up taking a wrong turn or three - I did this time!), partly because I figured it would be quite quiet and car free by night (it was - didn't meet a single car between Crickhowell and Hay - guess the Gospel Pass road being closed to cars helps :wink: ); but mostly because it is a full commitment kind of circular ride without any real shortcut options (didn't want my stupid brain to trip me up with that kind of temptation).

I've also been feeling lately that all the various experiences gathered over the last few years of bikepacking, riding, bivvying is all kind of coming together somehow and proving useful. For example, I knew it was going to be a coldish night, around freezing. Now not so long ago, I would have worried about that, and most likely talked myself out of going ("cycling? most of the night? In such cold weather? Nah mate, leave it till it's a bit warmer). Now, after the SWWB, I was thinking, pah, only just around freezing, it'll be a doddle compared to that, and in any case, you'll be warm as toast as long as you dress well and keep moving.... and I was :cool: .

As I think I said, as well as getting more used to night riding in general, I was also wanting to have a little go at this sleep deprivation, staying awake, riding through most or all of the night, just because...well because it might come in handy for some ITTs and the BB200.... But I took my sleeping things with me anyway, which was great.
I just loved that feeling of having everything with me that I could possibly need, food, brew kit, sleeping bag and bivvy bag - again brilliant for confidence or taking away any niggling worries I might otherwise have had (do you remember me posting a couple of years back something along the lines of worrying about the things that I'm not even quite sure what they are?). Again, all that BAM experience feels like it's actually useful (who would've thought), in that with the kit on board I now know that I'm never in the "wrong" place, and that if I need to want to, I can stop and kip pretty much anywhere...

Anyway, I set off from home after a "normal" family evening, having briefed Mr Z to be ready if needed to assist with a tiered approach of stage 1.) friendly and gentle encouragement (off you go then, have fun, you'll love it), 2.) more forceful bullying type encouragement (FFS stop faffing and get the f out of here), stage 3.) reverse psychology (well I guess you're a bit too old and unfit now to be doing this kind of thing.... look at you, all that money you've wasted on bikepacking kit you don't ever use...). In the end, none of these were needed, as again, experience by now had taught me to expect that my enthusiasm to go out would rapidly disappear during the evening hours as soon as it got dark and the sofa followed by bed beckoned...and the certain knowledge that, if only I could make it out of that door, within five minutes I'd feel warm, wide awake, and happy to be riding....

I rode along the canal for the first bit to the lock (now forever remembering the stories on here warning of the potential dangers of canal riding, particularly in the dark), then switched to the back road to Llangattock, for just that reason, wanting to make some progress, and not wanting to faff with the endless gates between Brecon and Talybont...

I found myself feeling perfectly safe and visible riding in the dark, knowing that I was well lit and suitably reflectively clad - probably safer than in the daytime - tick :-bd

I also for some reason this time didn't feel any of the things I had experience before - familiar roads suddenly seeming very different, the riding somehow seeming harder or further, the mind playing stupid tricks - nothing like that. It was just, as someone on this thread has said, very much like riding the bike in the day, except it was a bit darker - tick :-bd

I stopped at the petrol station in Crickhowell to buy a bottle of pepsi, and briefly felt a bit like a super cool ultra racer, it being 11 o'clock at night :lol:

I've already mentioned the bit around Llangenny which shouldn't be as confusing as for some reason I find it....never mind, one tiny unnecessary steep hill has never hurt anyone has it?

I found that I was really enjoying myself, I just loved the silence and solitude, just me in my little area of light, and the world around me seemingly asleep and all mine to enjoy.

The weather was perfect by the way, very still, dry and clear with the stars out, and the air feeling just lovely cool and fresh.

I'm always a bit relieved when I finally make it to the junction with the actual Gospel Pass road, as there's then only one way to go... on and up.

I heard lots of owls, lots of other big birds fluttered up out of trees as I passed, and once an owl swooped down and flew right in front of me. A random single sheep in the road looking sleepy and perplexed.

The "Road closed head" sign would not so long ago also freaked me out, and possibly caused my timid mind to turn back, but I figured (just experience again, or just common sense and logic) there was a good chance that I'd be able to pass on a bike anyway - which of course turned out to be the case.

At one point nearer the top I thought it was such a nice night, and no rush, so I switched off all my lights and walked for a bit. A few seconds later I saw a giant black shape right next to me :shock: - a horse as it turned out, totally unfazed, and I think behind a fence....anyway I decided to keep some lights on from then on in, not so much for me but to warn any unsuspecting creatures of my presence...

The wind picked up near the top, and I didn't stop very long as it got cold quickly, but the views were stunning down to all the lights of the villages. By this time I was pleased as punch with myself, as from now on it was just down to Hay and then a leisurely pootle back to Brecon via Talgarth and Llangorse. I made my way to a bivvy spot near home, so I could get my BAM in as well, and not get home and wake everyone up too early....

Obviously not a great picture, but this is me at the top of Gospel Pass at two am:

ImageIMG_20230224_021520 by Verena Zimmer, on Flickr
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RIP
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by RIP »

:-bd
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by godivatrailrider »

Great going ! I'm ok with riding at night, having done Sleepless In The Saddle in Thetford, Mayhem, and SIS in Weidenthal, Germany a few times ... but going out alone at 23:00 to start a good ride is tough.
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by psling »

That's a great ride V, well done :-bd

There are some good bridleways between Crickhowell and Stanton too but they're well used by pony trekkers, the lanes are definitely easier going! Hope the wrong turn and unnecessary hill wasn't towards Patrishaw church :shock:

No bogey men, no axe murderers, no drunk drivers... result! It's lovely riding at night isn't it :cool:
We go out into the hills to lose ourselves, not to get lost. You are only lost if you need to be somewhere else and if you really need to be somewhere else then you're probably in the wrong place to begin with.
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Verena »

Wasn't sure whether to say this here, on the audax thread, or the yay it's cheery Friday one...
My feelings right this moment are probably most accurately reflected here...

Currently en route to the Moonrakers and Sunseekers audax, starting at 22.40 and riding through the night...

Exciting of course, and it's a beautiful night for it, but currently feeling a tad scared...

Hopefully I'll report back tomorrow on how glorious and fun it all is/ was...

Wish me luck!!
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Lazarus »

Good luck 👍
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Taylor »

Nice clear night for it good luck.
I'll keep an eye out for you in the morning.
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Verena
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Verena »

Taylor wrote: Fri Nov 24, 2023 11:11 pm Nice clear night for it good luck.
I'll keep an eye out for you in the morning.
Thank you - did you mean keeping an eye out here on the forum, or were you actually there there?

So, I've done it, it was brilliant, and yes it was just perfect weather, clear night with a full moon, followed by wall to wall sunshine all day!

More later!
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by psling »

Verena wrote: Sun Nov 26, 2023 8:56 am
Taylor wrote: Fri Nov 24, 2023 11:11 pm Nice clear night for it good luck.
I'll keep an eye out for you in the morning.
Thank you - did you mean keeping an eye out here on the forum, or were you actually there there?
'im be a Brizzle lad me babber :wink:
We go out into the hills to lose ourselves, not to get lost. You are only lost if you need to be somewhere else and if you really need to be somewhere else then you're probably in the wrong place to begin with.
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Taylor »

Verena wrote: Sun Nov 26, 2023 8:56 am
Taylor wrote: Fri Nov 24, 2023 11:11 pm Nice clear night for it good luck.
I'll keep an eye out for you in the morning.
Thank you - did you mean keeping an eye out here on the forum, or were you actually there there?

So, I've done it, it was brilliant, and yes it was just perfect weather, clear night with a full moon, followed by wall to wall sunshine all day!

More later!
You passed less than a mile from my house so I was keeping an eye out for you all.
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Verena
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Verena »

Taylor wrote: Sun Nov 26, 2023 10:46 am
You passed less than a mile from my house so I was keeping an eye out for you all.
Ahh, I see! So was it you who was standing outside a pub along the route yelling "W@ankers!!" at us as we passed? Or was that just a random Friday night reveller? :wink:

Must be quite an impressive light if you live there, watching two hundred odd cyclists ride past in the night.
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by RIP »

Verena wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 7:18 am
Taylor wrote: Sun Nov 26, 2023 10:46 am
You passed less than a mile from my house so I was keeping an eye out for you all.
Ahh, I see! So was it you who was standing outside a pub along the route yelling "W@ankers!!" at us as we passed?
:lol: :lol:
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by BridlewayBimbler »

Verena wrote: Sat Feb 25, 2023 2:36 pm So, at long last, I think my night riding penny has finally dropped you'll be pleased to hear :-bd

Thanks again to all those of you who have posted your thoughts and experiences on here, it helped.

Thursday night I finally went out for the "proper" night ride I'd originally hoped to do in December, and which got put off for one reason or another.... (I like this by the way, these days I keep a list going of the rides and bivvies I'd like to do, and if it doesn't work out I just move them along for another time, so it doesn't feel like I've "failed"....same with the Audax I entered and didn't do in January)

I picked a Brecon, Crickhowell, Gospel Pass, Hay then back to Brecon ride, partly because it's a beautiful ride anyway, I've done it a couple of times before so know it (ish, though the bit after Crickhowell and the lanes around Llangenny and Llanbedr still always confuse me and I usually end up taking a wrong turn or three - I did this time!), partly because I figured it would be quite quiet and car free by night (it was - didn't meet a single car between Crickhowell and Hay - guess the Gospel Pass road being closed to cars helps :wink: ); but mostly because it is a full commitment kind of circular ride without any real shortcut options (didn't want my stupid brain to trip me up with that kind of temptation).

I've also been feeling lately that all the various experiences gathered over the last few years of bikepacking, riding, bivvying is all kind of coming together somehow and proving useful. For example, I knew it was going to be a coldish night, around freezing. Now not so long ago, I would have worried about that, and most likely talked myself out of going ("cycling? most of the night? In such cold weather? Nah mate, leave it till it's a bit warmer). Now, after the SWWB, I was thinking, pah, only just around freezing, it'll be a doddle compared to that, and in any case, you'll be warm as toast as long as you dress well and keep moving.... and I was :cool: .

As I think I said, as well as getting more used to night riding in general, I was also wanting to have a little go at this sleep deprivation, staying awake, riding through most or all of the night, just because...well because it might come in handy for some ITTs and the BB200.... But I took my sleeping things with me anyway, which was great.
I just loved that feeling of having everything with me that I could possibly need, food, brew kit, sleeping bag and bivvy bag - again brilliant for confidence or taking away any niggling worries I might otherwise have had (do you remember me posting a couple of years back something along the lines of worrying about the things that I'm not even quite sure what they are?). Again, all that BAM experience feels like it's actually useful (who would've thought), in that with the kit on board I now know that I'm never in the "wrong" place, and that if I need to want to, I can stop and kip pretty much anywhere...

Anyway, I set off from home after a "normal" family evening, having briefed Mr Z to be ready if needed to assist with a tiered approach of stage 1.) friendly and gentle encouragement (off you go then, have fun, you'll love it), 2.) more forceful bullying type encouragement (FFS stop faffing and get the f out of here), stage 3.) reverse psychology (well I guess you're a bit too old and unfit now to be doing this kind of thing.... look at you, all that money you've wasted on bikepacking kit you don't ever use...). In the end, none of these were needed, as again, experience by now had taught me to expect that my enthusiasm to go out would rapidly disappear during the evening hours as soon as it got dark and the sofa followed by bed beckoned...and the certain knowledge that, if only I could make it out of that door, within five minutes I'd feel warm, wide awake, and happy to be riding....

I rode along the canal for the first bit to the lock (now forever remembering the stories on here warning of the potential dangers of canal riding, particularly in the dark), then switched to the back road to Llangattock, for just that reason, wanting to make some progress, and not wanting to faff with the endless gates between Brecon and Talybont...

I found myself feeling perfectly safe and visible riding in the dark, knowing that I was well lit and suitably reflectively clad - probably safer than in the daytime - tick :-bd

I also for some reason this time didn't feel any of the things I had experience before - familiar roads suddenly seeming very different, the riding somehow seeming harder or further, the mind playing stupid tricks - nothing like that. It was just, as someone on this thread has said, very much like riding the bike in the day, except it was a bit darker - tick :-bd

I stopped at the petrol station in Crickhowell to buy a bottle of pepsi, and briefly felt a bit like a super cool ultra racer, it being 11 o'clock at night :lol:

I've already mentioned the bit around Llangenny which shouldn't be as confusing as for some reason I find it....never mind, one tiny unnecessary steep hill has never hurt anyone has it?

I found that I was really enjoying myself, I just loved the silence and solitude, just me in my little area of light, and the world around me seemingly asleep and all mine to enjoy.

The weather was perfect by the way, very still, dry and clear with the stars out, and the air feeling just lovely cool and fresh.

I'm always a bit relieved when I finally make it to the junction with the actual Gospel Pass road, as there's then only one way to go... on and up.

I heard lots of owls, lots of other big birds fluttered up out of trees as I passed, and once an owl swooped down and flew right in front of me. A random single sheep in the road looking sleepy and perplexed.

The "Road closed head" sign would not so long ago also freaked me out, and possibly caused my timid mind to turn back, but I figured (just experience again, or just common sense and logic) there was a good chance that I'd be able to pass on a bike anyway - which of course turned out to be the case.

At one point nearer the top I thought it was such a nice night, and no rush, so I switched off all my lights and walked for a bit. A few seconds later I saw a giant black shape right next to me :shock: - a horse as it turned out, totally unfazed, and I think behind a fence....anyway I decided to keep some lights on from then on in, not so much for me but to warn any unsuspecting creatures of my presence...

The wind picked up near the top, and I didn't stop very long as it got cold quickly, but the views were stunning down to all the lights of the villages. By this time I was pleased as punch with myself, as from now on it was just down to Hay and then a leisurely pootle back to Brecon via Talgarth and Llangorse. I made my way to a bivvy spot near home, so I could get my BAM in as well, and not get home and wake everyone up too early....

Obviously not a great picture, but this is me at the top of Gospel Pass at two am:

ImageIMG_20230224_021520 by Verena Zimmer, on Flickr
Sounds like a great adventure. :-bd What bike and kit are you using if you don't mind sharing? :grin:
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Verena
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Verena »

BridlewayBimbler wrote: Mon Dec 04, 2023 10:52 pm
Sounds like a great adventure. :-bd What bike and kit are you using if you don't mind sharing? :grin:
[/quote]

Haha, trust me, I'm not one to ask about kit... but happy to share, sure.
On this one, from memory:
Topstone Sora bike (don't get one)
Acepack seat pack, bought from bearbones shop, very good.
I was wearing one of those reflective backpacks, for schoolkids, before they were suddenly being sold everywhere for cycling. Like the additional visibility in the dark, but have since gone away from having something on my back if I can, less sweaty and more comfortable back ache wise.
Lezyne light of some sort (which is interesting as at the time I didn't have a care in the world about it running out, but have since had a few close shaves...for the recent audax I tested it and it only lasted two and a half hours, is quite a few years old now. I've now got two newer better Lezyne lights.)
I think I was wearing my buffalo shirt, as it was pretty cold and I was going for very steady slow riding. Like that very much anyway for winter riding.
Winter cycling tights from Aldi.
Snugpack 4 season sleeping bag.
Sleep mat
Bivvy bag of some sort, well over 25 years old, probably army surplus of some sort

That's about it :cool:
BridlewayBimbler
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by BridlewayBimbler »

Verena wrote: Wed Dec 06, 2023 8:28 pm
BridlewayBimbler wrote: Mon Dec 04, 2023 10:52 pm
Sounds like a great adventure. :-bd What bike and kit are you using if you don't mind sharing? :grin:
Haha, trust me, I'm not one to ask about kit... but happy to share, sure.
On this one, from memory:
Topstone Sora bike (don't get one)
Acepack seat pack, bought from bearbones shop, very good.
I was wearing one of those reflective backpacks, for schoolkids, before they were suddenly being sold everywhere for cycling. Like the additional visibility in the dark, but have since gone away from having something on my back if I can, less sweaty and more comfortable back ache wise.
Lezyne light of some sort (which is interesting as at the time I didn't have a care in the world about it running out, but have since had a few close shaves...for the recent audax I tested it and it only lasted two and a half hours, is quite a few years old now. I've now got two newer better Lezyne lights.)
I think I was wearing my buffalo shirt, as it was pretty cold and I was going for very steady slow riding. Like that very much anyway for winter riding.
Winter cycling tights from Aldi.
Snugpack 4 season sleeping bag.
Sleep mat
Bivvy bag of some sort, well over 25 years old, probably army surplus of some sort

That's about it :cool:
[/quote]


Many thanks :-bd Is the bike not that great then?
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Verena
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Verena »

It's done alright, but it's got stupid cable disc brakes, so we're not on speaking terms at the moment
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