Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

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pistonbroke
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by pistonbroke »

Thanks for the interesting replies. Night riding here is definitely a 2 edged sword, we get very little light pollution and most nights are crystal clear so depending on the state of the moon, it can be pitch dark with a sky full of stars or if it's a full moon, you can nearly see without lights.
My jitters have been re-ignited by a couple of things that happened on the Badlands event a few weeks ago. First was about a dozen wild boar running across the track just in front of me at about 7am, the other was just after starting the last big climb up Pico Valeta at 6am where what I thought was a rock on the track suddenly jumped up and flew off from about a metre in front of my wheel with a squawk. I nearly shat myself!
I guess that my day to day riding is by choice in daylight as I can chose when I ride unencumbered by the world of work so I don't get the practice. Strangely most night riding tends to happen in the summer as some prefer the cooler temperatures but I like the heat so ride in the day.
ScotRoutes
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by ScotRoutes »

ssnowman wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:36 pm I used to work near Epping Forest and regularly rode there after work in the dark, mainly on my own. My work colleagues all thought I as mad.
My first MTB lights were the Blackburn X6 pair. A 3W spot and a 3W flood. I can remember my first ride with them. It was in the snow in the Pentlands. I felt like some sort of Superman. I remember coming across a couple out walking and they were just blown away by the fact I was out riding, in the dark, in the snow.

Then one night I met another cyclist. We topped and chatted for a while and I was thinking of taking him back to my house to prove to my wife that I wasn't the only nutter out there in the dark :lol:

ImagePICT2274 by Colin Cadden, on Flickr

Just checked - that was November 2005 :shock:
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Jurassic
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Jurassic »

I've always enjoyed night rides, the darkness adds an extra element in my mind which makes it exciting and enjoyable. There's something nice about being out when most "normal" people are at home in bed or watching TV or whatever. I've not done much night riding while bikepacking but I regularly ride my local trails in the dark and have enjoyed riding trail centres at night in the past when there's no one else out there.
Leerowe76
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Leerowe76 »

I actually don't mind riding in the dark whether it be a solo ride or in a group, which we try to plan on weekly basis also the perfect opportunity for pint or 3 on the way home :grin:
Many years ago I do remember night riding round Llandegla on a solo and to be fair I never stopped pedalling the whole way after hearing a few branches breaking and such like that played on the mind :lol: , haven't done it solo since
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voodoo_simon
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by voodoo_simon »

Been night riding for about 15 years or so. I used to enjoy having dim lights and embracing the ‘zen of night riding’ but more recently, I’ve gone with, ‘the more power, the better’ approach.

I find having a set route helps and I tend to keep rides to 90mins or so, sometimes via a pub too (carrying a down jacket so I can sit outside!). Riding familiar routes helps at night, less stopping and hassle and obviously easier to navigate too.

As Colin said, riding in the snow is ace and sometimes if light pollution is good (or poor depending on perspective), you can ride with lights :shock:

Have seen some strange sights whilst out night riding, normally in Delamere forest. Some odd things happen there at night, so will always ride with some there!

Have done long nights but never done an all nighter, don’t see the appeal. Much prefer the idea of alpine starts and ride into the sun.
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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Bearbonesnorm »

Have done long nights but never done an all nighter, don’t see the appeal. Much prefer the idea of alpine starts and ride into the sun.
It's exactly the same, you just have to wait a little longer for it :wink:
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voodoo_simon
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by voodoo_simon »

Bearbonesnorm wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:16 am
Have done long nights but never done an all nighter, don’t see the appeal. Much prefer the idea of alpine starts and ride into the sun.
It's exactly the same, you just have to wait a little longer for it :wink:
I can’t argue with that logic :lol:

I like my sleep too much :oops:
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Matt C
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Matt C »

I've always loved night riding, ever since my first go on a night lap at Mountain Mayhem in Sandwell Park - must have been around 2001? I used a Petzl headtorch (with the big square battery on the back) gaffer taped to my helmet. It was crap at full power and I had to stop and change the very expensive battery mid lap... Still, got into the groove of following my nose along the slightly differently shaded bit of ground which was sometimes the trail, sometimes a ditch and on at least one occasion led me into a tree...

Lights have got better (still have some original Lumicycles in the back of the drawer), even my (ancient) Joystick/Toro combo basically turn night into day, but I love turning the lights down or off on a climb, especially with the moon out. It's amazing how well we can see in the dark if you take time to adjust to it..

In nearly 20 years of regular night riding from quick jaunts to all night missions, the scariest thing I've ever come across is what I will generously describe as a 'glamour' photo shoot under a motorway bridge. I'm not one to judge but I can't imagine the frosty air would have made the resulting pictures more impressive...
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RIP
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by RIP »

Matt C wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:13 pm Petzl
Same here. Petzl Zoom. Had a few of those. As has been said many times Here, the low output lent a certain ethereal and dreamy quality to the proceedings. Still got it in the loft, maybe I'll give it spin sometime for nostalgic interest.
Lumicycles
Again, same here. Had a few halogen pots and lamps which were plenty bright enough. One of them got run over flat as a pancake by a lorry and got replaced FOC, and another melted inside when I tried a 35W lamp in it. Great days. Managed to avoid the halide interlude (far too much faff) and went straight to LEDs. Now got a 3700-lumen, or whatever it is, Explorer. Bombproof and long-running. No problems with scary creatures because it just burns a hole through them like a laser.
'glamour' photo shoot
I think we could do with just a little more detail on that one please :smile: .

Thinking about it, after the excellent calendar that Stu arranged a while back with photos taken by us mob for each month showing various bikepacking situations, how about, for 2021, a slightly more intimate version? I'm thinking along the lines of "Calendar Girls" but featuring 'Boners in various poses and looks. I do believe one of our brethren has already practised for it by wearing a rather revealing set of clothing on an outing, perhaps there's a photograph somewhere? :wink: . And no, I didn't take any photographs of my own little experiment into nanolight (Reg TM) bikepacking once when I rode for a short distance with no clothes on at all in the depths of mid Wales, so I won't be February's Boner Pin-Up.

R
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Hamish
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Hamish »

I find that now I need glasses for distance... but ride in fairly crappy self prescribed specs, night riding has got a bit harder. I must get an eye test and sort out some better glasses.

I still enjoy it though. I take a while to get used to my evenings being cut short in autumn until I remember you can just do things in the dark. It can be more fun with company, but a good solo night ride can be very enjoyable.

Just use those imaginary monsters and madmen running behind you to ride faster!?
Scud
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Scud »

I remember riding overnight on one of these charity rides, 250 miles from Manchester to London in 24 hour things, going through clubland in Coventry about 2am, when a girl clearly worse for wear and stood in the middle of the road, just looked flabbergasted and was pointing at me shouting "he's got wheels on, he's got wheels on...". That was a weird night...
jameso
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by jameso »

Scud wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:43 pm "he's got wheels on, he's got wheels on...". That was a weird night...
:grin: I think she might have taken a more direct route to the sort of hallucinations night-riders report!
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Matt C
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Matt C »

RIP wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:35 pm
'glamour' photo shoot
I think we could do with just a little more detail on that one please :smile:


You really don't - trust me. Think 'Readers Wives'...but 'Husbands'...
I'm thinking along the lines of "Calendar Girls" but featuring 'Boners in various poses and looks.
I think that might have been what they were shooting..! :lol:
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RIP
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by RIP »

:grin:
"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
Cyclepeasant
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Cyclepeasant »

Shame I have missed the banter lately. Father has been in and out of hospital. However,this is a great topic. Night rides.
Unfortunately I am a morning person,but I really enjoy riding in complete darkness if moon is out.
During lockdown. It was fantastic! Absolutely no background noise.
No cars,not factory hum,no aircraft,trains...you get the drift.
Yes,I fell off a few times,but all landings were soft(ish).
Yours do adjust, the joy of hearing first,then if lucky ,seeing the wildlife is incredible!
Yes,got the crap frightened out of me a few times by the wildlife and myself startling each other.
You soon learn to relax and forgot about the fictional horror movie fears and just enjoy your surroundings plodding along at 4-5mph.
We were very fortunate to have had lockdown happen... I always try to find a positive out of a negative.
I am naturally a glass half empty guy....am envious of the half full guys!

Re. glamour photos.

I was cycling around clophill , Bedfordshire on my muddy fox explorer 80's? And decided to cycle past the old church ruins. I could see some torch movement within the ruins and decided to investigate, pulled off my noisy dynamo and silently cycle up to it. There was a guy, taking photos of a scantily dressed young lady posing in various positions on parts of the ruins. It wasn't very warm! Yes ,she was attractive. But I didn't stay too long,as I would have been embarrassed if caught!
Reg might know of the ruins,plenty of disused pits and quarries around clophill,Malden,ampthill area.

Perhaps, it's one way to alleviate ones fear of the dark by just embracing it!
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RIP
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by RIP »

Yes I know those ruins - takes one to know one :grin: .
"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
Lazarus
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Lazarus »

I once rode past a topeless lady sat on a motorbike as her male partner took pictures

I said to her
"Wow that is lovely "
She smiled back
I then said - "what motor bike is it ?"
She scowled a lot at this
Cyclepeasant
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Cyclepeasant »

Thought you might know Reg!
Are the ruins still there? The 80's was the last time I went there. Or is it a housing estate?
Perhaps I should revisit it!

By the way boner's, I am not endorsing riding on or off road without lights. :o .
I admit I have been riding for 40+ years with my lights off during moonlit night's and have probably been very lucky not to have injured myself or my bikes riding at snail pace most of the time. ( Night Sight is pretty rubbish now compared to my forties and earlier!)

Interesting to hear others have experienced "glamour photography" during their travels,it all adds to life's odd and interesting experiences!

:shock:
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RIP
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by RIP »

Cyclepeasant wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 9:02 pm Thought you might know Reg!
Are the ruins still there? The 80's was the last time I went there. Or is it a housing estate?
Perhaps I should revisit it!
Suffered a lot from vandalism in the past but they've tried to stabilise things via some 'eco lodges' and a warden. My mate Jez lives nearby so I must go and have a look. Would make a good bivvy spot 'cos it's haunted :smile: .
"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
Cyclepeasant
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Cyclepeasant »

"haunted" :lol:

Actually that was the reason to visit it with my mates originally in the 70's as a teenager,we obviously tried to scare each other during Halloween and other times of the year!

Great times the late seventies,punk,ska etc......
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Warb01
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Warb01 »

Remember when there was a spate of 'spooky clown' sightings when the last IT film came out in 2017?

I was night riding through Delamere Forest on my own and suddenly became convinced one of the buggers was going to jump out from behind a tree. Proper squeaky bum time. Then my battery went and I had to use my phone light to get back to the car. Needless to say it wasn;t a lot of light. But it was enough to let me catch sight of the 8ft tall Gruffalo model at the side of one of the paths.

I flew back to the car like brown lightning!
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Verena
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Verena »

Thread resurrection anyone??

I would really like to get into night riding, "just because", and also for possible future events that run into, or through, the night.

Any thoughts, ideas, tips and suggestions, and also any inspiration maybe from those of you who enjoy riding at night, would be much appreciated.
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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Bearbonesnorm »

What kind of thing are you after V?

Practical stuff like light mounting or the really useful stuff like werewolf evasion?
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thenorthwind
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by thenorthwind »

This has reminded me that as I was riding home from work today, on a cycle path that goes past a tiny bit of woodland in a residential area. I heard a sudden loud horn from the woods as I went past. Made me jump, and since it's near quite a big secondary school, I assumed it was kids messing about. But the sound continued as melody, and then I spotted a teenage boy, on his own I think, stood in the trees playing a baritone sax at me. Very strange.

Also, on Monday it was a proper pea souper here, and I went out for a ride. Rode through the ex-colliery country park on my way to meet the group. It was fairly eerie on my own. Riding a densely wooded bit of singletrack, a foghorn on the Tyne went off, and sounded like it was about 5 yards behind me. The river's 2 miles away, the sound had just carried in the damp air. That made me jump too.

Not sure how relevant this is to anything :???:

I like night riding. Take a friend if it makes you nervous.
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fatbikephil
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by fatbikephil »

Enter the BB200 Verena, problem solved :-bd

Sorry, not very objective.... I rode a regular and well known woodland circuit at first then did more adventurous stuff as I got more confident. Having a set of decent lights makes a huge difference and there are loads of threads on lights on here.
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