Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

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yourguitarhero
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by yourguitarhero »

Dunno if I do too much "night" riding, but I do ride in the dark a lot.
I cycle to work in the morning sometimes in the winter. And leave early to avoid traffic - so leave the house at half 5. Pitch black. Ride 20 miles due east so eventually cycle into the sunrise - I get to work about 7am. Pretty nice way to start the day. Lots of owls and deer around in the first half hour.

The route I cycle on seems to have the geography for haar. Love cycling in a thick fog in the pitch black.
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RIP
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by RIP »

yourguitarhero wrote: Fri Dec 02, 2022 12:18 am Love cycling in a thick fog in the pitch black.
Yep, not far off that tonight. Lovely and cold too :-bd .
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

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AndreR
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by AndreR »

Verena wrote: Thu Dec 01, 2022 7:53 pm 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.
I've always enjoyed the dark and being out alone at night, a group of friends and I do a weekly night ride starting at 7:30 and done/in the pub at a little after 10. Good fun and a great way to get into it, I often ride on my own at night too and have a couple of routes I usually do when I'm on my own that are familiar when I just want to get out for a ride after work to clear my head or burn off some frustration. A few of the guys in the group have crash alarms on their watches or Garmins (my old cheap touring doesn't) so if you did have n accident there is that safety net for you too if you have it.
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rudedog
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by rudedog »

I had to turn off the crash alarm on my Garmin, lifting the bike over a gate or stile always seemed to set it off.
yourguitarhero
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by yourguitarhero »

Yeah, they go off once you do a wee jump or drop off too. Designed for roadies methinks
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AndreR
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by AndreR »

yourguitarhero wrote: Fri Dec 02, 2022 11:31 am Yeah, they go off once you do a wee jump or drop off too. Designed for roadies methinks
And old farts like me who don't do jumps or drop-offs and can't lift his bike over a gate :lol:
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riderdown
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by riderdown »

Enter the BB200 Verena, problem solved
I think she did and rode through the night to go sub 24
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Verena
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Verena »

riderdown wrote: Mon Dec 05, 2022 4:42 pm
Enter the BB200 Verena, problem solved
I think she did and rode through the night to go sub 24
Hi, if by "she" you mean me, then sorry to disappoint, she most certainly did not :lol: , but yes that's part of the plan and one of my goals for next year, enter the BB200 and by then be physically and mentally somewhere near able to ride through at least much of the night...
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Verena
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Verena »

Bearbonesnorm wrote: Thu Dec 01, 2022 9:05 pm What kind of thing are you after V?

Practical stuff like light mounting or the really useful stuff like werewolf evasion?
Thanks everyone for your replies so far :-bd

Stu, good question, tbh the practical stuff hadn't actually occurred to me, but I ought to probably head over to one of the lights threads at some point...

Some werewolf evasion tips would be handy for sure, but really I was just after a few stories from people who do and enjoy riding in the dark, that sort of thing, for a bit of inspiration and motivation...which we now have, so cheers...

I guess what I'd be really interested in is how to get body and mind used to overcoming what is probably a fairly instictive day/ night rhythm of doing active stuff by day, rest and the sleep by night...also from what little I've done, the mind can play tricks on you, and familiar routes can seem a lot further and harder than by day...

I guess a good place to start is just to get out there for practice and experience, start with familiar routes and build it up from there...obvious really...
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by riderdown »

then sorry to disappoint, she most certainly did not
Apologies, you missed a great ride btw

Night riding is like day riding with more faff, it's still fun, easy to start if you just ride your usual local routes so you know the hazards and likely duration
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MuddyPete
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by MuddyPete »

Verena wrote: Mon Dec 05, 2022 11:54 pm ... overcoming what is probably a fairly instictive day/ night rhythm of doing active stuff by day, rest and the sleep by night...
Just because it's dark, doesn't mean it's late :wink: .
Verena wrote: Mon Dec 05, 2022 11:54 pm I guess a good place to start is just to get out there for practice and experience, start with familiar routes and build it up from there...obvious really...
Yup :-bd
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Lazarus
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Lazarus »

Just because it's dark, doesn't mean it's late
Indeed no one would refuse to ride at 6 pm in summer because its too late

As for night riding done it for so long I forget what its like to have the fear but 100% agree with doing familiar rides and routes at first ...just got a new commute and only done that about 10 times and got confused as to where I was the other day on that and it is 100% [ unlit] road.
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RIP
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by RIP »

Not sure I can tell much difference between night and day riding to be honest, apart from it may be a little more difficult to distinguish the 'layering' of objects nearer and farther away.

Generally the 'advice' is to be lit up like a Christmas tree including a WW2 searchlight on your helmet isn't it. However I remember a jolly little discussion on Here a while ago about the simple pleasure of riding with a very low output headlamp - some of us remember the days of Petzl zooms. We thought they were the last word in illumination but in fact they only cast a gentle warming glow on the proceedings, which in retrospect was rather pleasing and atmospheric and quite a satisfying experience.

Please treat the above Petzl reminiscence with the contempt it deserves, coming as it does from a rider with 4000 lumens searing the night sky from his helmet :shock: :wink:
Last edited by RIP on Tue Dec 06, 2022 10:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"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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Alpinum
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Alpinum »

To go back to the first couple of questions, hopefully for some light in the dark

Falling off and not being seen - valid point. I make sure folks know my route or areas I'm riding in and give a latest time for my return. If I'm riding a sketchy section and I'm in fear, I'll send a quick message, saying I'll call in again inside a certain time frame I'm confident to being able stick to, including walking it out or fixing a puncture. This requires knowing if you have a signal. If in doubt and really doing sketchy things, one could use a satcomm device. Especially in winter, with the cold, any immobility has serious consequences. I guess it's okay to keep that in mind...

Animal or axe murderer attack - not so much. But especially the animal one, depending on where you're travelling through, does indeed need some attention of your surroundings, not because of attacks, but to not put more pressure on wildlife. Paying attention to the environment and finding other areas than those known (or by your judgement) to be home to lots of wildlife will also help with the important weirwolf issue.

Mechanical failure - very valid. Since in the dark months it's cold, being stopped can be - mentioned above - quite awkward. Yet, we can make sure to be able to walk it out if all goes upside down with our bikes.

Failure of lighting can be quite sh*t. If in doubt, bring a small emergency lamp like a Petzl Bindi, or use a small long lasting light and a strong one for mains. I sometimes do and it has saved my arse a couple of times.
Wearing a small head lamp around your neck, which you can switch on for faffing makes things easier.

Riding a similar speed as in daylight, seeing frozen patches and other obstacles late would require riding a bit more sensible/slower. Perhaps you feel inclined to do so.

I too guess it's best to gradually get into it. To slowly build confidence and condition your feelings and senses. Pick a clear(ish) night under a bright moon for a long or full night ride. With a layer of snow you often don't even need lights.

On the other hand thick fog in the dark might put you on edge, especially if you feel inclined riding your usual pace. It can be quite intense.

Last two nights I came home from short night rides and it was lovely. Arriving at home, taking helmet, hat and other stuff off (couple of layers since below freezing), I realised how much I had been in a cocoon. Not just one of fabrics but a mental one, seemingly out of space.
Nature never fails to amaze in the dark.
:-bd
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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Bearbonesnorm »

I realised how much I had been in a cocoon. Not just one of fabrics but a mental one, seemingly out of space.
I generally quite enjoy that 'bubble' provided by night riding.
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RIP
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by RIP »

^
ditto.

There will be ample opportunity for a bit of 'dark sky' riding this weekend Verena, just say the word! Admittedly the experience might well be somewhat alcoholically-enhanced but none the less pleasurable for that :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.....

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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by RIP »

RIP wrote: Tue Dec 06, 2022 10:27 pm 'dark sky' riding this weekend
Oh. There won't be will there. Full moon. No cloud. Ah well, saves on batteries anyroad.

PS. Back-referencing yet again to the 'canal' comments of the other week, canal riding in the dark as per mine last Thursday, now there's a thing...... Still, no chance of that this weekend. Still less after a convivial pub session. Erm. Oh.
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The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by ScotRoutes »

Verena wrote: Mon Dec 05, 2022 11:54 pm I guess a good place to start is just to get out there for practice and experience, start with familiar routes and build it up from there...obvious really...
Late (back) to this thread.

I often suggest leaving the bike and heading out for a walk (or even a run) in the dark a few times instead. Get to know what it's like without worrying about trail obstacles, whether or not you have enough light etc. Most folk just need to get a bit more familiar and comfortable with the idea of it. After that, some of the practical issues can be considered - like carrying extra water as it's difficult to ascertain the cleanliness of sources when it's dark.
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PaulB2
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by PaulB2 »

I really quite enjoy running in the dark with just a head torch and a mental map. It is however easier to outrun the werewolves on a bike.
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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Bearbonesnorm »

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.
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PaulB2
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by PaulB2 »

It's bad enough with the mountain bikers and ebikes, if the werewolves get them too it'll be the end.
samwise
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by samwise »

PaulB2 wrote: Wed Dec 07, 2022 12:39 pm It's bad enough with the mountain bikers and ebikes, if the werewolves get them too it'll be the end.
But what about the Zombies!? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombies,_Run!
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PaulB2
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by PaulB2 »

Depends if they're classic zombies or 28 Days Later zombies.
Lazarus
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Lazarus »

No zombies tonight - in fact no anything but me as it was freezing.

Did make me think how scary this would be if you did not do it all the time...its not normal to do this at night until it is so my advice remains just do it as the only way to get over your fear
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Re: Nighttime riding, fear and loathing.

Post by Tonto »

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.
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