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Night rides.

SarnianSarnian Posts: 1,451
edited December 2009 in MTB general
Just got back from this winters first night ride with some mates and I am absolutely buzzing, It always amazes me how trails you know like the back of your hand become so different In the night even when you ride them every winter In the dark :D

Thought I would share this with some people who understand, as the Mrs cant get her head around why I am grinning from ear to ear, and gave me a bit vacant look when I tried explaining a particular part of the evening.
It's not a ornament, so ride It
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Posts

  • furbyfurby Posts: 200
    My new lights, first proper set of off roading lights are being ordered at the weekend and i cant wait to get out there at night!
  • SarnianSarnian Posts: 1,451
    It's like I hole different riding experience.
    It's not a ornament, so ride It
  • Great isnt it. Just got back in myself. t'was the first ride on the new bike for me too so double trouble :D
  • fatwomblefatwomble Posts: 117
    I agree, but in the end I still end up longing for a warm summer evening.
  • SarnianSarnian Posts: 1,451
    Christening a new bike on a night ride, nice one, whats the new toy?
    It's not a ornament, so ride It
  • Its an 07 commie supreme 6.3. The Mini-DH one, with a few minor modifications by me.

    Yet to test it on some real downhill, bit I'm looking forward to it now :D
  • KonaKurtKonaKurt Posts: 720
    I have almost never done a night ride, but I did half of one (if that counts!) two years ago in East Devon. It was spring (so not too chilly) and I started riding around at about 3am after camping out on a beach for a few hours sleep. The hills around there are amazing but were quite scary and a big challange in the darkness. A nice set of LED beams lit the way as I was chased by flying creatures that most likely were bats! This was mostly on narrow roads and tracks but still a challenge. More skills and concentration are needed at night to clock up rural miles that we take for granted in daylight.

    The most obvious plus point is the lack of road traffic and people about, giving you that sense of great freedom on the saddle!

    KK.
  • scale20scale20 Posts: 1,300
    I went out on my first night ride of the year on Monday night, It was nothing mental because it was an intro into nite riding for the Mrs.

    I must admit it took me a bit to get back into it, got caught out on a couple of sections.

    Sarnian,

    Your right about how much your local trail changes, I took her on the marin trail, well part of, and I know that inside out and there was times where I was thinking 'where the hell are we?' I took a few fire road detours that I know and it really threw me out, didn't admit it to her though :lol::lol:

    I travel back home up to North Wales every Friday from Oxford and Im looking forward to a cracking de-stress night ride on one of my local trails when I get home!
    Niner Air 9 Rigid
    Whyte 129S 29er.
  • bay73bay73 Posts: 130
    Night riding is one hell of a blast.

    I can only ride during the week after work so for 6 months of the year all my rides are night rides :twisted:

    I looked at a descent on Sunday whilst out with the family that I had ridden the Wednesday evening before with no problem and it terrified me to look at during the day :oops:
  • I popped my night riding cherry on Wednesday night, and thought it was bloody brilliant!! I borrowed some lights as I'm new to MTBing, but will investing in some of my own lights and doing more often!
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    I have said a few times recently that actually....I prefer riding at night.
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • fcumokfcumok Posts: 283
    I think I prefer it as well. There's no-one else about so you just have the trail to yourself. Went out on Sat during the day, even though it was throwing it down still had to slow a fair few times for walkers.

    It also feels as though I'm stealing time out that I shouldn't really have :D
  • fcumok wrote:
    I think I prefer it as well. There's no-one else about so you just have the trail to yourself. Went out on Sat during the day, even though it was throwing it down still had to slow a fair few times for walkers.

    It also feels as though I'm stealing time out that I shouldn't really have :D


    I was actually surprised at how many people were out there (and how many deer, foxes and badgers!), but what made it even more odd was the others having nothing but lights and reflective bits to identify them. Examples (and please remember that the swiss are particularly odd):
    1) People on horse back, but only illuminated by yellow relfective tape on their shins and a light on top of their helmets.
    2) Joggers handholding a torch that swings beside them
    3) Dogs with reflective and flashy red collars

    Also went past a large group having a big BBQ thing at a grillplatz, nice big fire going, but of course everytime I looked across I blinded them with my helmet mounted light. Much swearing and shouting ensued. Sorry!

    Agree trails are a hoot in the dark though!
  • SarnianSarnian Posts: 1,451
    You also seem to get a great sense of more speed at night.
    It's not a ornament, so ride It
  • afcbianafcbian Posts: 424
    Night riding is fantastic...................with the right lights !!!
    It's damn scary without.
    The trails you ride day in day out in daylight suddenly become like something from the surface of the moon. It's like finding a new route for the first time.
    The sense of distance and speed is also completely different.
    On balance, if equipped correctly, night riding can be more fun IMO.
    I ride therefore I am
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 44,054
    Have to say I am looking seriously at this as well - with the clocks going back last weekend I've no chance of daylight riding in the week, and weekends conflict with the needs of 'er indoors and junior :cry:

    I just need to work out how to get hold of some vegetation-frazzling lights without sepnding a fortune....
    Whippet
    Bruiser
    Panzer
    Commuter

    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • bay73bay73 Posts: 130
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    Have to say I am looking seriously at this as well - with the clocks going back last weekend I've no chance of daylight riding in the week, and weekends conflict with the needs of 'er indoors and junior :cry:

    I just need to work out how to get hold of some vegetation-frazzling lights without sepnding a fortune....

    there are plenty of lights for all budgets out there. would suggest bar and helmet lights as it makes the whole experience more enjoyabe.
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 44,054
    Thanks - am researching at the moment and am getting some decent ideas. Bar and helmet will up the spend a bit - I was thinking about getting bar only (maybe one spot & one flood type set up). Sounds like in your experience, having both is better?
    Whippet
    Bruiser
    Panzer
    Commuter

    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • Stevo 666 wrote:
    Have to say I am looking seriously at this as well - with the clocks going back last weekend I've no chance of daylight riding in the week, and weekends conflict with the needs of 'er indoors and junior :cry:

    I just need to work out how to get hold of some vegetation-frazzling lights without sepnding a fortune....

    Hi Stevo, again, in buying advice look at the 'What lights' sticky thread. A ton of great info. I went for the magic shine DX on the bars and an ultrfire C1 on the helmet. Total about 90USD I think.

    Before I read that thread it was all a mystery, now it is clear, and I do not have to spend $$$$$$ to get a decent set (i was considering ay-ups before). My reasons were exactly the same as yours.

    Went out with mate last week for teh first time, and he had laughed at me getting 'specialist' stuff, and reckoned his 'really bright' cat-eye and petzel stuff would be fine. It was the first night ride for both of us, and let's just say he stayed really close behind and as soon as we got back, and I mean immediately, he ordered the same kit (but witha P7 for the head as well, he's got a neck like a bull!).

    Do it Stevo, and if you find it not to your liking the outlay has not been great and you can easy sell teh stuff on. But get the right kit early though, or it will just be brown pants experience!
  • bay73bay73 Posts: 130
    stevo

    i guess it depends on what terrain you will be riding. I ride a lot of single track with vegetation and roots and rocks.

    i find that with just a bar light that when you turn into a sharp corner without a helmet light you are just staring into a black abyss until the bars catch up with your head.

    as big_scot_nanny says - you can get a decent set up for £100 from DX but the down side is that you will have to wait a while for it to turn up.

    failing that you could blow £££ on an exposure helmet/bar combo and skip xmas pressies for the missus and nipper :twisted:
  • Stevo 666 wrote:
    Thanks - am researching at the moment and am getting some decent ideas. Bar and helmet will up the spend a bit - I was thinking about getting bar only (maybe one spot & one flood type set up). Sounds like in your experience, having both is better?

    I know this was aimed at bay73, but I'll jump in (because I am so excitied about the whole damn night riding thing!) and say a big YES.

    Often your bike is travelling one way with the bars pointing that way, but you want to be looking at the next corner hence the use of a helmet mounted one as you turn your head to see what's coming. Does that make sense?

    Plus you can turn your head and look at stuff left and right of the trail.

    Kev
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 44,054
    Thanks lads - will take a look. There was so much in that lights thread I'd been putting off reading it until i got an hour or so of peace n quiet :oops:

    My night riding will mostly be the local woods near where I live, mixture of singletrack, semi-paved trails, parkland and a couple of drop offs (and a bit of tarmac in between). So I know the routes pretty well ,but take the point that having something up top that you can point where you're about to go makes a lot of sense.

    Skimping on Xmas pressies for the family sounds quite appealing though :twisted:

    Steve.
    Whippet
    Bruiser
    Panzer
    Commuter

    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • bay73 wrote:
    stevo
    i find that with just a bar light that when you turn into a sharp corner without a helmet light you are just staring into a black abyss until the bars catch up with your head.

    Fook, it is such a simple thing that happens on the trail, but sudeenly it appeasrs to be a complete censored to describe. You did a much better job than me. I was about to sketch it on a napkin and scan it!
  • tilttilt Posts: 214
    If you're only going to using one light it's better to mount it on your helmet than the handlebars IMO.

    I've just taken delivery of a magicshine, looks bloody bright, planning on testing it out properly this evening. Along with my Hope 2 on my helmet it should be a good setup.

    Night riding is great, only problem I have is neither of my regular riding partners seem to want to join me so I have to go out on my own. Utter pansies.
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 44,054
    Definitely better with mates - I'm sure a few of us might admit privately that going into the woods alone at night is a just a teeny weeny bit scary :P
    Whippet
    Bruiser
    Panzer
    Commuter

    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • bay73bay73 Posts: 130
    bay73 wrote:
    stevo
    i find that with just a bar light that when you turn into a sharp corner without a helmet light you are just staring into a black abyss until the bars catch up with your head.

    Fook, it is such a simple thing that happens on the trail, but sudeenly it appeasrs to be a complete censored to describe. You did a much better job than me. I was about to sketch it on a napkin and scan it!

    B_S_N - you summed it up perfectly there. i really had to think hard how best to put it down in written form. ok i'm no Shakespeare but it shouldn't have been that hard :roll:
  • bay73bay73 Posts: 130
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    Definitely better with mates - I'm sure a few of us might admit privately that going into the woods alone at night is a just a teeny weeny bit scary :P

    yes. my riding buddy missed a badger that ran out in front of him by a split second
  • Stevo 666 wrote:
    Definitely better with mates - I'm sure a few of us might admit privately that going into the woods alone at night is a just a teeny weeny bit scary :P

    yup, don't fancy it on my own. i have a tendancy to crash a bit (going to fast for my abilities, not to mention wet f**king wood and roots!) so want a mate to pick up the pieces.

    Last week, in teh forest by he french border here (Basel), we were taking a juice break with the lights off/on low, and some bloody satanic french farmer decided to start up an air raid siren. Talk about hairs standing up!?! :shock: We weren't sure if the resistance were about to start bombing us or if mad hunters were about to start shooting us. Needless to say, we starting shifting! What an completely terrifying noise that is.
  • SarnianSarnian Posts: 1,451
    My light set up did not cost me to much, I have a night flux on the bars £40 If I remember right and a Cree on the helmet (helmet light Is a big must) I also just have a £15 normal bar mounted light so I can switch off all the others to save battery when riding on the roads to the trails or roads in between trail loops.
    It's not a ornament, so ride It
  • scale20scale20 Posts: 1,300
    If you are looking at lights have a look at the nite rider minewt range, It's what i use, affordable and more than enough to get started.
    Niner Air 9 Rigid
    Whyte 129S 29er.
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