Forum home Road cycling forum Road general

why have i became afraid?

ashleydwsmithashleydwsmith Posts: 693
edited November 2014 in Road general
i seem to have developed a fear of riding my road bike in the dark. was going to go out tonight but decided not to as just dont seem to like the prospect of riding in the dark on the roads.

Anyone else? how can i get over it?

Posts

  • Only by doing it. I have to say, I've quite looked forward to the darker nights this year.

    The secret is, for me, to be lit up like Blackpool and to ensure that you check your shoulder as much as you can.
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
    https://twitter.com/roubaixcc
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • I have a joystick and a moon up front with two moons on the back, but just feel more vulnerable!
  • Add some fibre flares on your seat tubes. Wear a pair of askalitt lights from Clah Ohlson on your arms.
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
    https://twitter.com/roubaixcc
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • I've often worried about it, but with the right lights, reflectives and clothing items you'll be fine!
  • There's nothing to be afraid of, riding in the dark, it will enhance your awareness on the road and you'll take a lot less for granted. If you can stick to well lit town centre roads or suburban ones if you have them. If not, as already stated get yourself lit up like a festive tree.
  • frazeredfrazered Posts: 333
    Choose your route carefully. Some great riding to be had in the dark and less traffic.
  • Manc33Manc33 Posts: 2,157
    This might not help but I sort of prefer the dark (sorry), its so much quieter.

    How can you get over it? Get a Cree x3 kit off Amazon, about £25-£30. Then a waterproof version of the battery plus a backup. Those lights just go off lol, how scary is that? I think its pretty funny, good old China stuff eh. For some reason though my light sometimes (although rare) displays the red warning light for a good time, I actually had time to stop and swap the power cables around before it went out. Other times you don't get any warning. On a well lit road its dangerous at times because you don't know its gone off.
  • PituophisPituophis Posts: 1,025
    The majority of my cycling is done in the evenings, usually starting after 6.30 pm when the rush hour traffic has died down a bit. Half way through a ride it has often dropped to much less than at weekends.
    As others have said, good quality lights (I like 2 at the back) and this year I have finally gone for the "yellow jacket full of reflective bits" look.
    You will never get away from the morons, but thinking about it I genuinely have had far fewer close calls than during the day time.
    Try a short spin after 7pm and you may be pleasantly surprised. :wink:
  • good album, but not their best

    fear_of_the_dark___fan_art_by_eacone01-d5hzfg6.jpg
  • Pituophis wrote:
    The majority of my cycling is done in the evenings, usually starting after 6.30 pm when the rush hour traffic has died down a bit. Half way through a ride it has often dropped to much less than at weekends.
    As others have said, good quality lights (I like 2 at the back) and this year I have finally gone for the "yellow jacket full of reflective bits" look.
    You will never get away from the morons, but thinking about it I genuinely have had far fewer close calls than during the day time.
    Try a short spin after 7pm and you may be pleasantly surprised. :wink:

    This. The niggle of "it's more dangerous" is always there but, really, if you're properly lit up in many ways it should be far far easier for you to be seen.
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
    https://twitter.com/roubaixcc
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • matt-hmatt-h Posts: 847
    Pituophis wrote:
    The majority of my cycling is done in the evenings, usually starting after 6.30 pm when the rush hour traffic has died down a bit. Half way through a ride it has often dropped to much less than at weekends.
    As others have said, good quality lights (I like 2 at the back) and this year I have finally gone for the "yellow jacket full of reflective bits" look.
    You will never get away from the morons, but thinking about it I genuinely have had far fewer close calls than during the day time.
    Try a short spin after 7pm and you may be pleasantly surprised. :wink:

    This. The niggle of "it's more dangerous" is always there but, really, if you're properly lit up in many ways it should be far far easier for you to be seen.

    I agree with this.
    The fact that people are normally concentrating more in the dark as well.

    I often ride in dark lanes at night, the amount of time a s fox has made me censored my pants far is far more than any car

    matt
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I love night rides. Roads are quieter - you can be much more visible.

    Just remember to take spare lights and batteries and a torch on the helmet is essential if you have a mechanical.
  • I commute all year by bike, much of it on unlit roads, and I genuinely feel safer riding in the dark. Use an Exposure Strada up front and Blaze rear light. With that combination, especially with the Blaze at the rear, it is inconceivable that motorists don't see you. I am sure cars give me a wider berth in the dark, and hang back more before overtaking. I do see plenty of cyclists with utterly feeble blinky rear lights which really is putting your neck on the line.
  • The only way home was to take that path, it's a cycling road going through the woods. I did that ride at 3am once... A girl was murdered 3 years ago, it was so scary yet exciting.
    Did the same trip but this time with 3 lights, riding at night in the city is no trouble but in the complete dark you imagine there's some one running behind you all the time.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    A girl was murdered 3 years ago, it was so scary yet exciting.

    murdering or riding in the dark?
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • Nick CodNick Cod Posts: 321
    I had my first dark evening ride / commute yesterday, got to say it was fine. The only thing I did notice was I was a little slower on the decents as I cycle a lot of unlit country roads, guess just a little cautious of a deer wandering out on to the road

    I have to say I was more concerned about my journey into work with the low sun in the mornings, now that is something to be very wary off. As a driver and cyclist it's scary to think that lights don't make that much off a difference if drivers are getting dazzled by the sun. Stay safe out there people!!!
    2016 Cube Agree C:62 SLT DISC
    2013 Cayo Evo 3
    2013 Zesty 414
    2002 Avalanche 0.0
    2018 Vitus Substance v2 105 Gravel
  • alistairdalistaird Posts: 290
    Nick Cod wrote:
    I had my first dark evening ride / commute yesterday, got to say it was fine. The only thing I did notice was I was a little slower on the decents as I cycle a lot of unlit country roads, guess just a little cautious of a deer wandering out on to the road

    I have to say I was more concerned about my journey into work with the low sun in the mornings, now that is something to be very wary off. As a driver and cyclist it's scary to think that lights don't make that much off a difference if drivers are getting dazzled by the sun. Stay safe out there people!!!

    I'm an early morning cyclist and low sun is the worst conditions.... Be careful!!!

    A
    Alistair


    Best Weather Bike - Time ZXRS
    Summer Road Bike - Pinarello FPX Dogma
    Winter Road Bike- Colnago E1
    Being Dismantled - Sintesi Blade
    Mountain Bike - Sold them all....
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I ride mainly at night now the clocks have gone back. Quiet country roads and I wait till after the rush hour's over. Decent lights and reflectives.

    Biggest problem for me is being blinded by an oncoming vehicle with it's lights on main beam; for a couple of seconds you just can't see what you're riding into. Last week I hit a small pothole very hard. First I thought I'd broken my wrists, then I was sure I'd need a new front wheel, or at the very least a tyre. As it happens I got away with a pinch flat, a dented rim, and an hour or so back home faffing with a spoke key trying to remove a slight wobble. Tricky with only 16 spokes...

    And last night I thought I was going to be shot. Had pulled over to put some fresh batteries in my front light, when all hell broke loose in the field behind the hedge. I worked out there were 2 or more farmers on quad bikes tearing around taking pot shots, presumably at rabbits in the headlights. Jesus they were close!
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    To avoid blinding - have a cap under your helmet and use the peak to shield yourself.
  • I feeler safer at night as I think the flashy rear light attracts attention more so drivers see you. Also there are no skip lorries etc who pass with inches to spare. A few cheap eBay Cree lights and you'll be fine.
  • How do you spot potholes?
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • I have a joystick and a moon up front with two moons on the back, but just feel more vulnerable!

    Must weigh a bit, say 220431000000000000000000 Kg pulling entire Moons up a hill. Is there Moons floating about out there in carbon fibre?

    Pulling-the-moon-away-resizecrop--.jpg
    "The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,182
    Buy a mtb, put some night proper off road lights on and enjoy!

    If off road is not your thing then look to build up the time spent riding in the dark Ask yourself what are your fears and then start to mitigate them, is its visibility to other road users or harder to spot hazards, leaves, manhole covers or chavs throwing stones at you.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • How do you spot potholes?

    well i use a light :D you dont need fancy HID lights that cost 100's. i bought something similar to this

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CREE-XML-T6-L ... 19df0b21f5

    they work fine for general commuting.
  • When fear is justified, you have to live with it. When not, confronting it helps.

    I sold my motorbike because no matter how carfully I am, the mistakes of others present grew to be an unacceptable risk.

    With my bicycle I decided to minimize time on the road and stick to trails. It's just a couple of miles through back roads to the trail, so I thought the odds were favorable.

    Then, last year while on the Old Dominion Trail in Virginia, a lovely paved path 45 miles long, I was hit from behind by a drunk driver, who left me to die after hitting me at 45 mph. Motorized vehicles are prohibited on trails, but the woman had drank two bottles of wine (or suffer and epileptic episode as she calls it) and did not care.

    My PInarello looked as if had spent a night with Jack The Ripper, after that encounter, but after a year down, I am back on that trail. A little paranoic but ok. I was thinking of installing a rear-facing camera and screen, but later I realized that you cannot eliminate all risk. Two flashing lights on the rear did not prevent my accident, but at night I often see bikes with insufficient or no lighting.

    To feel reasonable good about night riding I think you have to cover both sides of the question, make yourself visible and see where you are going. A small white flashing light and a steady light of some 200 lumens will cover the front. A couple of red flashers, one of 20 lumens at least, at the back should provide some peace of mind.
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    cougie wrote:
    To avoid blinding - have a cap under your helmet and use the peak to shield yourself.

    +1
Sign In or Register to comment.