Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

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Vegman
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby Vegman » Wed Oct 24, 2012 14:23 pm

Yup, solo night rides are great fun... with suitable lighting.
Mine consist of several routes I know well, and I don't tempt fate by pushing it too hard on the more difficult bits.

I am lucky that I can link up lots of off road routes for a good hour to hour and a half ride and still be only at most three or four miles from home and still hardly meet a soul, the last statement being my only small worry.
I always tell my other half my route and roughly what time I should be home, and there is no prob with phone signal, and as someone else has mentioned, name rank and number in pocket or camelbak.
My only small problem happened a couple of weeks ago on one particularily steep but very wide open hill (35mph in the daylight, and not much slower in the dark as I usually close my eyes at that speed anyhow :shock: ) well the little eyes that I normally see staring back at me are usually rabbits, nope not this week.... littered with sheep, just as hard to dodge but probably a softer landing if you get it wrong. :lol: :lol: :lol: I didn't hit one luckily but my word that sheep poo really is hard to spot in the dark, and, well... sticks like :?
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giantAstax
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby giantAstax » Sat Oct 27, 2012 08:16 am

I used to ride a lot at night on trails I knew we'll and I had great lights. I had 2 scary rides. The first was where I could see 2 lights moving slowly in the distance that kept disappearing and reappearing. When I go near to them I realised they were two guys in full cammo gear, face paint and all and each had a rifle!

The second was weird. It was cold and a bit misty and quite late. In the distance I could hear some haunting musical sounds. As I rode further the sounds got louder and clearer - it sounded like bagpipes. It was all a bit surreal as the mist was getting thicker and my lights were now causing more issues than they were solving. I dropped off the trail and into a large car park as I set off for home to be greeted by two guys, kilts and all standing at opposite ends of the car park. They were 'duelling' and playing like nutters, first one then the other, then both together. Weird! I could hear it all the way home.

I haven't ridden at night in the past few years but have just bought some 1700 lumens lights. I'm looking forward to getting out there again.

M6TTF
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby M6TTF » Sat Oct 27, 2012 09:47 am

Just started riding at night, on my own. Only thing that raised my pulse was glowing eyes about 30 metres in front of me. Turned out to be a deer. They drop down into the main forest in Macc during the night. Seen quite a few now.

Carl170
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby Carl170 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:17 pm

Went for a ride last night. Started snowing, so I had to stop and put my hat and neck thing on. Really dark, and got a bit spooked at one point on the way back. Went off the path and ended up next to this electricity substation thing near Prudhoe, which was really creepy.

Couple of skids over ice and tonnes of leaves while clipped in, which really gave me a fright. Have decided to swap back to flats for the night riding, as a fall could be pretty bad.

Would also be curious to know what lighting you are all running. I am using one of those Chinese jobbies off ebay with a tiny 3 led light for emergencies. I have two lights on the rear and figure I could run these at the front if the other lights went. I believe red light is the best for night vision!

Regards

Carl

the chasp
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby the chasp » Sat Oct 27, 2012 18:53 pm

Went on my first night ride on Thursday. Its a 14 mile loop with some fields tracks semi technical downhills and a bit of mud thrown in for good measure. It was great, i thought i would be spooked but it never bothered me. Half way up one of the tracks i came across a cow with its leg well and truly stuck in a metal 5 bar gate. i tried to free it but was wasting my time so i called at the farm house. Farmer said eeeeeerr i will go down and lift out wi mi tractor. So cow saved and my first night ride was quite eventfull with no get offs and no monsters or owt !!!!! :D

Concorde
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby Concorde » Sat Oct 27, 2012 21:40 pm

Can't wait to get my lights through, prob will have to wait about 2 to 3 weeks as they're Hong kong jobs. Will be out in groups then and def on my own, will be shoot scared I bet, but will love it all the same!

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.blitz
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby .blitz » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:02 am

Maybe once or twice a week on the Chase since 1992

Back then the lights were mostly commuter lights but halogens were The Future so I got some. They had a run time of about 45 mins the battery weighed a couple of kg and they were +£200 or so.

Only nutters went mountain biking at night and I could never get anyone to go with me so it was either solo or not at all. A few mates have tagged along now and then but they're in too much of a hurry to get back to the car/pub/home for my liking. I like to stop and kill the lights and just soak it all up. I'd rather it was daylight of course but the night doesn't bother me.

There have been a few unusual sights over the years but otherwise no issues with panthers, werewolves, aliens, axemen etc

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homers double
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby homers double » Mon Oct 29, 2012 13:59 pm

I ride at night mostly on my own, mainly because the lad I rode with has turned to the dark side and preferes lycra.

I ride regular loops so I know the trail quite well, plenty of light, phone is always fully charged and the mrs has a rough idea where I'm going.

I once came within a foot or two of a young deer at what felt like 30mph but was probably around 15. Belted round a corner in the pitch black and there it was, stood in the middle of the trail. Underwear change was the fist thing on my mind when I got home.
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p44cmb
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby p44cmb » Mon Oct 29, 2012 16:47 pm

I've ridden alone of an evening maybe once a week around MIlton Keynes for the last couple of years. There are some great areas to ride that are pitch black and through wooded areas. One that particularly freaks me out is a section of the North Bucks Way which passes through a wood behind Woodhill Prison. There is nothing quite like hearing something rustling in the bushes through there to make the legs move a bit quicker.

One thing that does concern me is that MK has an awful lot of underpasses (yes and roundabouts, i know) and I'm always reading in the local rag about some poor soul or another that has been mugged in an underpass. Fortunately apart from being accosted by a woman of dubious mental state I've been ok so far. I find that the brighter and more offensive your front lighting is on your bike the more people tend to give you a wide berth.

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Psychotext
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby Psychotext » Tue Oct 30, 2012 13:58 pm

Planning on starting night riding this winter as it's going to get harder to make the most out of the daylight (screw getting up at 6am).

Anyone have any general advice? Planning on sticking to trails which I know well and going out with bar lights and a helmet light (plus spare batteries). I'm going to avoid the bike path style trails near me as most of them go through / near estates and I'm fairly certain I'd end up getting stabbed / mugged.

Was thinking of going slightly more remote. Gear shouldn't be a problem as I'm a packrat anyway and have enough stuff on me to survive an average casualty episode / multiple mechanical failures.

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.blitz
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby .blitz » Tue Oct 30, 2012 14:54 pm

The only thing I'd say is try not to over-analyse it - make sure there's a phone signal where your going and let someone know where you're going and what time you expect to be back.

Practice fixing simple stuff e.g. punctures at home in the dark. It sounds sad I know but when you're miles from nowhere at night and you get a flat it's great to know you can fix it and be on your way. Same with other stuff just have a go and familiarise yourself with your bike at home in the dark.

If you're concerned about being attacked, your local police station will fix you up with a personal attack alarm for a few quid trust me you would not want to be near one of these when they go off. If you want to take it a step further consider a sheathed hunting knife; pepper spray is still available if you go on holiday to Spain but hey I hope you won't need it.

Enjoy :)

4ndyW
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby 4ndyW » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:52 am

Talking about spooky stuff, google fox screech and you will hear what i heard whilst on my work commute. :shock: :shock: :shock:

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njee20
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby njee20 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:54 am

If you want to take it a step further consider a sheathed hunting knife; pepper spray is still available if you go on holiday to Spain but hey I hope you won't need it.


Don't do either of those, really really stupid. a) illegal, b) more likely to be used against you than any would be assailant.

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Psychotext
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby Psychotext » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:35 am

4ndyW wrote:Talking about spooky stuff, google fox screech and you will hear what i heard whilst on my work commute. :shock: :shock: :shock:


Holy crap. I'd go about 30mph faster!

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Bartimaeus
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby Bartimaeus » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:01 pm

I hear that in my garden quite often... I just assumed it was someone being murdered to death horribly.

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Giraffoto
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby Giraffoto » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:11 pm

Psychotext wrote:
4ndyW wrote:Talking about spooky stuff, google fox screech and you will hear what i heard whilst on my work commute. :shock: :shock: :shock:


Holy crap. I'd go about 30mph faster!


Muntjac deer make an odd noise too - it's referred to as "barking" but it's not at all dog-like. The oddest wildlife encounter has to be an owl in the headlight, which looks very much like a cartoon ghost!
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Samdy Gray
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby Samdy Gray » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:33 pm

Had my first night time ride last night armed with two new 501bs with a couple of rescued laptop batteries. I wasn't half as wimpy as I thought I would be and didn't run into any axe wielding maniacs either.

Although I must ensure that I carry a spare light/batteries with me in future as I nearly pooped myself when both lights first dipped onto medium and then onto low. Luckily they remained on low for the rest of the ride and didn't fail completely.

loftyborofan
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby loftyborofan » Thu Nov 08, 2012 13:08 pm

only if i tell someone my route first and nothing to tricky,

anj132
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby anj132 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 13:25 pm

4ndyW wrote:Talking about spooky stuff, google fox screech and you will hear what i heard whilst on my work commute. :shock: :shock: :shock:


Image

I would crap myself too if I came across him in the dark in the woods

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.blitz
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Re: Does anyone ride solo in the dark?

Postby .blitz » Thu Nov 08, 2012 13:32 pm

Samdy Gray wrote:...didn't run into any axe wielding maniacs either.

If you're at all concerned about axe wielding maniacs, consider taking an axe with you.

What are the chances of there being two people with axes on the trail at the same time :wink:


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