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When for my first solo night ride last week in the woods.......holy freak out batman. Maybe I am just a pansy, but I had the fastest lap of my life.....hearing coyotes, seeing a variety of critters running around and eyes looking at me, random noises....felt like I was the cartoon character in the disney headless horseman short. Don't think I'll be doing that again soon.
 

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I agree, I ride at night usually in groups of 4 or 5 riders but every once in a while I venture out alone and its a very different experience. Its not so bad when you are moving, but once I had a mechanical and had to do a trail-side repair and it was spooky.

Hopefully you get to do it again....I actually look forward to the solo rides now because you tend to see more wild-life when its just you....big groups scare them all away....
 

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I ride alone at night all the time, you really need to change your frame of mind. First, you need to realize that most likely you are the scariest thing out there. Secondly, learn to enjoy the peace and serenity. If you can learn to do this, which isnt always easy with the noises and eyes staring back at you, you will really enjoy riding at night solo.
 

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Depending where you live, the time of year can help. Do to a few very close calls, i save my solo rides for winter as the summer growth by then has dwindled and there are much less blind corners for surprises,and most bears have gone for a nap by then as well,that been said, don't know where the cougars go:eekster:.As most winters are very mild in my demegrafic, i can usually ride ten+ months a year. It is an experience a calm mind will love during your ride, one that isn't the same put into words but going through the motions. Give it another try, or reduce your occasional night ride to just one other rider.
 

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I have done many night rides and love them - it is definetly different in a group and i do not think about a lot of things (vs riding solo) and probalbly miss most the noises because of conversations with others.

However a few weeks back i got spooked myself - i was a few miles back from any roads or people and going between a valley (spring canyon) i heard a group of coyotes a couple hills over which i was fine with but then a few seconds later i heard another group across the valley behind me then a third right after that which sounded much,much closer now i am no bad ass but i think i could take on 4-5 coyotes but now it seemed like possibly 10-15 kind of made me think so i turned bike around and hauled ass out of there and maybe would have been in a different frame of mind 10 years ago but having a 4 year old,wife,mortgage etc. i guess makes me a wuss.

I think i will give it another try this week with my glock just in case as i love riding at night and hard to get other riders together.
 

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I have done many night rides and love them - it is definetly different in a group and i do not think about a lot of things (vs riding solo) and probalbly miss most the noises because of conversations with others.

However a few weeks back i got spooked myself - i was a few miles back from any roads or people and going between a valley (spring canyon) i heard a group of coyotes a couple hills over which i was fine with but then a few seconds later i heard another group across the valley behind me then a third right after that which sounded much,much closer now i am no bad ass but i think i could take on 4-5 coyotes but now it seemed like possibly 10-15 kind of made me think so i turned bike around and hauled ass out of there and maybe would have been in a different frame of mind 10 years ago but having a 4 year old,wife,mortgage etc. i guess makes me a wuss.

I think i will give it another try this week with my glock just in case as i love riding at night and hard to get other riders together.
I know how you feel my wife and I had the same thing happen once with a couple of different packs it was like they were triangulating on us at one point one pack was only about 20 yards from us pacing us lucky for my wife and I it was right were we started a pretty fast downhill section and we were able to shake them, it took a while to get my wife to be comfortable night riding after that, now we night ride 2 times minimum a week with no fear.:thumbsup:
 

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coyotes are not a problem, as I know it.
they like to check you out, and since you are moving, pace a little bit,..
the glowing eyes, ... a dozens, and a really slow power line, is kinda uncomfortable,
when the coyotes, are waiting for you ...
bears, do dash , when they get spoked, but most of the time in opposite direction .
one time after work, to take a short 45min ride, thought I had the batteries used once,...
raining, rocky single trail, got chased by a mountain lion, they are not as quiet, keep hiding,
and run with brute force, crashing, parallel, for a 1.5 miles , was stocking me,
was riding faster,.... then helmet light went out, and 3 minutes later my handlebar,
just made it to the clearing to the power lines, lucky it was full moon, but all the pits where filled with water, and now muddy, and had to ride back,... parallel, to the previous chase path, up-hill,...
tell you, that was not fun ! with no lights . could not make it back on the trail, since I had no lights,
bailed following the powerlines, till I hit a road; now a long ride back, with no lights on the road,
and I did not bother with a blinky (taillight),.... that's almost as scary ....
well, preferably you should ride in a group,...
know a couple of riders , they have cowbell,... was asking , is that for the bears,.... answer no,
it's for the hunters, especially in hunting season, and some do not know or care for the season,...
and white helmets, don't seam to be popular in that region,...got pointed out to me,...
now I do check my battery, bring a backup light, and small backup battery,:D
and a little [email protected] toothpick , .... for comfort.
cheers, Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey you rode fast even though being uncomfortable with the setting. Just hook up with some others and go out for night group rides, it's safer anyway.
I do group rides at night. This was my first solo night ride. I rode fast BECAUSE I was uncomfortable. I plan on trying it again this week, but maybe I'll bring along my ipod.....
 

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Thank you Hollywood, for all this nature paranoia! :rolleyes:



Haaah!! Now I feel justified in wearing my anti-wolf chainmail!

Seriously though, I feel safer at night - alone. I do a quite of light testing and I almost always end up riding alone. I find it very peaceful, I realize that I am entering the food chain, but I do that when I surf as well, so the concept is one I am at peace with.

I also think night riding is a bit safer on fast, swoopy, trails because you'll know if someone is going the opposite direction - I have never seen a head-on collision at night. There are also no hikers, horses, baby joggers, and thus far I have never come across the Headless Horseman.

The coolest thing about night riding is all of the animals that you just don't see in the day time. I am routinely followed by a huge white (Barn?) owl on my solo night rides. He swoops down and eats the critters I scare up - seeing his shadow following me in the moonlight...well...that's why I night ride.

Shannon
 

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Haaah!! Now I feel justified in wearing my anti-wolf chainmail!

Seriously though, I feel safer at night - alone. I do a quite of light testing and I almost always end up riding alone. I find it very peaceful, I realize that I am entering the food chain, but I do that when I surf as well, so the concept is one I am at peace with.

I also think night riding is a bit safer on fast, swoopy, trails because you'll know if someone is going the opposite direction - I have never seen a head-on collision at night. There are also no hikers, horses, baby joggers, and thus far I have never come across the Headless Horseman.

The coolest thing about night riding is all of the animals that you just don't see in the day time. I am routinely followed by a huge white (Barn?) owl on my solo night rides. He swoops down and eats the critters I scare up - seeing his shadow following me in the moonlight...well...that's why I night ride.

Shannon
We generically call it 'night riding' but most of my riding by lights is very early morning. While it's not my first preference, with my family it is the best time for me to ride. Tomorrow morning for example I'll start pedaling out of my driveway at 4AM, spend 25 minutes getting to the trailhead on surface streets, put in a nice good 1 hour pre-ride, then meet my group at 5:30AM for our ride. It currently starts getting light around 5:45AM for me, so plenty of dark riding to enjoy.

I really do enjoy it too, with so much dark you really focus on what is lit up with your riding lights. Rarely do you run across other people like you would in the daylight hours. Solo or with a group, I've always enjoyed riding by lights. Back when I lived in Sacramento I used to go out for night rides with my old Vista Lights, I think that was a 5 watt light - boy what an improvement the new lights are both in quantity and run time.
 

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I find it very peaceful, I realize that I am entering the food chain, but I do that when I surf as well, so the concept is one I am at peace with.

The coolest thing about night riding is all of the animals that you just don't see in the day time. I am routinely followed by a huge white (Barn?) owl on my solo night rides. He swoops down and eats the critters I scare up - seeing his shadow following me in the moonlight...well...that's why I night ride.

Shannon
Plus rep for this, you get it, the rewards that come from accepting slight personal risk.

A couple times i have had owls just overhead gliding along, I never thought that they were looking for game I flushed for them, but that makes sense. I just thought that it was another gift of the grace of nature.
 

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you are the hunter

I think as previously stated it does depend on where you live. In No-Cal the worst animal (other than ****-erectus) might be a mountain lion but that is so rare as to not be a concern. If I don't ride alone the chances are I would not ride at night (most of the guys I ride with during the day have not yet been ensnared by the lure of the night). I love the wildness of the night - just seems like so much more adventurous (try night riding in the rain and mud). Anyway, I get spooked sometimes and when I do I consciously try to calm myself - breathe deeply and take another sip of beer - (did I mention beer?). You are out in the night, in some degree of wilderness, isolated from the "civilized world" and other people - get off the bike, turn your lights off and enjoy it. It really is a treat - we are blessed beyond measure
 

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I haven't done many night rides solo since I talked a buddy into getting a set up. At one time though it was all I did. Getting freaked out was/is part of the love, man. Bears, mtn lions, she moose w/ calves, owls... all equal awesome! You aren't the top of the food chain!
 

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I run across deer a lot on my 12 mile commute home from work at night. I also hear random noises, but I just ignore them as much as I could and continue pedaling. I only have 1 Cateye HL-EL530 head light, but I'm waiting on my shipped package from DX on an XML Magicshine copy. Hopefully I'll get it before winter sets in.
 
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