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The other day I found I had alittle time to ride, (3:45 in the afternoon) and decided to head out. I knew it was too short a notice to round up anybody so I did a solo ride. I ended up taking a wrong turn and got lost. I had forgotten how soon it got dark and ended up walking the bike out of the woods. I had no idea there were so many sounds in the woods when it gets dark. It takes alot to scare me but I will say that was weird.
 

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HAHAHA. I know the feeling. Its not that there is anything out there it is just that you can't see what is making the sound. I chickened out on a ride a month ago. The group ride was cancelled and I still went. I rode through the woods till I got to the trailhead then couldn't get the nerve to go in. I ride the ride every week and know that there is only deer but still. That's when the scary monsters come out. Not in the woods just in your mind. You are not alone. Most hardcore riders have had it happen at least once.
 

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got spooked pt. 2

traylseeker said:
The other day I found I had alittle time to ride, (3:45 in the afternoon) and decided to head out. I knew it was too short a notice to round up anybody so I did a solo ride. I ended up taking a wrong turn and got lost. I had forgotten how soon it got dark and ended up walking the bike out of the woods. I had no idea there were so many sounds in the woods when it gets dark. It takes alot to scare me but I will say that was weird.
Sort of offthread, but I was hiking in Utah searching out slot canyons a few years ago when sorta the same thing happened. When I was heading back to my truck I realized I had no idea which way to go. Never happened before. The idea of spending a full night in the desert was really freaky. In my confused mind I saw snakes/scorpions/other nameless beasties crowding me in whatever sleeping spot I wound up in. Yikes! I tried over there, nothing familiar. Over there--nothing familiar. It was getting dark, and I've already cut this story short by excluding what had already scared the sh!t out of me (pissed off rattlesnake in the depths of a slot canyon and no way around him and time running out--I'd started this whole adventure way too late in the afternoon). Finally I stumbled across the way back to my truck as it was getting almost too dark to see--I didn't carry any lights back then--so I could then expend my extreme nervous energy in positive steps back to something familiar. I was never so glad to be inside my Tacoma.
 

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I went out earlier this season with a 15 watt on my head and a 10 watt on my bars. Figuring there's no way they could both die, so I'm covered... What's the common denominator? The charger. :( Both batteries died, 20 minutes in. I bowed out and the group ventured on. Thankfully, one of them had a spare LED, one of those ones that almost gives you enough light in the city under street lamps. Not quite what you need to ride in a dark wet forest at night. I knew the trail well and walked out, whistling and singing to let the cougars (mountain lions to some of you) know I was passing through. It's not just deer here, but you never see the cougars. As long as they know you're coming, you're fine. Keeps your heart going though!

Woody
 

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xcguy said:
Sort of offthread, but I was hiking in Utah searching out slot canyons a few years ago when sorta the same thing happened. When I was heading back to my truck I realized I had no idea which way to go. Never happened before. The idea of spending a full night in the desert was really freaky. In my confused mind I saw snakes/scorpions/other nameless beasties crowding me in whatever sleeping spot I wound up in. Yikes! I tried over there, nothing familiar. Over there--nothing familiar. It was getting dark, and I've already cut this story short by excluding what had already scared the sh!t out of me (pissed off rattlesnake in the depths of a slot canyon and no way around him). Finally I stumbled across the way back to my truck so I could then expend my extreme nervous energy in positive steps back to something familiar. I was never so glad to be inside my Tacoma.
With the doors LOCKED I bet.
 

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it was weird

EscourtU said:
With the doors LOCKED I bet.
When I finally was sitting in my truck, I felt so dam relieved. But I was so hyped up from everything that had happened when I looked around it wasn't the friendly Utah landscape I was used to but something foreign and threatening. It had never happened before and it's not happened since, but I do remember how strange that afternoon was. There's a lesson in here somewhere, and it has something to do (in my particular case at least) with checking out landmarks as you enter some area (which I always do but not this time) so that when you try to backtrack you can look for something familiar to guide you. And sharpen your survival skills so that when you do have to spend a night outdoors unprepared you're ready to survive. And always carry a headlamp with fresh batteries (that you've replaced before your hike.) And carry a flint to start a fire. I got that from watching the Discovery Channel program "Man vs Wild"--that guy can survive anywhere.
 

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I know the feeling xcguy,

How about night riding by yourself and hearing the howling of coyotes in the distance as you stop on some single track so that you can put the contact back in your eye that fell out do to not blinking for a good 3 minutes straight. As if the last hill you climbed didn't get your heart rate going, your own mind freaks you out.
I've also had a few deer jump out in front of the bike or run next to me during some night rides only to find out that I'm not a car on the road.
 

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Did it last Saturday

I finished the last half hour of a 45 mile ride in the dark last Saturday. At about 12 miles out I had a bailout option and I knew I'd hit darkness if I continued on. But I went for it anyway. However, I always carry a LED headband light. But I was too lazy to stop, take it out, and put it on. I ride solo at night quite a bit but I have a very good light when I do it on purpose. It's always spooky but the alternative is to stay home.
 

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I was canoeing in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway with my 10 year son and we made a wrong turn on the river and ended up in some kind of back water oxbow situation with no moving water. It was getting late and was wondering about doubling back and going the other way or just keep going and hope it come back out and rejoins the main river. I went for the latter and it worked out - we found the main river, our paddling buddies and 12 bald eagles to boot! But I was a bit spooked for sure.
 

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Not so weird. I did a solo ride tonite as well, on a fireroad around a local lake. One big A$$ water bird made a gut wrenching screech, and flew off...then had a small buck jump out of the pines at the top of a nice climb and run ahead of me in the light...I don't usually mind the night solo rides, something about the 1/2 moon maybe...it was just creepy out there tonight.
 

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I know Just what you mean

Wasn't lost but I did a 1st time solo 24 hour ride in the Moab area this Sept, I knew the trail very well but started feeling sort of lonely, exposed and weird about 2:00am. I wanted to look over my back, talk to someone, anyone, maybe scream a bit just to make some noise other than my tires rolling on the trail

Stopped for a food break and watched the full moon play peak-a-boo with the clouds, saw forever in the desert night, took in a big deep breath told myself everything is ok. Was soon back on balance, but for a few minutes there………..sort of funny now but at the time .................:eek:
 

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I love that. I have an island in Canada 13 hours north of the border. The last roads stop with 5 hours to go... it's nice and remote. When you finally get to it, the only sound is the wind through the trees. When night falls, though. The place is loud as hell. Every kind of creature imaginable is out screaming its damn head off. The frogs, the coyotes, the bear, the loons, the owls, the deer, the insects ...oh god swarms... I can sleep through passing trains in town, but in the cabin there I have to close the windows and put a pillow over my head to fall asleep.
 

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Glad to see I'm not the only one. I got spooked last year. My dad and I were supposed to ride the trail behind his house. As we were walking out the door, he got a very important business call. I waited for about 20 minutes and he said he would be awhile and I should just go by myself.

Well, that 20 minute wait put me behind schedule as far as daylight goes. It was getting dark at the halfway point and I knew I was screwed. I had to ride into a sort of hollow/heavy canopy and I was really spooked. I was sure I heard the Headless Horseman galloping behind me under the canopy.

When I finally came out of it I was releived, then a bobcat cut right in front of me and I was spooked all over again. Ended up riding the last mile in the dark.

I told of my adventure to my dad and my wife that night and they proceeded to make fun of me--and deservedly so I suppose.

The next day, my dad and I went out at the same time and I was perfectly fine since I wasn't by myself. I even got a pic of the canopy entrance.
 

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Oh yeah..

I was in the cleveland national forest in so. cal. i'd ridden up to main divide from silverado canyon. As i traversed main divide the sun was setting and i was getting kinda panicky because i couldnt find the trail head for the silverado motorway which would take me back to the car. i'd think id gone to far and then double back..then turn around and go further. I had to stop and say to myself OK you have to have a system to find the trailhead you cant just go back and forth and panic..Finally found it and went OTB on the sandy silverrado motorway... When i got back to my car it was dark..

The other time stuff got weird was when i was 1/2 to pomona on main divide and flatted the front tire on my XR. I had to limp back to tustin and find a phone so someone could bring me a tube. But i must say that that 20 mile ride home @ 9 PM on a motorcycle with illegal lights on city streets was pretty fun...
 

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I do a couple 24h races a season and I usually get a little freaked out on the late late (or early early) laps.

I get to second guessing myself because when you are riding in the day there seems to a relatively steady line of rider to pass or pass you, but at night that all changes because the number of riders goes down. I think to myself did I take a wrong turn? or you hear a noise or see a shadow and it gets you totally wireded out.

It does make you grateful to see the timing tent

I have never talked about this to any of my riding buddies because I just firgured it was me because I am a huge fraidie cat in general.

It's nice to know that this seems to be relatively normal.
 

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I went out on a solo ride to a trail I have done lots of times. it was late on a saturday and during the day there are lots of bikers, hikers and horses, but when I got to trail head there were only a couple of cars. no biggie I thought well close to the end of the ride I was pushing up a big hill and close to the top I look up and I see a grizzly come down the side of the hill at me. well I never ran up a hill so fast in my life and then rode the last section faster then I ever have and I still havn't gone that fast.
 
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