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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, Xmas Eve morning while riding early in the AM I managed to jack my bad knee, again... Don't know what I did to it since I don't really have anything left to destroy in it, I figure its probably a micro fracture or something along those line's. But this basically led to my New Years resolution of "I Don't Care". Basically meaning that for 2009 I am done with letting the injuries get in my way of progressing as a rider. Pain killers can take care of the pain, the only real challenge is the mental one of pushing through it which has been the case for the first week of 2009 and riding every day of the year so far and already looking for untried challenges.

So last night I decided it was time to try a new adventure and some solo night riding. I started at Pima about 5pm and headed out DC for Corona De Loma with the goal of getting out there and getting the hike up CDL started before it was totally dark which pretty much went as planned. I started up Corona just as the sun was dipping below the Estrella's which makes for some great scenery out over the desert. About halfway up Corona there was still some ambient light, but not very much and the Coyotes were out in full effect. It seemed like from every direction around me all you could hear was "yip yip yip owwwwww" which began putting 2nd thoughts in my head as to whether this was such a great idea to be out there solo. A quick survey of the landscape looking for the yotes turned up nothing and I pushed on.

By the time I hit the first crest of Corona before dropping into the valley between there and Buena Vista it was totally dark. Trying to save my light for the descent down National I dropped into the switchbacks pretty much blind and somehow managed to make it all the way down in the dark. Once I hit the wash at the bottom of that valley, it was probably 10-15 degree's colder than up on the ridge and I must say, pretty friggin creepy being down there by myself, so the light came on to keep me sane and I proceeded to high tail it for BV. The shadow's of the "cactus people" and the sense that something is always watching/following you out there does not help the confidence level I must say.:eekster:

Once at BV I was back in my home element dropping in on National like I do several times a week, but now with the added challenge of not really being able to see anything out of the focal point of my light. It is an awesome way to take a trail that I know every single rock, turn and jump of and make it something completely new out of it. I can honestly say that it was probably the most un-smooth I have ridden that trail since the very first time I rode it. Line's that I can run without any thought normally were popping up at the last second and catching me off guard. Every jump and drop seemed to be magnified by the blind landings in the shadows and the waterfall basically looked like a black abyss when dropping into it. Talk about a leap of faith.:D

Amazingly I made it through the whole ride without a single incident, although there were a few times I was flying by the seat of my pants and letting instinct take control over the bike. When I got back to Pima, I figured the whole loop must have taken close to 3 hours as the climb up Corona seemed like it took forever, but I was surprised to see the whole ride was only 1:45.

All in all a very very cool new way to see the mountain, but a little on the creepy side doing it solo. It's amazing what tricks your mind will play on you in unfamiliar situations and when your alone in the dark.

Next challenge, Geronimo by moonlight? Kavu? Riot?
 

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sixsixtysix said:
So, Xmas Eve morning while riding early in the AM I managed to jack my bad knee, again... Don't know what I did to it since I don't really have anything left to destroy in it, I figure its probably a micro fracture or something along those line's. But this basically led to my New Years resolution of "I Don't Care". Basically meaning that for 2009 I am done with letting the injuries get in my way of progressing as a rider. Pain killers can take care of the pain, the only real challenge is the mental one of pushing through it which has been the case for the first week of 2009 and riding every day of the year so far and already looking for untried challenges.

So last night I decided it was time to try a new adventure and some solo night riding. I started at Pima about 5pm and headed out DC for Corona De Loma with the goal of getting out there and getting the hike up CDL started before it was totally dark which pretty much went as planned. I started up Corona just as the sun was dipping below the Estrella's which makes for some great scenery out over the desert. About halfway up Corona there was still some ambient light, but not very much and the Coyotes were out in full effect. It seemed like from every direction around me all you could hear was "yip yip yip owwwwww" which began putting 2nd thoughts in my head as to whether this was such a great idea to be out there solo. A quick survey of the landscape looking for the yotes turned up nothing and I pushed on.

By the time I hit the first crest of Corona before dropping into the valley between there and Buena Vista it was totally dark. Trying to save my light for the descent down National I dropped into the switchbacks pretty much blind and somehow managed to make it all the way down in the dark. Once I hit the wash at the bottom of that valley, it was probably 10-15 degree's colder than up on the ridge and I must say, pretty friggin creepy being down there by myself, so the light came on to keep me sane and I proceeded to high tail it for BV. The shadow's of the "cactus people" and the sense that something is always watching/following you out there does not help the confidence level I must say.:eekster:

Once at BV I was back in my home element dropping in on National like I do several times a week, but now with the added challenge of not really being able to see anything out of the focal point of my light. It is an awesome way to take a trail that I know every single rock, turn and jump of and make it something completely new out of it. I can honestly say that it was probably the most un-smooth I have ridden that trail since the very first time I rode it. Line's that I can run without any thought normally were popping up at the last second and catching me off guard. Every jump and drop seemed to be magnified by the blind landings in the shadows and the waterfall basically looked like a black abyss when dropping into it. Talk about a leap of faith.:D

Amazingly I made it through the whole ride without a single incident, although there were a few times I was flying by the seat of my pants and letting instinct take control over the bike control. When I got back to Pima, I figured the whole loop must have taken close to 3 hours as the climb up Corona seemed like it took forever, but I was surprised to see the whole ride was only 1:45.

All in all a very very cool new way to see the mountain, but a little on the creepy side doing it solo. It's amazing what tricks your mind will play on you in unfamiliar situations and when your alone in the dark.

Next challenge, Geronimo by moonlight? Kavu? Riot?
Oh you know I'm in for that!

I've already told you my story...the cactus people are freaky.

Here are the full moon dates for this year:

2009 Jan 11 03:28 Sun
2009 Feb 9 14:51 Mon
2009 Mar 11 02:40 Wed
2009 Apr 9 14:58 Thu
2009 May 9 04:03 Sat
2009 Jun 7 18:13 Sun
2009 Jul 7 09:23 Tue
2009 Aug 6 00:57 Thu
2009 Sep 4 16:05 Fri
2009 Oct 4 06:11 Sun
2009 Nov 2 19:15 Mon
2009 Dec 2 07:33 Wed
2009 Dec 31 19:15 Thu

Next one is this Sunday night, after that, the 9th!

Edit - wow, the last full moon is on the 31st!! How cool is that?!
 

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parenting for gnarness
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sixsixtysix said:
So, Xmas Eve morning while riding early in the AM I managed to jack my bad knee, again... Don't know what I did to it since I don't really have anything left to destroy in it, I figure its probably a micro fracture or something along those line's. But this basically led to my New Years resolution of "I Don't Care". Basically meaning that for 2009 I am done with letting the injuries get in my way of progressing as a rider. Pain killers can take care of the pain, the only real challenge is the mental one of pushing through it which has been the case for the first week of 2009 and riding every day of the year so far and already looking for untried challenges.

So last night I decided it was time to try a new adventure and some solo night riding. I started at Pima about 5pm and headed out DC for Corona De Loma with the goal of getting out there and getting the hike up CDL started before it was totally dark which pretty much went as planned. I started up Corona just as the sun was dipping below the Estrella's which makes for some great scenery out over the desert. About halfway up Corona there was still some ambient light, but not very much and the Coyotes were out in full effect. It seemed like from every direction around me all you could hear was "yip yip yip owwwwww" which began putting 2nd thoughts in my head as to whether this was such a great idea to be out there solo. A quick survey of the landscape looking for the yotes turned up nothing and I pushed on.

By the time I hit the first crest of Corona before dropping into the valley between there and Buena Vista it was totally dark. Trying to save my light for the descent down National I dropped into the switchbacks pretty much blind and somehow managed to make it all the way down in the dark. Once I hit the wash at the bottom of that valley, it was probably 10-15 degree's colder than up on the ridge and I must say, pretty friggin creepy being down there by myself, so the light came on to keep me sane and I proceeded to high tail it for BV. The shadow's of the "cactus people" and the sense that something is always watching/following you out there does not help the confidence level I must say.:eekster:

Once at BV I was back in my home element dropping in on National like I do several times a week, but now with the added challenge of not really being able to see anything out of the focal point of my light. It is an awesome way to take a trail that I know every single rock, turn and jump of and make it something completely new out of it. I can honestly say that it was probably the most un-smooth I have ridden that trail since the very first time I rode it. Line's that I can run without any thought normally were popping up at the last second and catching me off guard. Every jump and drop seemed to be magnified by the blind landings in the shadows and the waterfall basically looked like a black abyss when dropping into it. Talk about a leap of faith.:D

Amazingly I made it through the whole ride without a single incident, although there were a few times I was flying by the seat of my pants and letting instinct take control over the bike control. When I got back to Pima, I figured the whole loop must have taken close to 3 hours as the climb up Corona seemed like it took forever, but I was surprised to see the whole ride was only 1:45.

All in all a very very cool new way to see the mountain, but a little on the creepy side doing it solo. It's amazing what tricks your mind will play on you in unfamiliar situations and when your alone in the dark.

Next challenge, Geronimo by moonlight? Kavu? Riot?
that is ballsy making that route your first NR. Sometimes I get kinda spaced out on Hawes and forget where I am since its got fewer "features". I came up on a rabbit with it head torn clean off on Monday night *creepy*
 

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Nothing can stop me now
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First time in the dark? You didn't say, but it seems from your comments that it might have been. It is spooky and I have learned to focus only on what is lit up by the light. Makes things a bit less spooky. I tend to ride in the dark in the morning as I have the dawn to look forward to. At night, on National, solo... Wow!

bobo
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
chollaball said:
that is ballsy making that route your first NR. Sometimes I get kinda spaced out on Hawes and forget where I am since its got fewer "features". I came up on a rabbit with it head torn clean off on Monday night *creepy*
That is super creepy. Almost like the place in LA that Markskee took me riding called "Turnbull Canyon" which has the legend of being a Satanist ritual site. They constantly find decapitated animals out there.:eek:

I think everyone I have talked too who has ridden SoMo at night has had the experience of feeling like something/someone is watching/following them. I will say its a great motivator to just pin it down the hill:D
 

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I really must night ride National. thanks for you story.

I remember my first night ride when I moved to New Endland. My only experience with night ridign prior to that was in ABQ or at 24hIOP. New to town I arrived at a trail head and when a small group pulled in at the same time. After chatting a bit they invited me to join them. it was late afternoon I had a light just in case.

I once it got really dark realized that this group was way too fast for me, but we were so deep into the woods that I had no choice but to hang with them.

The creepiest part was that night riding in the deep woods of new england is surreal. It's so dark and the forest is so thick that I could night see their lights and they would only be 10 feet ahead. just around a corner.

thankfully they waited just enough that I made it out alive.

Later night riding in NE was a weekly event. Getting dive bombed my huge owls was my best animal close encounter. Crazy how silent and fast they can fly through heavy trees.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
bobo_krkk_NIN said:
First time in the dark? You didn't say, but it seems from your comments that it might have been. It is spooky and I have learned to focus only on what is lit up by the light. Makes things a bit less spooky. I tend to ride in the dark in the morning as I have the dawn to look forward to. At night, on National, solo... Wow!

bobo
I have ridden DC in the early morning by light many times, but like you said, you have the dawn to look forward too. It was my first time heading out to a somewhat remote area in the dark and yes, first time down National in the dark.

I think I am going to pick up one of the new Night Rider USB lights for my helmet since they are cheap and light. I definitely think having both a bar and helmet light would help on the tech stuff.
 

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Fly High!
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No light makes it even better!! and waterfall has got to be the darkest part of national at night even if there is a full moon, the moon is faceing the back side.
 

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sixsixtysix said:
I think I am going to pick up one of the new Night Rider USB lights for my helmet since they are cheap and light. I definitely think having both a bar and helmet light would help on the tech stuff.
I just got one of those, super light and pleanty of power for DC.

.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
RidingRiot said:
No light makes it even better!! and waterfall has got to be the darkest part of national at night even if there is a full moon, the moon is faceing the back side.
You have better eye sight than I do. I am basically blind in the dark when it comes to depth perception. The couple full moon rides we have done, I can't see sh!t even on DC.:D
 

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Fly High!
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sixsixtysix said:
You have better eye sight than I do. I am basically blind in the dark when it comes to depth perception. The couple full moon rides we have done, I can't see sh!t even on DC.:D
8+ travel helps :thumbsup: :p :D
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
RidingRiot said:
you can charge the night rider usb with a wall outlet too right? does it come with wall and usb?
Yup, comes with both I think. I might grab one from the shop tonight before Pump Track.
 

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sixsixtysix said:
You have better eye sight than I do. I am basically blind in the dark when it comes to depth perception. The couple full moon rides we have done, I can't see sh!t even on DC.:D
National in the dark, with only moonlight, is awesome. Definitely recommend.
 

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sonoranbiker
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When I first moved to Tucson and got into night riding I was a slacker about making sure my lights were charged, and paid for it on a Fantasy Island solo ride. I was about halfway through the Snake Dance loop when my light died, with no backup light. It took me close to an hour of stumbling around in the desert using a lighter and my cell phone for light to find my way back to the car. Funny how much scarier the desert is without a light or other people to make you feel better. Now I always keep a little LED headlamp in my Camelbak just in case.

BTW- if you're looking for good lights, I love my Dinotte 200L's. I run one on the helmet and one on the bars, and since they run on rechargeable AA's (read cheap) carrying backup batteries is no big deal. I rarely need the backups, as they get 2 hrs out of 4 AA's running on high (200 lumens).
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
sonoranbiker said:
When I first moved to Tucson and got into night riding I was a slacker about making sure my lights were charged, and paid for it on a Fantasy Island solo ride. I was about halfway through the Snake Dance loop when my light died, with no backup light. It took me close to an hour of stumbling around in the desert using a lighter and my cell phone for light to find my way back to the car. Funny how much scarier the desert is without a light or other people to make you feel better. Now I always keep a little LED headlamp in my Camelbak just in case.

BTW- if you're looking for good lights, I love my Dinotte 200L's. I run one on the helmet and one on the bars, and since they run on rechargeable AA's (read cheap) carrying backup batteries is no big deal. I rarely need the backups, as they get 2 hrs out of 4 AA's running on high (200 lumens).
I am just running a NiteRider Minewt X2, which has a 4-5 hour run time and provides plenty of light for the trail, it's just that I need one to go where I am looking in addition to where my bars are pointing.
 
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