Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 48 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the last couple of months i've built up the bug for night riding, mainly due to youtube videos, I've just bought a couple of what i consider to be top notch lights, (did i mention i'm a night person so night riding suits me down to the ground) but here's the thing, because of my life style and my work i won't have too many buddies to go out with, so i'm left to go it alone.

The thing is i'm a little bit apprehensive, it would be great with a couple of other guys (safety in numbers) but hitting the pitch black tracks and trails on my own is a little daunting, axe murderer in the bushes keeps springing to mind, sadly i don't live in the most desirable area so this tends to make it a little more worrying.
Anyone else feel like this or am i a big fat sissy. Or better still, would you go it alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
I've done a dozen or so solo mtb night rides. Spooky indeed at times but even more so, dumb. Luckily, I never experienced anything bad beyond mechanical issues. Regardless, it's too much of a risk. I ended such rides when my daughter was born.

Post up on your state board or more local sites. You'll find a crew. Also, a decent number of shops in my area have weekly night rides. Check yours out.
 

·
The Notorious S.L.O
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
I ride mostly solo

because of my flexible schedule, and have never ridden with anyone on a night ride, and out in Colorado, I am more concerned about the large felines that roam about.

I remember reading a blog about training for the 24 hours of Moab, and the need to practice riding at night w/your lights, they said that for all the little red eyes you see, just keep saying, "little furry bunnies" regardles of how far apart or how high from the ground those little red eyes were, they are all "little furry bunnies".:D
 

·
Pedaler of dirt
Joined
·
903 Posts
I ride solo in the dark every now and then and it can get a bit freaky. Living in Houston all the trails are through urban areas and have their fair share of dodgy geezers out for a walk.

Worse scare I ever had was riding in the UK through some woods near Aldershot. Very dark night, very quiet, almost too quiet and I swear I started to see faces down amongst the bushes. Half exposed faces, unmoving and completely silent, just staring at me as I passed by. I was getting freaked out.

I was just about to stop and see what was going on when at that moment the entire platoon on night manuvres stood up to move on. Almost crapped myself, wankers. :)
 

·
The Notorious S.L.O
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
marzjennings said:
I ride solo in the dark every now and then and it can get a bit freaky. Living in Houston all the trails are through urban areas and have their fair share of dodgy geezers out for a walk.

Worse scare I ever had was riding in the UK through some woods near Aldershot. Very dark night, very quiet, almost too quiet and I swear I started to see faces down amongst the bushes. Half exposed faces, unmoving and completely silent, just staring at me as I passed by. I was getting freaked out.

I was just about to stop and see what was going on when at that moment the entire platoon on night manuvres stood up to move on. Almost crapped myself, wankers. :)
wow, UK to Houton, talk about your culture shock.:eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,987 Posts
night riding is awesome. if you are going to ride trails that are even moderately technical you really need to ride with someone. too many things can go wrong, imagine getting in an accident that took out your light.. also, unless you are in an urban area cell phones are not that much of a safeguard - trying to give a location over the phone can be really difficult.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
I can make myself hear anything, however on the last night ride I was suffering up a climb not even thinking of critters and heard a growl that I've never heard and stopped me in my tracks. Shined the light around looking for some "little furry bunny" eyes, but didn't see any. One of my buddies was ~50m behind me when he pulled up "heard a growl that I can't explain, if something happens, tell my wife I loved her!" and took off. After that I'm sure I'd be my own worst enemy at night. I'm guessing I got too close to a bobcat that was feeding. There are rumors that there are a few cougars in the area, but none confirmed that I know of. On top of that, in the spring we have had several deer attacks (yes you read that correctly), so solo night riding is probably out for me.
 

·
bi-winning
Joined
·
11,109 Posts
I got lights within the last year. I have gone out solo a handful of times (almost all of my night rides). It can be a little spooky. I take a few extra precautions:

Let people know where i will be riding, carry ID and cell phone, don't ride like a maniac, use multiple sources of light in case one fails...

A part of me feels it is not much more dangerous than riding at day, as long as you ride within the limits of your lighting system. In ways, it may be safer, as I ride slower. Also, the wildlife around my area is not too dangerous. I've seen many deer, but none have attacked me yet. :)
 

·
Old man on a bike
Joined
·
12,395 Posts
I've done the majority of my mountain biking, day or night, solo. Not worried about axe murderers. Critters maybe, depending on where the ride is, but not much of a worry as most of my night riding has been in areas adjacent to a large urban population (SF Bay area). Worried more about the authorities contesting my presence, maybe. Now, if you've ever ridden in Golden Gate Park at night, there are some scary looking folks, but harmless for the most part...
 

·
i also unicycle
Joined
·
2,043 Posts
one tip that hasn't been mentioned yet, don't ride brand new trails in the dark. have at least a few daytime laps in before heading out in the dark if possible. sure i've done it, but always with a group that knew where they were going. i'd go out solo anywhere i regularly ride though. just take it slower than normal and keep it safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
And bring a GPS. It is real easy to get twisted around at night. Once you get lost, the batteries seem to fade really quickly....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
794 Posts
I don't ride at night alone due to hurting myself on a ride a couple years ago while being solo. I made it back to my jeep but it took me crawling for a few hours to get there. Had to go back for my bike the next day. Luckily it was still there.

Also living in a small college town the locals love mugging people off the local trails when they can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,006 Posts
I bike solo and group rides alike, day and night. Don't ask me why, but to me, biking solo @ night sucks. It's not an issue of being scared. But it's not being able to see beyond your little light bubble.
 

·
Legend
Joined
·
1,287 Posts
Solo is bad if your lights fail. If it's pitch black, getting out of the trail can be pretty insane. If you're going to go at it alone, I suggest much auxiliary lighting and, if you're really aprehensive about your safety, something to defend yourself with. I personally ride at night, but where I live is exceptioanlly safe, and our trails are short so there's not really any problem with getting "stuck". However, if a light goes out, it's pretty creepy sometimes.
 

·
The Notorious S.L.O
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
ettore said:
Solo is bad if your lights fail. If it's pitch black, getting out of the trail can be pretty insane. If you're going to go at it alone, I suggest much auxiliary lighting and, if you're really aprehensive about your safety, something to defend yourself with. I personally ride at night, but where I live is exceptioanlly safe, and our trails are short so there's not really any problem with getting "stuck". However, if a light goes out, it's pretty creepy sometimes.
I carry a mini maglite in my hydropack for just such an occassion, I got caught with an uncharged backup, (thought I had charged it), when my primary failed, I was left on the trail, 3+ miles from the TH, 21 degrees, pitch black with a snow covered trail, with sections of ice. I fell pretty hard on the ice a couple of times, before I called a buddy to bring a flashlight and come get me. I nearly froze waiting for the rescue, being dressed to ride on a trail with a 3.2 mile climb in 20 degree weather, is certainly not sufficient for sitting around in 20 degree weather for an hour.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,293 Posts
ettore said:
Solo is bad if your lights fail.
Anything can be bad if you are unprepared.

I always carry an LED headlamp in my pack for rides - that has worked 1 time in a backup situation.

If that fails, I have a lighter, clothing, stick and chainlube and can fashion a mini-torch...man, I hope it never comes to that. I suppose I would start with the gloves, since the leather would soak up the lighter fluid without burning up quickly. Maybe. :confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,173 Posts
I ride pretty often off road solo at night. Nothing too scary about it, actually, it seems to be even safer, than in daylight. A headlamp is a must, in my opinion - both as back up and, more importantly, it is very convenient, if you need to fix some mechanical problem.
As to some improvised weapon, just in case - I rely on sticks and stones, that are in ample supply in the woods in my area. Never had to pick one up for self defense, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,437 Posts
It's good

In my area, there are few dangerous humans on the trails, period. Our trails tend to be a bit out of the way and are too much work to get to.

Two lights are definitely better than one. Still working on that. I do carry an emergency 1AA light in the pack.

No dangerous wildlife to speak of, I suppose there is always the chance for:

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/lifestyle/33923319.html

I don't seem to balance as well in the dark, I think there's going to he an increased chance of crashing, so I tend to stay off the technical stuff. I like to bring the Camelback with an emergency blanket, some bandages, and means of making fire.

No question that the woods are spooky at night. In reality there is little to hurt me out there, it's my own reaction.

Now if it would stop raining I might get a chance to put this in to action!

Walt
 
1 - 20 of 48 Posts
Top