Let Us Not Go Gently
Night riding is the fun that we partake in when fall comes and the days get shorter. For me though it takes on a bit more importance. Being a Stay at Home dad if I don’t night ride I don’t get to ride much especially during my wife’s volleyball season. Late night practices, early mornings and such make it harder to get ride time. Which begins to become lousy after a while. So the only option is to ride at night to get more ride time.
Because of this situation I spend in the end many hours a month riding at night on trails as well as on the Cross bike. And when you do you learn some thing’s. Like it always amazes me how people will argue endlessly about how one light is all you need and then of course the Lumens argument.
Reality is if you ride lots at night one helmet light doesn’t do enough. Because reality is things can go wrong contrary to what to many think. To ride at night one needs a helmet and a bar mounted light. Simple reason really as something can go wrong in the woods. Somehow you hook the cable to the battery, rips the cable so it can’t work, and now no light source.
This then leads to the long and dark walk out of the woods. Which can be avoided by running two lights, helmet and bar. Other advantage to this is if you ride to the trails you can run the bar light at the lower setting on the road to and from the trail. This way you can save battery power for the helmet light. And if you save battery power it means more ride time.
Another thing I learned is to carry a small flashlight for when I have a flat or other mechanical issue. Why waste valuable head light battery power fixing a flat? A small LED flash light will do the same thing and leave you with plenty of head lamp charge to keep the ride going. Plus if everything goes wrong and both your lights die…better then walking out in the dark.
But one thing I learned to do is the one most overlooked. To stop and turn off the lights. To listen to the sounds of the forest at night and to look up. Look up to see the stars.
The title of my post is a line from my favorite mountain biking sheep Mishun Sugworth about night riding.