Cycling At Night - Do You?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by metalmancpa, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. metalmancpa

    metalmancpa New Member

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    I decided to go out for a night ride last night. Although I understand the dangers, I will admit is was fun.

    For one, I have a decent light set for the bike. I also wore a reflective vest. I did 14 miles, and averaged 16.7mph which I thought was pretty good considering seeing the road obstacles called potholes was interesting. I hit a few of them going around 20, and had to stop and re-adjust the lights and check out the bike. I'm in a rural area, so there were long stretches of no cars coming. I was on the lookout for deer though.

    I never thought I'd ride at night, but now am enjoying it.
     
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  2. MotownBikeBoy

    MotownBikeBoy Active Member

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    Oh yeah, all the time, it's mainly when I ride. Get great lights and you'll be fine. I hate the small round spotlight type lights, not enough illumination. I have a couple pairs of Phillips bike lights which are rectangular with a wide beam and near automotive headlight output on high power.

    I live and ride in very populous suburbs - late night is awesome, almost no one one the roads. A lot of deer here too.
     
  3. MotownBikeBoy

    MotownBikeBoy Active Member

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    Oh yeah, all the time, it's mainly when I ride. Get great lights and you'll be fine. I hate the small round spotlight type lights, not enough illumination. I have a couple pairs of Phillips bike lights which are rectangular with a wide beam and near automotive headlight output on high power.

    I live and ride in very populous suburbs - late night is awesome, almost no one one the roads. A lot of deer here too.
     
  4. BikeBikeBikeBike

    BikeBikeBikeBike Well-Known Member

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    As long as you take the proper precautions, night riding can be very enjoyable! I first found the joys of night riding going into work at 3am about ten years ago. There is something very calming about a cool quite night on the streets. You do have to be careful of bad/tired/drunk drivers but as long as you are mindful of your surroundings you will be fine.
    I spent a year or so riding late at night though a tourist/party district and never had one bad encounter.
     
  5. TheRo0sTer

    TheRo0sTer New Member

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    When it starts to really warm up, I head out at 4am. I have a 1200 lumin head and rear blinking lamp. I can see almost as good as a motorcycle. I think it's one of the best times to ride since more people aren't up and about at that time. Worst part is the ones that are... usually are drunks. LoL
     
  6. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    When I lived in the big city I used to ride after dark with only an ankle light that used two 'C' batteries. It had a rear facing red lens and an amber one that faced forward. Between the street lights, red lights and jumps to the sidewalk when needed I stayed fairly safe.

    Out here in the middle of no where...no way will I willingly ride after dark.
     
  7. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    A few years ago, I use to jog or walk home at night(5 miles),looking back, probably not the best idea. Although tempted, there is a lot of wildlife where I live out at night. Forget about drunk drivers, I could easily see myself running into a skunk, oppasum, deer or worse bear, coyote in the dark . I love to exercise outdoors at 530 am during the summer though.

    Has anyone slammed into a deer or other wildlife while riding?I've only had the occasional bug smack against my helmet hard.
     
  8. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    Over here, it is not safe to bike at night. First reason is the darkness of the environment that is conducive to accidents. Second reason is the presence of criminal elements that usually lurk at night. But in fairness, night cycling is pretty good for the physical aspect since it is not hot like in the daytime although there are humid nights here. My favorite time of cycling is the early morning, just a few minutes before sunrise and when the sun is up, it's time to go home and take a shower.
     
  9. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    Part of winter commuting is riding in the dark. Get a good set of headlights, a bright red tail light and reflective gear and you are good to go.

    On solo century rides I may start very early in the morning ~4:00am. I did hit an animal once
    http://www.cyclingforums.com/topic/424673-roadkill
     
  10. ZXD22

    ZXD22 Member

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    Rarely but when I do I always bring a reflective jacket and flashlights just in case. Rather be safe than sorry. Also riding at night during the summer is a thrilling experience believe it or not. Not sure why but I get more adrenaline at night than in the morning.
     
  11. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    I use to do night time runs after work and always had so much energy for some reason. The quietness,nature and cool weather were always a plus. I've done it many times in winter and theirs no better motivator than knowing if you stop, you'll freeze to death,lol...
     
  12. 9lines

    9lines Member

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    I have never tried that but I will try it. My bike has got a new head light. But I usually fear night traffic which is usually congested in my area. I will try manage that.
     
  13. Jojo83

    Jojo83 New Member

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    I used to ride at night frequently when using my road bike to go to work. I didn't use the bike everyday, I alternated between commuting and riding to keep fit. So after work, I would ride my bike on my way home. My advice would be to use blinking lights on the rear of your bike when riding at night. The lights are pretty cheap and it's better to buy rear lights than front lights... The reason is that oncoming cars and trucks can see the lights on your rear from far away and avoid you, preventing any accidents that may happen when riding at night.
     
  14. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Yup, sure do. I don't find it anymore dangerous at night than during the day, in fact riding between 3:00pm and 7:00 pm is when most cyclists have accidents with motorists, thus waiting till after 8pm when things taper down more is the best time at night. In fact 80% of accidents for cyclists occur during daylight hours. Tuesday is the most dangerous day of the week for cyclists, not sure why but that is what the statistics said, I always thought Fridays were with the way motorists act on Friday, plus on Friday nights they go out and get drunk then spill out onto the roads late at night.

    I stay off off the roads on Fridays nights on my bike and don't do any long distance riding on that day either, just go 4 miles home from work.
     
  15. joshposh

    joshposh Banned

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    Cycling at night isn't that bad at all if you have all of the proper lighting and reflective gear. I am talking about all reflectors on your bike to be fully operational and intact. Also take in mind that you should wear a reflective jacket or vest. That helps immensely at night. You are easily spotted by motorist if you have these articles of clothing on.
     
  16. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I disagree, while reflective gear is nice to have as an extra layer of precaution, it does not help immensely, it only helps a little, that doesn't mean a person can just forget using it entirely what it does mean is don't go out and spend a lot of money on something that is only marginally better than wearing white clothing. The only extra reflective stuff that I wear is reflective leg bands and a cheap neon green reflective safety vest which I bought mostly because in low light conditions the neon green shows up really well, the rest of my reflective stuff came standard on my seat bag and shoes.

    Here is a video demonstrating what I'm talking about. If you notice at 3:21 into the film they are showing a black bike kit, but look real close at his pants they have a reflective band, then also note starting at 3:50 the reflective effectiveness which is not even remotely close to an active tail light. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZRXlrJ3Mi0 Reflective stuff only works reasonably well if the reflective material is being hit directly by a headlight which means that reflective stuff on helmets is the least reflective area and leg bands is the most. Here is another study in regards to this issue: http://www.croydoncyclist.co.uk/how-reflective-clothing-works/ The only exception I have to this study is that the car being used in the photos is parked next to the curb instead of in the lane, had the car been in the lane as normal driving cars would be, the results of the reflective material would have been slightly less visible because the angle of the headlight beam would not have been straight on.

    Again, I'm not saying not use reflective stuff, what I am saying is that a rider needs to rely on active lighting much more so than reflective or passive items because the distance visibility is far greater with active lighting and thus improving dramatically the amount of time a motorist has to react to you being on the road.
     
  17. JSWin

    JSWin Member

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    It is fun to ride at night. I saw a guy out the other night with the headlight. You just stay off the busy roads if you can. Where its a little more quiet is better. Its good to go for a little bit. Get some exercise in and fresh air before sleep. Its not a good time to do any kind of serious distance really.
     
  18. bykster

    bykster Member

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    I like night riding just because of that alone feeling I get. Even during the day, I see cycling as a solitary activity and like nothing more than dedicating a day and going out of town through some empty rural roads. However, I can't afford those rides that often any more, so I sometime sneak out at night and ride the empty streets. Mostly because of the insomnia though. Cherry on top is making a small climb to a nearby hill and watching a sunrise.
     
  19. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    The furthest I've ever rode in the dark was 35 miles, it was a nice spring night so off I went, most of it was on a bike path but about 8 miles was city streets. I don't think too much about riding on city streets at night as long as I have all my lights, I figure if they can't see me with 3 bright tail lights (2 flashing and one on steady) and two bright headlights, along with my safety vest and they hit me because they claimed they couldn't see me...well guess what? they would have hit me in broad daylight anyways because they're blind. I don't ride my bike in fear of getting hit, I believe in self prophecy, what you think might happen to you just might, and if you have fear of getting hit at night then stay off the road at night because you probably will be hit because you convinced yourself that you will be hit and that is why your fearful.
     
  20. sunshiney

    sunshiney Member

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    I've cycled at night too many times to count, mostly because I don't drive so when I'm not with my boyfriend, who has a car, it's my main way of getting around.

    I used to live in a rural area out in the woods that had no streetlights, which always made me a bit nervous, but I just added lights of my own to my bike and made sure to wear reflective clothing so I knew I would be visible. I live in suburbia now, so while the streets are a little busier, they're also super well lit and I've never felt particularly uncomfortable being out at night.
     
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