Cycling At Night - Do You?



mpre53

Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2013
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Cape Cod, MA, USA
I'm doing it less and less, because my night vision has gotten a little worse over the last couple of winters. I tend to ride 2-3 mph slower at night now. I just do it to keep a mileage base going. And to keep my weight from ballooning.
 

Susimi

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2015
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I do cycle at night and I love it.

I usually go just after midnight but lately I've been heading out just as the sun has been rising and both times of the night have been pretty enjoyable. The best time I've experienced though has been during a cold winters night with a clear sky and when the ground is getting hard with frost. There's just something about the crisp air and that slight chill that makes it all a great experience for me.
 

xeylonfm

New Member
Oct 29, 2015
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I tried riding my bike dead in the night without lights and without any reflective gear; I was literally groping in the dark on my bike. I realized that balancing is severely affected while riding in total darkness. It dawned on me that light is quite important in configuring our orientation to gravity. I couldn’t imagine that I could fall without warning no matter how many times I tried to be steady and focused on staying balanced. It seems my mind could not decode the orientation of the body to gravity in a situation where nothing is visible. I laughed at myself :lol: . So does it feel the same in space?
 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
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NE Indiana
xeylonfm said:
I tried riding my bike dead in the night without lights and without any reflective gear; I was literally groping in the dark on my bike. I realized that balancing is severely affected while riding in total darkness. It dawned on me that light is quite important in configuring our orientation to gravity. I couldn’t imagine that I could fall without warning no matter how many times I tried to be steady and focused on staying balanced. It seems my mind could not decode the orientation of the body to gravity in a situation where nothing is visible. I laughed at myself :lol: . So does it feel the same in space?
Really? I've never experienced this in my entire life and years ago I use to ride without a light because there wasn't any! I'm more worried about hitting fuzzy critters running without a light then balance.

Has anyone else experienced balance issues in the dark without lights on a bike?
 

Volnix

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2011
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Froze said:
Has anyone else experienced balance issues in the dark without lights on a bike?
I almost experienced some -serious- :p balance issues from almost going over a puddle of water that was much deeper then I initially thought. ;) :D
 

CAMPYBOB

Well-Known Member
Sep 12, 2005
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Quote by mpre53:
"I'm doing it less and less, because my night vision has gotten a little worse over the last couple of winters.

My night vision was tested last week when I got a later than normal start to my afternoon...er...evening ride. With Daylight Wasting Time kicking in and sunset coming around 5 PM I found myself literally sailing home in the dark.

My night vision was fine and I was making out details of the road well enough in the moonlight/starlight, but without lights on the bike and riding in true darkness (out in the sticks...no street lights and really quiet in the cold night air) I got a weird test in depth perception.

I saw an Amish buggy 'at some distance' ahead and I was closing on it from behind. He was running with two flashing tail lights on the buggy.

The clip-clop of the horse shoes must have carried well in the air and made it sound closer that what it was. I kept backing off the pedals and still thought I was going to over-run that buggy. I never did get closer than a couple hundred feet to it before I reached my truck. My depth perception was totally screwed up! I swore that buggy was no farther away than maybe 50'!

You would think I could have gauged the width of the two tail lights and judged the following distance better, but I failed miserably at that.
 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
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NE Indiana
I've never had issues with depth perception and still don't at 62. What's weird is when I was in my late teens the military tested my vision and it was 10/20 and better with both eyes, then in my 40's it slowly went to 30/20 over a period of 10 years which sort of bugged me because I was use to laser sharp vision, but then over the last 10 years it's back to 15/20 and better with both eyes. Not sure why the eyesight sharpness got better and not worse like I thought most peoples would as they got older, HOWEVER I can no longer read well without the aid of cheap magnifying reading glasses which started happening about 15 years ago. My night vision use to be fantastic which is why I could ride a bike at night without lights, in fact I could run a car at over 100 mph at night without the lights on a country road! But my vision has dimmed over the last 10 years, but I'm not sure how that dimming effect is compared to other people because I could see better at night then anyone I knew could years ago, so maybe now it's normal? All I know is that running 400 lumen lighting is fine for me most of the time unless it's dark and raining then I like more light.
 

Mr. Beanz

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Aug 18, 2015
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At times but I use backstreets and familiar streets since the downhill is about 25-30 MPH. :lol:

And if I take my wife, we ride the tandem so she can't make any silly mistakes. :unsure:

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9lines

Member
May 7, 2015
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I have always avoided riding at night because of heavy traffic usually experienced at night, here. I remember one night when I fall into a ditch because the light from oncoming vehicles couldn't let me see clearly where the road was which made me to veer off the road. That incidence made me to completely avoid riding at night even though my bike has got new lights.
 
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artyarson

Member
Nov 28, 2015
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I did a couple of times because I love the night city. Now we gotta use special lights in my area.
 

goldenmaine

Member
Feb 16, 2015
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I ride at night only when I have a group or buddy with me so that we can look out for each other. It is difficult to be alone riding in the dark because it poses a lot of danger and uncertainty. The road is also difficult to see so I cannot know what lies ahead or behind. Having a small group or a partner is advisable for these situations and I see to it that I have one in cases that I want to ride at night. It is thrilling and exciting but also frightening at the same time.
 

N1TRO

New Member
I mainly did it over the summer as I finished working in the evening, then just went for it. There's the benefit of lower temeperatures, which were just perfect so you weren't all sweaty all the time. I mainly used side roads, which had no traffic at all, so it was really peaceful and relaxing. :)

Right now, the temperatures fall below freezing at night and I don't like that much. :)
 

mayasupernova

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Nov 17, 2015
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Serbia
I am glad you enjoyed it. It is also very nice that you do not have much traffic and you could use long cycling without many cars. I can say I live in such a surrounding myself, except that we don't have deer living here. :) Instead we have a lot of stray dogs, which can be a frightening experience - be chased by dogs, I mean.
 

pwarbi

Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2015
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Safety is obviously the main aspect in cycling that you need to be aware of, and this applies even more so when riding at night.

I've ridden in towns and cities at night commuting to and from work and its not been an issue thanks to the streetlights but if it involved any sort of route that would take me into the country lanes I'd probably avoid doing it.
 

moneyman

Member
Oct 6, 2015
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I ride in the dark since it comes so early in the winter times however I rarely ever ride at nights although there would be less traffic. I have upgraded my lighting equipment recently to be seen more better.
 

9lines

Member
May 7, 2015
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I like riding at night as long as I can avoid traffic jams. I must also ensure that my headlight is fully functional. I never miss my reflective jacket plus a helmet during such trips. What I usually avoid is riding at night when the weather is very cold or when it is raining.
 

Jcycle

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May 14, 2015
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I am glad you enjoyed it. It is also very nice that you do not have much traffic and you could use long cycling without many cars. I can say I live in such a surrounding myself, except that we don't have deer living here. :) Instead we have a lot of stray dogs, which can be a frightening experience - be chased by dogs, I mean.

i used to carry pepper spray for just that reason. Coyotes, wild dogs, dogs that didn't like me going by their owners property etc...