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TOPIC:   riding at night 


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MXSQUEEN
MXSQUEEN's Photo Posts: 5
10/31/11 7:07 A

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I'm going to be investing in a headtorch as soon as I've got some spare cash. Had a 40 mile run into the countryside a couple of weeks ago only to find that there was a localised power cut at a major roundabout junction as soon as I got out of the city. I couldn't see the edge of the road (although from riding it in the day time I knew there were several ditches I may end up in if not careful), it wasn't the sort of junction where it's safe to just slow down (cars go around it pretty fast when they come and noone expects a cyclist at that time of night on that sort of road) my bike lights weren't doing anything to illuminate the road signs usefully (being pointed forwards and slightly down), and the whole thing was sorta terrifying. Ended up taking a significantly different route home coming around and back into the city from the west instead of the south in order to escape a repeat of the experience.

I don't have the guts for riding any of the off-road bike trails around here after dark. I've had some trouble on them in daytime nearly ending up in ditches just because there're so many blind corners that look less steep than they are and things. One of the things I like about road riding is that for the most part even if your lights fail it's still pretty well lit (barring localised powercuts, or riding past airfields where they cut lights to help night pilots navigate, etc).

Edited by: MXSQUEEN at: 10/31/2011 (07:10)

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DDOORN
DDOORN's Photo Posts: 23,046
10/30/11 1:17 P

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Whew! You GO BARRON!

I find it too intimidating to just cut loose at night, fears about stuff on the road to be wary of, etc.

Do

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

rules4humans.com


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BARRONVC
BARRONVC's Photo Posts: 1,823
10/30/11 12:51 P

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Don,

You will love night riding once you get a taste for it and learn. Find a friend or two and ride down a trail, start before dark and let your eyes adjust until you feel you need the light.

For me its a great training tool. I ride to the gym in the light, about 16 miles like a wild man with my HR up at 90%, I back off the last two miles. Then I do my workout and come home easy in the dark.


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DDOORN
DDOORN's Photo Posts: 23,046
10/30/11 12:40 P

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Cool to hear! Looking forward to using 'em during those rare night time rides. I really don't like riding at night, but when it happens at least I'll feel a lot safer! :-)

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

rules4humans.com


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BARRONVC
BARRONVC's Photo Posts: 1,823
10/30/11 12:55 A

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Those rock and great prices from Nasbar. You are set. That light is good for anything.


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DDOORN
DDOORN's Photo Posts: 23,046
10/29/11 10:55 P

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Somehow I missed this thread...!

I FINALLY sprung for the Light & Motion 360 I've been wanting for so long. A birthday gift to myself...Nashbar had it for around 130. Is this the one you have, BARRONVC?

www.nashbar.com/bikes/CatalogSearchResultV
iew?storeId=10053&catalogId=10052&lang
Id=-1&pageSize=16&beginIndex=0&searchT
ype=resultSet&sortBy=iphrase+relevance
%2F%2F0&cn1=&gast=LM-VIS360&searchTerm=LM-VIS360


I haven't used it yet but have read EXCELLENT reviews and I *believe* I've seen them in use by another cyclist in my area. These things are BRIGHT! They look like a car headlight! Best of all, as one is riding if you want to get a car driver's attention just turning to look at the car will do the trick because that light aiming at a motorist is guaranteed to let 'em know you are there!

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

rules4humans.com


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GIANNA345
GIANNA345's Photo Posts: 1,584
10/27/11 11:38 A

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I'm glad I found this discussion board, because I have had some of the same questions about lights. I commute 20 miles a day, and my it's starting to get dark on my way home. The challenge is to find something that is bright enough for my needs without overspending. I'm pretty sure the $600 light I saw reviewed yesterday (and described tongue in cheek as a "light cannon") would more than do the job, but I can't spend that much, and I'm also pretty sure I don't need to spend that much for the kind of riding I do. (urban bike trail in greater D.C. metro area).

I currently have a Princeton Tech EOS light that I wear on my helmet. While it's the best of the lights I've owned, it doesn't quite enable me to see as far ahead as I would like, and the rest of my lights ($10-$20 range) seem to shut themselves off randomly, even with fresh batteries.

My rear light is a Cygolite rechargeable that I've had for about a week and am still pleased with.

I have read all of the comments, and I am planning to go check out the Niteriders. Cygolites, and the other one mentioned (name escapes me at this moment). Thank you all for the tips and reviews.

Excellence is the result of caring more than others think wise, risking more than others think safe, dreaming more than others think practical, and expecting more than others think possible.


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CHICKYSOUP
CHICKYSOUP's Photo Posts: 273
10/26/11 12:06 P

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I want to chime in, even though it isn't really relevant to the OP, but for riding on streets, I've seen some cyclists mark a triangle with reflective strips on the back of their yellow cycling jacket, as well as reflective strips on their pedals and shoes (or back of their panniers). Along with a set of blinking lights on the back of the bike, and the helmet it creates a nice outline of an actual person and is helpful for motorists.


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KA_JUN
KA_JUN's Photo SparkPoints: (46,447)
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10/23/11 9:16 P

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I have an old Planet Bike Super Spot. FYI, NOT recommended for any way dark riding. Okay for visibility for other road users when you have access to sodium lights/LED streetlights, etc. I rode through a pitch black park, and had I not been intimately familiar with the trail, I would've ate it, for sure. Like other Planet Bike products, including the Superflash.

Pain is weakness leaving the body.

How do you eat an elephant?

I will not fail.


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BARRONVC
BARRONVC's Photo Posts: 1,823
10/22/11 3:43 P

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They have some great deals at Nashbar.


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MLMAVERICK
MLMAVERICK's Photo Posts: 242
10/22/11 12:53 P

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I can report back that the light is definitely plenty for riding in the black of night. I've been caught out on the path a few times when dusk turned to night and had absolutely no issues seeing things with the light, and the paths I ride are very very dark since they're not lighted.

- Mark

Co-Leader, Tennis Players Team


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SCOTTK3000
SCOTTK3000's Photo Posts: 1,030
10/21/11 9:49 P

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great thread. good info. I have a very small light on the front. and a small but visible tail light. I think they are called the "click" and came as a set. They were inexpensive. They are okay for riding around the neighborhood. both are out of batteries and I need to get them tomorrow. I don't do any night commuting, but would like to trail ride sometime at night. What I want and have been trying to save up for (but for some reason I keep having to use it to pay bills) is the nite rider lights in the $125-$150 range. And a brighter tail light. Then eventually another for the front of helmet.

Thus far no luck getting it for my birthday....

"Little bit harder, just a little bit more, a little bit further than you gone before."
-Grateful Dead


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BARRONVC
BARRONVC's Photo Posts: 1,823
10/4/11 4:39 P

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Happy Customer


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MLMAVERICK
MLMAVERICK's Photo Posts: 242
10/4/11 4:30 P

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So, now that I've been forced to ride with this thing at some pretty low light levels (45 mins post sunset), figured i'd report back on it. it's absolutely amazing. Easily lights up the entire bike path for several hundred feet, so i have absolutely no issues seeing whats coming up. if its less dark out, i've been aiming it a bit lower so i can see the path about 25/50 feet in front of me to make sure the coast is clear of sticks and twigs.

All in all, VERY satisfied with the purchase. I'm not sure it's bright enough to use it on a commuter type situation where i'm riding in the black of night, but i'm usually back and packing the bike up before it gets THAT dark, so this was an awesome pickup.

- Mark

Co-Leader, Tennis Players Team


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TOPAHI
TOPAHI's Photo SparkPoints: (14,026)
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9/15/11 10:59 A

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Nice light.

Let us know how it works out for you,

Tom

Riding a bike is FUN!
The treadmill is NOT!

Never argue with idiots... They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


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BARRONVC
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9/14/11 9:47 P

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Great, let us know how you do.

Last night was pretty cold, Monday was 89, Tuesday night 48, and tonight will be 36.

I had to wear warmer clothes and was a little cold to start. Not one critter with that bright moon an easy target for the Great Horned Owl. I've even seen them snag a skunk.

The climbs seem easier in the dark.

Good Luck, sounds like you are pumped.


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MLMAVERICK
MLMAVERICK's Photo Posts: 242
9/14/11 9:14 P

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picked this up tonight, and it fits perfectly on the bike emoticon

will be testing it tomorrow most likely

www.rei.com/product/808632/cygolite-expili
on-180-usb-bike-light


- Mark

Co-Leader, Tennis Players Team


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BARRONVC
BARRONVC's Photo Posts: 1,823
9/14/11 2:07 P

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Note the mount on this light. It's pretty universal using o-rings, will mount on ovate handle bars.
NiteRider MiNewt.300 USB Light


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BARRONVC
BARRONVC's Photo Posts: 1,823
9/14/11 2:00 P

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I have both the NiteRider and Light & Motion. My NiteRider's are older.

Get the light that best serves your needs. Look at the mounting, it's important. I like the brightest and lightest on my helmet. Does it allow you to mount on all helmet's. I have a universal mount that will mount on any helmet or handle bar. Certain bar mounts will not mount on newer style handlebars. I looked CygoLite ExpiliOn 350 USB Rechargable Headlight, as well as, others on the page. None of those mounts will work on my road bike bars.

Therefore, I have a specific bike I ride at night that will accept those mounts. Many of my miles are in the dark and I would not make more that 500 miles a season if I didn't ride in the dark. Commuters have a similar concept.

Make sure the mounting is a match for your bars/bike/helmet.

Thanks



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BILL60
BILL60's Photo Posts: 167,516
9/14/11 1:30 P

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Have the Niterider MiniNewt 350 and it has served me well.

"Excellence is but for the few."


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TOPAHI
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9/13/11 11:56 P

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MLMAVERICK...

I don't have any experience with that particular NiteRider model as they have changed their line since I bought mine, but that seems like a good light at a good price.
I don't think you can go wrong with a NiteRider lighting product.

I think this is a more comparable light by Cygolyte:
www.amazon.com/CygoLite-ExpiliOn-350-Recha
rgable-Headlight/dp/B005DVA37Q

I have never used one of their products, but they are a reputable company as well.

You may also want to look at some of the Light&Motion lights.
Although I think they come in at a little higher price point.



Edited by: TOPAHI at: 9/13/2011 (23:57)
Tom

Riding a bike is FUN!
The treadmill is NOT!

Never argue with idiots... They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


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LADYGWEN25
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9/13/11 7:42 P

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SUper tips.. But i gotta say.. I'm too chicken yet to bike at night.

Gwen

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.



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BARRONVC
BARRONVC's Photo Posts: 1,823
9/13/11 4:37 P

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KA-JUN

Good point. Minneapolis is great for cyclists and have a good advocacy program.

We don't have a network like that.

"I know that in Minneapolis, fairly recently, people were targeting cyclists on sections of the bike paths and here in our city, some sections of town had multiple incidents of crime targeting cyclists."

If you are on a bike at night be prepared. The best defense is a really bright light in the face. They turn away from the light and you are gone.


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KA_JUN
KA_JUN's Photo SparkPoints: (46,447)
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9/13/11 2:46 P

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I run a steady light (old Planet Bike) and another white blinky for the front for visibility and a Planet Bike Superflash for the rear.

If you're riding unlit paths, you probably want something that can illuminate a bit more. +1 to the advice you've already received, including be familiar with the ride during daylight so you know what to expect and to ride a bit slower due to the possibility of contacting wildlife.

If you have a local bike advocacy organization, if they have an online bulletin board, I'd check that, because safety is dependent on your location. I know that in Minneapolis, fairly recently, people were targeting cyclists on sections of the bike paths and here in our city, some sections of town had multiple incidents of crime targeting cyclists.

Pain is weakness leaving the body.

How do you eat an elephant?

I will not fail.


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MLMAVERICK
MLMAVERICK's Photo Posts: 242
9/13/11 12:57 P

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unfortunate my LBS only has 2 variations of lights. a 22 lumens cheapy and the big ole boys which they actually just got in only yesterday, so they're not willing to let them wander out of the store just yet, though they were very impressive and bright.

Anybody have any experience with any of these and care to weigh on on them?

www.rei.com/product/808632/cygolite-expili
on-180-usb-bike-light


www.rei.com/product/826117/niterider-minew
t350-cordless-bike-light


Edited by: MLMAVERICK at: 9/13/2011 (12:57)
- Mark

Co-Leader, Tennis Players Team


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BARRONVC
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9/13/11 12:44 P

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I ride on heavily wooded trails with no street lights.

"just slap a pair of cheapies on it tonight for the sake of safety"

Just because the initial investment is low it might cost you a ton in batteries, check the battery life. The rear flashers last a long time.

My light on high is 120 Lumens on Low 40.

If your trail is as dark as mine 40 is ok if you don't expect to see animals or obstacles, travel slowly and have some moon light. 40 is not enough for total darkness if you travel faster than 12 mph, critters need to be visible because they are not predictable. The faster you go the more light you need. 40 is fine for city streets.

If you just want to be visible you can get a white flasher for the top of your helmet.

I went to the LBS and they let me test lights on the trail before I bought one.


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MLMAVERICK
MLMAVERICK's Photo Posts: 242
9/13/11 12:17 P

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definitely going to stick to the bike paths i usually ride. designated bike paths, so i should have any unexpected instances. My only issue is that the bike paths are not lighted and are in wooded areas, so light will be at a minimum.

I window shopped yesterday and saw a couple different 20-30 lumens lights for 20-30 bucks and figured, while they were plenty bright, and might be ok for other folks seeing me, i'm not quite sure how well they'd work out lighting up my path for me.

@OUTDOORSYJORDY, i normally do about 15 miles and have no issues getting in prior to sunset, but lately i've been upping it to 20 miles, and not having issues. going to try a marathon distance tonight, 26.2 mi, and see how it goes, but i'm thinking i'll be coming in post-sunset as well.

Thats really what im thinking about. I dont intend to ride at night, but i do intend to be out until the sun sets and it starts getting somewhat dark out.

I suppose I'll trek out to the somewhat-local REI tomorrow night and check out the better model lights they have, and just slap a pair of cheapies on it tonight for the sake of safety.

- Mark

Co-Leader, Tennis Players Team


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BILL60
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9/13/11 7:13 A

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Super tips. I would add to not bike a route at night that you haven't ridden during daylight hours. You just never know what you can miss at night and if you're already aware of obstacles or potential dangers, you're that much safer. Enjoy.

"Excellence is but for the few."


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OUTDOORSYJORDY
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9/13/11 12:38 A

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I got cought in the dark the other day/night .
I wasn't thinking :)I had no lights.

I usually do a 30 mile ride and we start around 5:45.
And we came in around 7:30... The cars had their lights on.
We where on a 2 lane windy road.
My hubby snagged my front light for fishing (not cool)
And broke it.
All this to say...
Invest in a light for the front of your bike... or head lamp. Never thought of that... but that might be better.
and at least one light for the back.
I carry mace with me in my back pocket- :)
Around here we ride all kinds of random back roads and highways.



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TOPAHI
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9/12/11 12:05 P

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MLMAVERICK,

I think it is really important to have two headlights on your bike.
One on the handlebars and one on your helmet.
The bicycle is turned by leaning... and if the light is only mounted on the handlebars... you end up with the light often pointed off in the wrong direction.
By having a light mounted on your helmet, the light is always pointed where you are looking

Good headlights are important and expensive.
There are a lot of good lights out available out there from right around $100.00 to about $500.00 (or more).

The light output is measured in Lumens (look for something that has 300 lumens or above).
Run time is important factor to consider for your needs.
Recharge time may be an issue as well.
Anything with a Li-ion battery is going to be lighter, brighter, and burn longer.
Just like with most things, the more you pay... the better performance you get.

Tail lights are much less expensive. about $5.00 to $25.00
I run the Planet Bike Superflash Blinkie.
At the time I bought it this was one of the brightest taillights available.
It was about $15.00 (on sale)
I also use an inexpensive LED light on the back of my helmet (it is on a simple rubber stretch mount).

Good Luck... and let us know what you get.





Edited by: TOPAHI at: 9/12/2011 (12:08)
Tom

Riding a bike is FUN!
The treadmill is NOT!

Never argue with idiots... They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


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BARRONVC
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9/12/11 11:52 A

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I do a lot of night riding. Almost every night I ride 16.2 miles to the gym and back in the dark. I go about 12 miles on a local bike trail and the rest on lighted city roads going up 12%, 11%, 12%, and 10% grade. It's safe going up but not as safe going down. The bike goes really fast and they are stop lights and stop signs you can blow through.

I have a small Night Rider light with a rechargeable battery on my bars. I don't always turn it on. It's pretty darn bright and will last about 1.75 hours on a full charge.

On my helmet I have a Light & Motion Stella 120, that light is totally awesome. I have 3 settings, high beam, low beam and flashing.

We have lots of animals along the bike trail especially in fall. The trail is mostly heavily wooded right to edge of the past so heads up. Deer, rabbits, cats, coyote trying to eat the cats and rabbits, opossums, and raccoons. During this time I use the Night Rider fixed about 25 feet in front of me and Helmet light on High Beam so I can look around on the edge of the trail and look for eyeballs glowing. If I'm in an open area that I can see a long way I turn the helmet light to low and turn of the Night Rider, I do the same in a full moon.

It takes me 42 to 65 minutes to get to the gym depending on how I feel and wind. I take the chargers if needed to top off the batteries while working out.

I have two red blinkers on my back and helmet.

Don't use the flashing white light as it drives me nuts and give me memories of a bad disco from the 70's.

Light & Motion is the best I've ever used to this point.

Riding at night is safe if you are aware. You need to watch traffic and look out for drunks or people not aware. Make eye contact if you can. Hold your lane. You can blind a car if you look into there eyes with that helmet light.

Watch out for punks, I ride behind a school and after football games they are a little wild so have a plan. 1. They don't engage if you have the high beam and look into there faces. They can't see you and it backs them off. Never show fear and have your plan ready. 2. Get some Halt, pepper spray for dogs and other kinds of pests. 3. Cell phone. 4. Flat repair kit and basic tools. 5. Sharp knife with a folding blade and 1" pcs of old tires for emergencies. 6. Get a good back pack or racks. I use a High Sierra Air flow and take the camel bag out, tools, pump, rain gear, shoes for the gym, clothes for the gym, lock, chargers, and weight about 12 lbs max. Usually under 8.


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MLMAVERICK
MLMAVERICK's Photo Posts: 242
9/12/11 11:03 A

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Hey folks,

So as the weather starts cooling off, tis the season for the sun to start setting at an earlier time.

Now that i'm averaging 20 miles a ride, which takes me around 1.5-2 hours, I'm going to start coming to terms with riding while its darker out.

My riding is always exclusive to local bike paths which wind in and around local woooded areas. But they are bike paths all the same. Unfortunately, they're not lighted, and rarely will you come across a street.

So the obvious, I'll need a set of lights for the bike. A nice front facing light to illuminate my ride, and something on the back so folks see me.

Aside from that though, I'd love some pointers on riding when its darker out. My main concern is safety. How safe is a bike path away from main roads at tonight? Not only in terms of not hitting a pot hole or other debris, but maybe also in terms of the people who may lurk a path at night and want my money emoticon

- Mark

Co-Leader, Tennis Players Team


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