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Riding/Training in the dark (not a rollers post!)(9 posts)

Riding/Training in the dark (not a rollers post!)Wannabe
Apr 15, 2002 10:58 AM
The majority of my training time occurs before I go to work in the morning. That in itself is fine, but the problem is that for a majority of the year, there is not enough light for me to ride as long as I would like. I am getting tired of the trainer in the morning and the workouts are just not the same as being outside (why does my HR behave so differently anyway?).

How many of you ride/train in the dark? Other than lighting/clothing is there anything you do differently? I just got a 15w light and rear blinkie thingy for my bike and have suitable clothing. Any tips? Although I do cringe at putting that beast of a light and blinkie on my good bike but this indoor stuff has gotta stop.


re: Riding/Training in the dark (not a rollers post!)SteveO
Apr 15, 2002 11:09 AM
"Although I do cringe at putting that beast of a light and blinkie on my good bike"

so dont... i presume by 'the good bike' you mean the lightweight, fast, expensive one that you wipe-down after every use

Do your morning training rides on the old, heavy bike out in the shed. It wont negatively affect your training, i promise. In fact, in the dark, you wont realize the benefits of your 'good bike', since you'll be riding more conservatively.

Besides, it would stink to bend those expensive rims in the pothole you didnt see.
re: Riding/Training in the dark (not a rollers post!)heloise
Apr 15, 2002 11:13 AM
I love riding in the dark. Perhaps because i come from a mtb backround where nightrides are common? I really really enjoy being out on the road bike at night too.

One thing to consider is more than one blinky. You want to be lit up like a Christmas tree. I find that that "hi-vis" yellow is the most visable color. Illuminite is a godsend.

Just remember, more than ever, "ride like you are invisible", because at night you possibly are.

Have fun.
Sounds like you're all set to go.Alex-in-Evanston
Apr 15, 2002 11:18 AM
With 15w up front, the only visibility problem you'll have is blinding oncoming cars. Aim the focus of the light at a point on the ground about 30 feet in front of you. You should be more visible to traffic than you would be in daylight.

As for the rear blinky - I'm always amazed how well it works when I drive up behind a night rider. Your attention is drawn to it from a half mile away.

Worried about marring the nice bike with clip ons? I've never heard that one. The plastic clip of that blinky isn't going to hurt your seatpost, and my turbocat headlight certainly doesn't squeeze the bars any harder than my brake levers. You'll be fine.

Good luck - and have fun neglecting the trainer. That thing should be gathering dust by now anyway.

I've been an early morning rider for the paststeve1244
Apr 15, 2002 11:26 AM
couple years. I've got a 15W light on my bars, a red blinker on my seatpost and another one velcroed to the back of my helmet, just to be on the safe side.

Another thing I'd recommend is that you wear eye protection, preferably w/clear or amber lenses. Bugs, especially moths, love that bright white light up front.
Ride up hill first, it's less scary and helps warm up. nmdzrider
Apr 15, 2002 12:33 PM
re: Riding/Training in the dark (not a rollers post!)Ian
Apr 15, 2002 1:37 PM
Your 15w light up front should provide enough light for you to see and cars to see you. Most rear LED lights provide good visiblity from the rear. You may also want to get the yellow / reflective ankle bands. I used to use these and because it is moving with your legs, will catch and reflect the light to cars, catching the drivers attention. Also, check out TireFlys. These are little battery powered lights that you attach to the air valve on your wheel. When the wheel turns, it lights up. With all that, how could you be missed?

Tips? Sure, I got some tips.Ahimsa
Apr 15, 2002 3:18 PM
First tip: Go to an auto parts store and buy some reflective tape. Lights are nice, but a bit of tape here and there is a good idea. Helps to make you visible from all sorts of odd angles. Lucky me, they make a black tape that glows white. I use this stuff everywhere. Especially on the ends of the cork instead of electrical tape.

Second tip: Beware of animals. Nocturnal beasties will run out in front of you with zero warning. I learned this the hard way (See my whistle pig post in the backlog). Bums wandering into the street or trail are nearly as bad (depending upon where you live) as they will come out of shadows when spooked.

Third tip: Leave your nice light wheels at home and get some more bomber ones on the bike. Bigger tires too. That way when you nail the pot hole you never noticed you'll be less likely to be stranded. The beater bike idea is also a good plan, though I have a decent dedicated commuter that is great for this.

Fourth tip: Carry a small flashlight (mini Maglite for me). Nice to have in a pinch. Yes, you have a light on the bike that would work as flashlight, but why not have a back up light source as well? You'd be surprised how handy this is. They don't weigh much at all.

Tip five: Have fun. I love my night commute home. It is so quiet on the streets (compared to daytime rush hour) and there are no joggers or rollerbladers on the multi use trails. I take a meandering route that is equal parts street and trail. I am many times the only cyclist. It may be my favorite ride.


Apr 16, 2002 6:11 AM
Went for my first outside morning ride this am. It was great. We're having record warmth here so I was minimally dressed in shorts, booties and long sleeved jersey. Fired up the lights and off I went. No traffic, peaceful. It was incredible.