Night Riding

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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kgibbo1868
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Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:36 pm

by kgibbo1868

I am planning a very long 1 day ride so I am planning a very early depart in the dark. I don't normally ride at night so I am looking for any advice ahead of time to make riding in the dark as safe and enjoyable as possible. I have quite a good front and rear light and some very good reflective tape that I will put on my bike and clothing to make me as visible as possible. The roads will be quiet roads with not much traffic. I am more worried about wildlife to be honest... Any thoughts would be appreciated! :D
Pain is my friend!

bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

Good lights are all that needed and maybe a spare depending on how much riding in the dark you do. I ride at night every day and simply good bright lights are all that is needed. I use a cateye volt 300 and a leyene microdirve rear light. UK drivers have no trouble seeing me and give me more than I get in the day time. night riding is safer.

kode54
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Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 9:39 pm

by kode54

my main concern when biking when the days are short is running out of battery...especially for my rear light. i typically use one rear light but on long rides, i may put a spare on my seat post as a back up...something that doesn't weigh much and works for several hours ( i leave the rear blinker on my entire ride no matter how dark or light it is). for the front, i'll use my Lupine Piko with a larger battery. when it gets light out...i'll switch to blink mode and when the sun goes down, i'll put it back to always on mode.
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kgibbo1868
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:36 pm

by kgibbo1868

Thanks, as I am planning on being out for 16 hours I have a spare front and rear light. I am also taking a mobile battery pack capable of charging an i-phone 5 times so that should be heaps.
Pain is my friend!

bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

My front light battery died on the way home tonight. I reached into the panniers and pulled out a charged light.

If i am on a long ride in the dark i either have a many lights or one lamp like the cateye volt 1200 that will last. A dymano is the other way.

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TonyM
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

I am curious....are you doing a round trip when you do these long bike tour? Do you bike 16 hours in one day??

kgibbo1868
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:36 pm

by kgibbo1868

TonyM wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:04 am
I am curious....are you doing a round trip when you do these long bike tour? Do you bike 16 hours in one day??
TonyM, my planned ride is 300km with 4500m climbing riding from my house to the other side of Tasmania (where I live). I am planning on departing at 3:00am and hoping to arrive at 7:00pm having a few rest and food stops on the way. I’ll need to pack quite a bit of food and water as it is 90-100km between stops. My wife will leave later in the day in our car and meet me there or function as a sag wagon if I run out of steam. This will be my first ride of this length so I am a bit nervous, but regardless I’m keen to give it a try.
Pain is my friend!

Squashednuts
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Location: Christchurch New Zealand

by Squashednuts

kgibbo1868 wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:37 am


planned ride is 300km with 4500m climbing riding from my house to the other side of Tasmania (where I live). I am planning on departing at 3:00am and hoping to arrive at 7:00pm having a few rest and food stops on the way. I’ll need to pack quite a bit of food and water as it is 90-100km between stops. My wife will leave later in the day in our car and meet me there or function as a sag wagon if I run out of steam. This will be my first ride of this length so I am a bit nervous, but regardless I’m keen to give it a try.
Impressive, very bloody impressive ... Is 300km about the longest ride you can do in Tassie?
Which animals most concern you?

kgibbo1868
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:36 pm

by kgibbo1868

Possums and Wallabies are my main concern. You could ride much further if your doing a loop or going from one end to the other.
Pain is my friend!

kgibbo1868
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Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:36 pm

by kgibbo1868

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Pain is my friend!

DutchMountains
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:16 pm

by DutchMountains

Can't help you with wildlife worries, but
  • it can get cold at night; having a buff, long gloves etc. with you can make the difference between comfortable and uncomfortable during the cold hours
  • wearing a hi-viz (reflective) gilet kills two birds with one stone: improves visibility and adds a little warmth
  • consider running two tail lights, one blinking and one solid; it will also act as a backup, you may not notice when a tail light fails
  • having a small head lamp is damn convenient when you have to fix a tyre, search your bag for supplies etc.
  • starting at 3am means 4-5 hours riding in the dark I guess? then you don't need excessive longevity for your front light, but remember that manufacturers are usually optimistic ;-) A Lezyne Macro 800XL runs about 7 hours at 150 lumens from my experience.
  • be conservative going down hill (wild life, potholes etc that you will only see when they're close to your front wheel...)

The most important thing for riding long(er) distances IMO is riding at a pace that takes only little effort. It's not just that you need to keep going for a long time, but you need to keep eating during the ride and when your effort is (relatively) high you may get problems with your digestion. Speaking of eating, personally I prefer fairly "normal" food during such rides instead of gels and sports drinks.

mattr
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Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

You planning to arrive at destination at the same time as your wife or meet up somewhere in the middle? If the latter (and as it's your first go at a long ride) it might be worth having some sort of comfort bag in the car for a half way refuel/fresh water/kit swap etc.

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TonyM
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

kgibbo1868 wrote:
TonyM wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:04 am
I am curious....are you doing a round trip when you do these long bike tour? Do you bike 16 hours in one day??
TonyM, my planned ride is 300km with 4500m climbing riding from my house to the other side of Tasmania (where I live). I am planning on departing at 3:00am and hoping to arrive at 7:00pm having a few rest and food stops on the way. I’ll need to pack quite a bit of food and water as it is 90-100km between stops. My wife will leave later in the day in our car and meet me there or function as a sag wagon if I run out of steam. This will be my first ride of this length so I am a bit nervous, but regardless I’m keen to give it a try.
Wow that‘s sound exiting!! Wish you a nice ride!!!

Marin
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by Marin

Sounds great! Backup lights, lots of food & water, go!

kgibbo1868
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:36 pm

by kgibbo1868

Thanks for the great advice, I have a roll of hi vis tape that seems really great. I have put some on the back of my helmet, tool bag, gilet, seat stays, forks, and some small pieces on my wheels as well so I should light up like a Christmas tree! I have 2 tail lights and 2 head lights so am good that way as well. Great call on the long gloves, cold hands suck! I agree about going easy on down hill runs especially in the dark. If the plan works the wife will pass me with around 90 km left to ride but that is a big if. I have live tracking on my wahoo bolt so she can check up on me during the day and see how I am going. I told her not to worry unless she sees me traveling at 120 km/hr with a HR of zero...... LOL
Pain is my friend!

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