- Do I need to man up? (solo night riding)
I got some nice new lights with the idea of a few evenings blasts without the hassle of coordinating with my riding buddies. I can be on nice MTB trails within 10 mins of leaving the house.
So, got my bike out, rode to where the trail begins and found it a little unnerving. There’s a 20 min winding climb to begin where you can either hear insects, distant dogs and the odd strange noise or yourself breathing through your arse, depending on how quickly you want to reach the top. I began with the former but after one inexplicable crack and rustle in the undergrowth sped up more and more.
You know that feeling where you think there’s something behind you. You know there isn’t really but rather than be rational you go more and more quickly and the increased adrenaline freaks you out even more….
I got 3/4 of the way to the top, really, really jumpy. Spun my bike around and rode home as quickly as I could!
Anyone else unsure about solo night rides? Not a commute home but MTB’ing. Do I need to man up?Posted 3 years agotuskaloosaMember
Yes you do 🙂 but I would imagine it’s quite normal. I once swore I saw a clown with a knife standing at the end of the fire road climb.
I think with solo night rides it is a good idea to tell someone where you are going to be/ride etc. If I can remember I send a quick msg home to say I’ve arrived/done.
the only weirdo in the woods is going to be you
but pretty much this sums it up!Posted 3 years agogallowayboySubscriber
I like solo night riding – it’s complete escapism, but I’m used to walking/running at night on by own; There’s more chance of seeing wildlife with the lack of chat. It turns an ordinary trip out into a big adventure, and I usually get home elated. Embrace the darkness!
But i’d rather go with someone else though, its a question of taking the opportunity to get out when I can at the moment.
Remember your at more risk on your own if it all goes pete tong – the other night I bit off more than I could chew, went otb, landed on my head and broke a helmet light mount. I was very lucky, and I’ve restricted my route ambitions/speed considerably.Posted 3 years agothomthumbMember
you get used to it. not that you get scared less but that being scared and the adreniline rush that comes with it is familiar.
Having said that i mostly ride at night with people – and i’ve got less used to being alone.
on my old regular loop, I’d set off the security light on a really creepy house (on it’s own in the middle of the woods) when it was ~200 m behind. It wouldn’t light me up – just change the angle of shadows a bit. suddenly I wouldn’t be overheating and working hard – i’d be flying up the hill!!Posted 3 years agomolgripsSubscriber
Do I need to man up?
Yes. I used to get scared, but I got a grip 🙂 Until I startle a barn owl, which happens regularly. They are white, shine brightly in your lights and quite scary at first…
My favourite is being on the mountains night riding, rather than in the woods. Ace 🙂Posted 3 years agodannyhMember
I’ve not ridden alone at night for about 3 years now – apart from a very occasional hour and a half blast up and down a couple of local hills.
For me it is a safety thing – I had a fairly big off when I first got into night riding (and was only riding solo). I did a couple of ribs, but had to crawl home afterwards – 10pm on a Sunday night in early April, no phone reception – likelihood of anyone coming along until morning = slim.
Plus communal night riding has to end with a pint – it’s the law.Posted 3 years agoglobaltiMember
My brother in Michigan rides on trails through the glacial drumlins, small lakes and birch forests around the area. He was out a couple of weeks ago alone in the dark when he heard a snort like a large animal then the thunder of hooves, right behind him. Says he didn’t look back but was so frightened that he rode on like a demented nutter, not stopping until he reached his car. Fear gives you wings!Posted 3 years agoYakSubscriber
I think in 12 years or so of solo night rides, these are my incidents:
3 or 4 dogging session interruptions. No bother.
1 loose guard-dog. Properly terrifying as my headlight had failed so I couldn’t turn around to see how close it was.
1 odd bloke in a field. He looked startled. No idea what was going on.
Many bats in my face
1 big crash, but could ride home
But lots of lovely empty trails. Many owls and other wildlife spotted. Lots of long rides where there is no deadline for the finish.
It’s well worth the effort.Posted 3 years agoPaul@RTWMember
What tracker apps do people use?
Road ID on an Android phone. Works ok for nothing. Little flakey if you ask it to do something like send out the start message at the same time as you’re starting another app like Strava but otherwise ok.
As others have said, you’ve just got to get used to riding in the dark. I remember being nervous when I went out on my own for the first time as a young twenty something but I’m doing 2 or 3 rides a week through the woods and trails on my own in the dark these days and don’t give it a second thought.Posted 3 years agomahaloMember
i ride alone at night sometimes around MOD forests in Surrey/Hampshire. tbh you always see loads of other riders about so not too bad, but when youre plodding along, you glance to one side and your light pics up a bunch of ghillied up soldiers with gas masks, night vision lenses and machine guns crouching in the trees you tend to shit it a bit!!!Posted 3 years agobenp1Subscriber
I love night riding, which is fortunate as that’s the majority of my riding
Don’t mind going out on my own, don’t mind the solitude, quite like it to be honest
But I’m rarely in the middle of nowhere, or up in the mountains, so it’s relatively safe if something goes wrong
It was heaving down last night, night riding was quite wet and I would have bottled it if it wasn’t for the fact that 3 of us had agreed to meet upPosted 3 years ago
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