Night rides solo – do you lose the fear with time?

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  • Night rides solo – do you lose the fear with time?
  • Premier Icon binners

    My lights went one night while riding Llandegla. I was bringing up the rear (as per) on the last section in the woods. It was so dark I couldn't see my feet. I stood there for what seemed like an eternity (probably 5 minutes) waiting for the lads to realise that I was missing and come and get me.

    While waiting, I was listening to the rustling trees and literally bricking it!!!! All I could think about was the Blair Witch.

    Lesson: If your riding on your own, take some back up lights

    No. THEY will get you at some point. You have been warned.

    What Peter means is that he will get you 🙁 Think Pulp Fiction…


    Solo night riding is fun and letting your imagination run wild is all part of that fun.
    The one drawback for me is that it is a dangerous sport and if you have a big off with no one to help you then you could be lying there all night waiting for help (or bleeding to death of course!). When i crashed and broke my collarbone and dislocated my elbow i would have struggled to get my phone out my pack as it was hugely painful and i was down to one arm – luckily i crashed in front of a laughing couple instead. They stopped laughing when they noticed my elbow sticking up through my forearm!!! It'd be best to let someone know where you are riding and roughly what time you'll be back so they can raise the alarm if you don't show up.


    Sapcemonkey, I watched dog soldiers. I though it was good. The next day day though my 2 friends had left me behind in the dark and a dog started barking the other side of the hedge and I just heard it running through the leaves. I was expecting an owner's voice to shout out but it didn't, so I did get out of the saddle for a extra spurt, half expecting some sharp teeth in my ankle. It did make my heart beat a bit faster I can tell you :oops:. Turns out it was a guard dog for some stables. Scariest thing now are suicidal rabits ut the odd barn owl flying inches past your head does make you jump. 😆

    What fear?

    Without wishing to appear excessively testosterone ridden like Goan here, I'm never really had an issue with riding in the dark either. Just becuase the big light in the sky isn't about, dosn't change owt else. Nice to see the badgers out though.


    I do think it is rather amusing to hear that you've gone out in the woods with a light and you're still scared! Mind you, I did grow up walking through the woods as a means of getting from A to B – and still do. No torches for me. But I do know where I'm going though.


    I regularly ride solo at night and it sh*ts me up almost everytime. Sometimes it might be for a minute or so if I see or hear something strange, other times I could spend the entire ride – 1 or 2 hours – bricking it. But its all good fun and when you get in to work next day and sit in front of that computer you know why you do it.

    Definitely take back-up lights, phone and let someone know where you are going.

    Weirdest thing I've seen is being on the south downs at around 11pm and seeing a silhouette of a man coming up the trail towards me. As I got near him he turned away and hid his face. I have never ridden so fast in my life.

    The strangest thing I heard from some mates is when they were in Stanmer Park and came round a corner to find a guy in a ninja outfit standing in the middle of the trail. He jumped out the way and then ran next to them down the trail and then disappeared.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable

    Don't stop being afraid… that's when they get you. 😉


    You were riding at night, presumably with a silly bright mtb light, and some poor person shielded their eyes when they got near you. Hmm. I wonder why they did that?

    Could it be that they preferred shielding their eyes to losing their night vision for the next 15 minutes?

    Premier Icon Imabigkidnow

    it's the occaisional reported sightings of large black cats (i.e panther) in the Downs that always get my mind wandering.


    pic's of the doggers please 🙄


    It's when you ride down deliverance and hear banjoes at the bottom that you need to start to worry. How are you at squealing like a hog boy?


    spend a couple of nights riding in the company of muntjacs with a badly wounded hare in your camelbak, that should toughen you up a bit.


    My commute involves around 12 miles of riding across a moor in the pitch black. I was a wee bit freaked out the first few times but really enjoy the darkness now.

    I always have my ipod in so can't hear rustling in the undergrowth anyway.

    Although last week something touched my right shoulder which made my heart race a bit. I have no idea what it could have been but something touched me in the darkness.


    glenp – i probably didn't explain myself very well but the covering of the face was different to the standard shielding the eyes. Hard to explain but felt weird. Seen plenty of walkers cover their eyes but this was different. Spooked me anyway.

    Plus of course you're miles from anywhere at 11pm at night in total darkness.

    Premier Icon Notter

    To all those scoffing at the idea of being "scared", firstly it's relative, I don't think any of us are saying we're genuinely in fear of our lives. On edge is probably a better description.

    I tend to night ride in Swinley Forest, which is near Bracknell……now if you've seen the general popoulation of Bracknell you'd understand why the odd noise / experience here and there can be slightly disconcerting!

    Premier Icon theotherjonv

    Like most on here I get freaked occasionally but there's usually an explanation, and then once your skin stops prickling with the adrenaline you can laugh on it.

    I got big freaked one time though. Was riding through a dense forested area after a wet spell, with standing water on the ground, and the lights reflected off the puddle at the perfect angle to just catch and light a bit of low wispy mist hanging under the overhanging branches. And I could have sworn it was a proper phantom, like the ones at the end of Indiana Jones.

    Premier Icon billyboy

    About ten years ago I was riding through some scrub land at about 00.30 on my commute home. It was midwinter and -5C. The nearest house was about two miles away. I came round a tight corner to find this little old man in the centre of the path. He was wearing a cap and an old tweed suit. It was "oh shit have I just gone through a time warp" type clothing. He looked as surprised as me and we exchanged greetings. I asked him if he was ok and he politely said he was fine, then he walked off purposefully into the darkness.

    It is good to wonder why sometimes?

    Another time on an early commute into work I found fresh human footprints in the fresh fall of snow that had only just started. It was on the same ridge of hills but a few miles west and a mile or so from any house. At 04.30? What was that all about?

    Premier Icon cookeaa

    The fear is with me until I get through the first bit of woodland single track on my regular night loop, once it’s out of the way and I’ve not been bludgeoned to death by a nutter I think it’s OK to unwind…

    I did have an Owl fly through my light beam the other day, now that scared the shit out of me….


    A funny thing the dark…. I have no problems riding through any of the local woods/moors at night….except for Esholt Woods. For some reason I'm always on the edge of sprinting from something. Not a clue what or why but it never changes.


    I made an effort to overcome fear of the dark indoors when I was 14. And I've done some gentle night-time hill walking and loved it. But I set off riding and everything is cool until there is some slight unexpected noise and panic immediately kicks-in.

    There's a ruined lodge in the Mendip Lodge woods that has a partially collapsed basement that you can easily crawl into (and we do). On one outing I suggested my burly, macho mate crawl in there. He approached the black hole with his torch but suddenly got gripped and couldn't do it.

    It's feels like something primal, something about the darkness and the woods closing in…

    They're coppicing our local woods at the moment. Freaked me out the first time I saw strange lights in the woods, and then found that they were charcoal fires burning. Still find them quite eerie though.

    Weirdest experience was a few weeks back. Came caning around a blind corner and had to slam on the anchors as a tramp (complete with manky dog on string) had set up camp in the middle of the trail. He had a little fire and a brew on and everything. He looked like he'd been on the mushrooms so think I scared him more than he scared me. Wished him a cheery good evening and sped on my way.

    Ride alone in the woods a couple of evenings a week and have never been spooked. Not because I'm super brave, it's just I never really thought about it. Didn't realise there might be wierd stuff out there. So – thanks for that. Not looking forward to my ride tonight as much as usual…

    Sorry….another weird thing I've noticed lately is that there still seem to be loads of bats around. Isn't it a bit late in the year for them to be flitting around?

    Premier Icon Notter

    Not for vampire bats from Transylvania…..


    I suppose alot depend's on where you grew up, i have lived in a rural area all my life so the dark doesn't bother me but if you grew up in a city your out your comfort zone a little and the mind may wander? I enjoy night riding on my tod, last week i switched my light's off just to see how quickly my eye's adjusted and after around 5 minute's all was well but even up here you do see some odd stuff…. 😯 😆


    These folk that get scared in the dark – have you ever wild-camped?


    These folk that get scared in the dark – have you ever wild-camped?

    A lot, which is maybe why I don't get too scared in the woods. Used to work as a forest ranger and teach wild camping/bushcraft, so I kind of like the woods. I've still had the occasional 'what the fuggin ell was that' moment, which can be a little nerve wrecking when you know most of the sounds the woods should make at night.

    "These folk that get scared in the dark – have you ever wild-camped?"

    Yeah up in the Highlands, Lakes and Snowdonia some years back – absolutely love it. Not in the woods though.

    Premier Icon lowey

    Something about Winter Hill near Rivi that sometimes gets to me. I particularly remember getting the heebie jeebie's big time on the moor. Fog was down, difficult to see through the beam of the light and I got a puncture. Whilst fixing it, I would put money on hearing voices spilling over the moor from a direction where no path is. Not an ordinary conversation either, just random shouts. If I'm honest is scared the bejesus out of me to the point of abandoning the ride and getting of the hill as quick as possible.

    Samuri… love that story. I;d shit myself in that situation too.

    oh, and about 3 weeks ago, came across a nutter on the mast road on winter hill, just behind 2 lads. He was just stood at the side of the road in ordinary street clothes, as soon as my beam caught him, he raised a phone to his ear and started screaming down it. Had to ride right past him.


    flippinheckler – in reference to my dog being dangerous and unpredictable, utter rubbish. I'm yet to come accross anyone who doesn't find her adorable, particularly grannies with terriers. No such thing as bad breeds, although those Akita's…

    Wild camping's fine

    Walking in the dark's fine

    But on a bike, its like sensory deprivation, there's no sound other than wind noise, tires and breathing. And you cant look backwards properly, just glance over your shoulder.

    Went for a cheeky spin last night on some paths near the M4, just enough mist to obscure the limits of my lights, and unfamiliar tracks, I was absolutely bricking myself!


    I refer you to a previous post of mine

    bigsi – Member
    Did one night ride solo last year. Came to a gate in a fence which divides 2 fields with nothing but a heard of sheep for company, unclipped and went through it making sure it was shut properly, got 20 seconds down the path and heard the gate slam shut…………….

    Never again

    Hope that helps 😉

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