Solo night riding – MTFU?

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  • Solo night riding – MTFU?
  • Premier Icon tomhughes46
    Subscriber

    So, just got back from (not) night riding. Drove out to the Mendips, got the bike out of the car and suddenly realised how dark/remote it was… Put the bike back in the car and went to Tesco instead. I have a whole catalogue of excuses for bailing including:

    – It was raining, and despite it being dry all day here, there was a lot of standing water around – wet limestone is not very grippy.
    – It was very foggy (visibility < 5m on the way there).
    – I’m nursing the tail end of a hangover.

    Fact is through, if it had been daylight none of this would have stopped me. I am perfectly happy riding on my own in the daytime. I live alone, so if I did kill myself no one would miss me for a while but still…

    At the risk of opening myself up for a torrent of abuse with this question; am I a massive wuss, or is night riding solo a scary proposition?

    Premier Icon terrahawk
    Subscriber

    I do it all the time. it’s ok when you get used to it.
    i do understand your apprehension though.

    (if I didn’t ride early/late I’d probably not ride at all)

    barrykellett
    Member

    What age are you?!

    Edric 64
    Member

    Lived in the Mendip area most of my life and done lots of solo night riding .You will get used to it in the end .Scared by the deer and badgers were you ?Movement in the undergrowth can make you jump a bit especially when your head torch picks out beasties eyes !!

    Premier Icon tomhughes46
    Subscriber

    I’m 27. And not normally scared of the dark. It was a mixture of rational ‘If I have an off I’m fooked’ and irrational fear.

    Premier Icon tomhughes46
    Subscriber

    Yes, have seen the eyes when riding in a group, if you end up ahead/behind the group the eyes can be a bit scary, but it can be rationalised. Perhaps I have seen too many slasher movies?

    Premier Icon terrahawk
    Subscriber

    stick some ID in your pocket and a spare jacket in winter and you’ll be ok.

    Gary_M
    Member

    I ride around 120 miles a week in the dark in winter, it’s no big deal.

    What were you scared of?

    Premier Icon tomhughes46
    Subscriber

    Spare clothing is a good shout. Didn’t think about that. Think I’m going to pick a clear night with a strong moon and have another crack.

    jekkyl
    Member

    Watsa matta? scared the seat will hurt your vagina?

    Premier Icon tomhughes46
    Subscriber

    What were you scared of?

    That’s the problem – I dont know. I did text a brief route summary and return time to my mate – binning it on wet limestone was a concern, but it just felt like a ‘scary’ undertaking.

    Back in the house it seems ridiculous now…

    Premier Icon tomhughes46
    Subscriber

    I should add I commute on road in the dark no problem, it was the prospect of riding off road that freaked me out!

    maxtorque
    Member

    Get a 650b, that way the trails you ride look like this:

    Premier Icon tomhughes46
    Subscriber

    Watsa matta? scared the seat will hurt your vagina?

    Yes, but that happens in daylight too.

    (Was this a quick edit?)

    bomba
    Member

    am I a massive wuss, or is night riding solo a scary proposition?

    Oddly, you don’t list my predominant fear which is crashing and incapacitating myself. Crashing badly on a solo ride is a bad enough proposition, but riding at night is more risky and crashing in the middle of nowhere at night when you’re unlikely to have another human being pass by for at least 8 hours is pretty terrifying (which is only intensified if you’ve read Aaron Ralston’s autobiography…)

    So, always leave a route plan with an estimated time of arrival home.

    Of course, if you’ve already done that and you’ve still pansied out, then yeah, you’re a wuss ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon tomhughes46
    Subscriber

    That’s it! I’m still on 26″ wheels. Thread closed.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    Night riding solo is (initially) a scary proposition, and yes you are a massive wuss not to have tried it.
    Easily put right though – Dress appropriately for the cold, lights good to go, tell someone where you are going, and get back out to the Mendips tomorrow night for some solo night-riding exhilaration ๐Ÿ™‚

    Gary_M
    Member

    Back in the house it seems ridiculous now

    That’s because it is ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon Simon
    Subscriber

    So, always leave a route plan with an estimated time of arrival home.

    Do people really do this if they’re riding solo???

    Premier Icon tomhughes46
    Subscriber

    Bomba – this did become a very pressing issue, hence texting my mate, but as he is 100 miles away, not sure how useful he would be…

    Premier Icon jameso
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    Even someone in sh1t as deep as Joe Simpson was can make it back alive )

    Premier Icon tomhughes46
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    I never bother with a route plan, but generally encounter a mix of walkers, Dhers and horse riders on the Mendips so pretty happy I’d be found if I really hurt myself. In the pitch black and pissing rain this ‘safety net’ is removed, and his is the rational half of it.

    Still think there is an irrational fear somewhere – gotta MTFU..

    b r
    Member

    stick some ID in your pocket and a spare jacket in winter and you’ll be ok.

    Depends, especially on where you are – and the weather.

    I fell off yesterday, face-planted in Yair Forest up in the Borders. While it was only 3-ish the light was starting to fade and I did then stop to think what would’ve happened if I’d knocked myself out – it was below freezing and the likelihood of someone coming across me before the next morning pretty slim (I’d seen no one at all for the previous 2 hours).

    We night ride every week, and where we go it’s pretty certain you’d never be found until the next day, at the earliest, if you fell off big time on your own.

    bomba
    Member

    So, always leave a route plan with an estimated time of arrival home.

    Do people really do this if they’re riding solo???

    If I’m night riding, absolutely. For peace of mind and as an insurance policy, it’s such a quick and simple thing to do there’s no reason not to do it.

    ianfitz
    Member

    Leave a rough route and ETA back home with someone reliable. Take a bit of extra warm kit and food. Or hook up with others? There’s a new night group tide ride in the peak that was organised online. I’m sure you could do similar

    You’ve covered the basics so can crack on. I’ve done many hours of dark fell running and biking it is more risky rhan day time but so atmospheric and quiet. Once you are used to it I’m sure you’ll love it.

    Dibbs
    Member

    I commute across the Quantocks and work 12 hour shifts, so this time of the year most of my commutes are in the dark. I tend to stick to the lanes on the way to work and leave the offroad stuff for the trip home.
    I suppose I’ve been doing it so long that I just take it for granted now. That said I have fallen off and broken my ankle up there on a warm summer evening solo ride, that was bad enough, if it had happened this time of year it could have turned nasty pretty quickly.

    Premier Icon tomhughes46
    Subscriber

    Thanks all. Some good advice and surprisingly more positive comments than I was expecting!

    Think I’m going to have another crack next weekend

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    The fog would have put me off.

    dan1980
    Member

    As a friend once told me, there’s nothing out there at night that isn’t there during the day. Its just best to remember at night they’re hungry…

    Premier Icon Phil_H
    Subscriber

    Stay on the road, keep clear of the moors.
    Beware the moon.
    ๐Ÿ˜€

    Premier Icon chrismanc
    Subscriber

    Jekkyl made me lmfao.

    It’s all in the mind when you start thinking more and more about it. Ive managed to scare myself walking down streets at night, making madness up in my head.

    Everything just seems more intimidating at night aswell.

    Royston
    Member

    What happens when one solo nightrider comes across another solo nightrider in the woods or on the moors?

    MarkBrewer
    Member

    Perhaps I have seen too many slasher movies?

    I ride on my own at night now and again on the Quantocks and Haldon, i also watch lots of horror films and i find i always start thinking about them during a ride ๐Ÿ˜ณ

    It makes the hairs on your neck stand up but i just put it down to during the day you can see whats around you and at night you can’t so it gets the imagination working overtime. The best one was the night one of the wild horses decided to sneak up on me on the Quantocks, nearly filled my shorts ๐Ÿ˜†

    yunki
    Member

    I’ve had the same sort of problem on occasion, which is a bit bizarre because I have spent sizeable swathes of my life living out of doors in remote places..

    The best way that I’ve found to combat it is to start the ride sometime before sunset and then by the time it gets dark you’re already pumped up on adrenaline and endorphins and all that, and ready to rip any zombies/lions/axe murders apart with your bare teeth

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    I night ride a lot solo mostly in the Peak. I carry ID and a phone, usually ride trails I know already and tackle techy stuff with a little more caution than normal, but you do just get used to it. Now it feels kind of comfortable and familiar.

    I don’t see why people worry about weird stuff in the middle of nowhere. If you were a criminal or a deranged murderer, why would you potter about Cut Gate in the middle of the night waiting for a solo mountain biker to appear?

    I don’t think it’s a MTFU thing anyway, just about making rational judgments and accepting a level of risk that you’re happy with. If you’re not happy, don’t do it

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    The best one was the night one of the wild horses decided to sneak up on me on the Quantocks, nearly filled my shorts

    just wait until you encounter the huskies…

    papamountain
    Member

    Wuss. I ride alone 3 times a week at midnight in the deepest darkest forest. (swinley). Always empty which is cool as I hear that during the day it is heaving. Very occasionally see a headlight in the distance but never bumped into anyone yet.

    yetidave
    Member

    I ride twice a week alone. Leave a note with someone you trust to note the time you should have been back by and where to search from. Otherwise much the same risk as riding in daytime somewhere remote/exposed.

    Premier Icon doug_basqueMTB.com
    Subscriber

    I just had my first solo night ride in about a decade. It was amazing, words fail me. I’ve only used lights a handful of times in the last few years because I can ride when I like but a new baby stopped that for just now. A dog jumped me when I was trying to set up a photo but other than that I was very relaxed. I had plenty of clothes and a charged phone. My partner knew which mountain I was on but not my actual route, I did know that I would have signal in that area though. I walked one exposed bit and general speeds were way slower than normal so I think it’s actually safer than solo day riding for me. High perceived risk often makes stuff safer in that way ime.
    So, yeah man up. Not riding is a far scarier prospect than riding in sub optimal conditions! ๐Ÿ™‚

    samuri
    Member

    Sorry but yes, MTFU. It’s a pootle across some barely remote hills.

    Far more likely to get knocked off riding back on the main road.

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