Solo night riding – MTFU?

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  • Solo night riding – MTFU?
  • I ride solo at night in the winter about four times a week. As Badlywiredog says, why would the axe wielding murderer be after you?
    I am out walking two dogs normallly and one of them is a huge deerhoud and he is a comfort (scary but useless). You get used to it and riding with no lights and moonshadow is really worth it.
    Hello Doug, we were talking about you last night and when we were coming out to Spain again. Decided on another year in Wales, we are so dull!
    Maybe next year!

    Hey Eddie, my ears were burning! It would be great to see you again but I know it’s hard to get it all lined up. Maybe take out some lights next time for some nocturnal uplift 🙂


    just wait until you encounter the huskies…

    We saw them in Greatwood last weekend when the sled racing was on but it was during the day though. Only recently realized they did an evening race, that could be a bit scary on a solo night ride seeing a group of rabid hungry wolves heading towards you (which is what they would have turned into had i encountered them at night 😆 )


    I ride solo at night all the time. I don’t have a tv, I have probably watched about 8 movies in my life and don’t read. My mind is a blank canvas for solo night riding :O)

    However,I have watched Dog soldiers many years ago and I think you should view this image to keep in the back of your mind for the next solo night ride ;O)


    Premier Icon eddiebaby

    Tbh I pants myself just commuting back down a couple of dark lonely cycle routes at 11pm when all I can think of is crackheafds out to nick my bike and phone.
    Joke’s on them, my phone is crap.

    Ridgeway night rides soon on my commute. Better than nocturnal pissheads on the road heading back after a lock in.


    I do a lot of night riding around the south Lakes where I live. Quite often go out over Kentmere on my own at night, including up and over Garburn! Not saying that it’s a sensible thing to do but with work and family commitments there is little other time to ride some weeks.

    I’ve bought a Garmin 810 so that the other half can at least track where I am in real time.

    Think I’m going to pick a clear night with a strong moon and have another crack.

    You sure about that?

    Premier Icon JoeG

    There is nothing at all to worry about!


    A few weeks ago I rode up Mt Fromme at 9pm here in North Vancouver for a short trailbuild session and ride with a buddy. We finished our planned work in about an hour and a half and descended a trail, then he announced in the middle of the forest that he was going to take off in another direction as he needed to get home early. I could have gone along with him but my macho pride (and a couple of large road climbs back up to my house) convinced me to ride home along the Baden Powell trail alone, at 11pm. A minute or two alone in bear country (I know they’re supposed to be hibernating by now, but I’ve seen footprints in the snow in the backyard of my previous home the xmas before last, and that was further down the mountain…) and I was cacking myself. The recent cougar sightings posted up at the trailhead and the huge blackbear at my front door in July didn’t help my fears much. I have never ridden that trail as quickly, nor made as much noise in doing so before. I don’t intend on riding alone at night again anytime soon…

    haven’t you seen the film 127 hours?… what could possibly go wrong?


    Yep, BC and solo night rides don’t mix.. Have a big off or a tech failure and you’re a potential yummy midnight snack for one of our carnivorous population… No thanks. I won’t even take the dog on a group night ride.


    I do take some of them hand warmers and keep meaning to get a foil blanket.


    If a solo night rider falls in the woods at night, will he make a sound?


    Been night riding at CYB with my 5 yr old son a couple of times,quick spin down the Minotour track,he thinks it’s cool.
    There is mobile coverage and i live 10 mins away so i know the place well and we have a lot of Lumen onboard 😀

    Choose a clear night,full moon helps,i wouldn’t go in the fog.

    Went up the Cnicht once during full moon,it was brilliant standing on the top,view was amazing with the moon lighting up the surrounding lakes. 🙂


    This is my over the top night riding setup, but ensures I’m not worried about what time my frozen corpse will be found in the morning if I do take a spill.

    Endomondo doing live tracking, where signal possible, with jacket and proper trousers in bag with bivvy bag if braving shorts at night.

    Spare nokia brick phone with charge. Spare non bike torch, need more that 4 hours burn time if you become seperated from bike with light attached.

    Tell your nearest and dearest to have a look at the route on endo before they go to bed and if it stops and stays in one place that isn’t the end of the loop for a while then give the phone a call.

    There is MTFU, and just being silly, all the above are nearly always in my bag anyway, apart from trousers/jacket in depending on day so very little additional effort required.

    Premier Icon boxelder

    Also, chew any trail snackage fully – you could choke to death.

    Premier Icon cloudnine

    Lurking behind every tree….

    b r

    Wuss. I ride alone 3 times a week at midnight in the deepest darkest forest. (swinley).

    How did ‘Swinley’ and ‘remote’ get into the same sentence?

    This is where we ride, rather more ‘remote’:,-3.13385&spn=0.253923,0.631714&sll=57.746995,-4.687341&sspn=7.676484,20.214844&t=h&hnear=Selkirk,+Scottish+Borders,+United+Kingdom&z=11

    Premier Icon psling

    How did ‘Swinley’ and ‘remote’ get into the same sentence?

    Erm, they didn’t! (except possibly in your head) 😕

    Premier Icon chakaping

    This is where we ride,

    Is this is the royal “we”? The thread is about solo night rides.

    And yes OP, you are being a fanny and you obviously don’t need to ride enough.

    Want until you’ve got kids, etc.

    [/grumpy old man]


    I ride alone at night in local woods & other areas, but then I also run & walk the dogs alone at night too! Mostly I feel fine doing it, but every now & then I do get the jitters and abandon said walk/run/bike if I can’t calm myself down. Instincts are there for a reason sometimes!

    People do seem to make comments that as a woman I probably should be more wary of doing these things, but as I’m mostly comfortable I’m not sure what there is to be scared of? I’m pretty sure a mugger or other criminal would be just as happy braining me in a lit lonely spot as a dark one. Besides, if I’m on the bike I think they’d be less likely to catch me! As for falling off, that’s more about manning up and being prepared ;o) I make sure if I’m on my own I carry dressings and a silver blanket. Then again I’m a tad used to damaging myself!!

    Happy night riding everyone :o)

    Premier Icon accu

    I`m always nightriding alone…since years

    really enjoy it…

    never met this so far…


    Ride within your limits. As well as your bike lights, carry a spare standard headtorch – leaves your hands free for fettling in the dark, and doesn’t waste your bike light batteries. Spare clothes, snacks. Tell someone where you’re going and what time to expect you back. Have fun! 😀

    Premier Icon accu
    Premier Icon Nick

    Spare phones? I’ve been known to leave the only phone I’ve got behind (probably flat anyway).

    Had a few offs while out on my own, probably more while on my own then with another rider. OTB and broke my helmet on one. Landed in some brambles narrowly missing a big pile of felled tree most recently.

    I’ve ridden from here to the top of Long Mynd and bivvied on my own (25 miles ew) and the last two weeks local Tuesday night ride has been poorly attended (just me). Never leave an itinerary or route.

    Winter Friday nights used to be good, 25 mile loop then a skinful in the pub, we’d go our separate ways which meant a solo 6 mile ride back at midnight, generally I’d take in one last climb to the top of the local hill and bomb down pretty carelessly then try not to wake my wife when I got in at 1am, all go clean fun.

    Generally though I’m actually quite a cautious rider anyway, so I don’t really worry about a major off and getting properly hurt.


    I’ve bought a Garmin 810 so that the other half can at least track where I am in real time.


    At least the other half will know where the werewolf has dragged half of her other half!


    I ride alone at night a fair bit, but I would have binned your ride based on the fog. It’s very easy to get lost in fog – I’ve even missed a turn on an easy descent which I have done 150+ times. And at night fog makes your lights worse than useless as you just get lots of backscatter.


    Just be a bit more careful.

    Start small and build up if you are worried. I find it gives you an added sense of focus knowing no one is coming to help you.


    Audax riders do it all night long
    I love night riding
    Mind you don’t ride off road much. The best night riding is either on deserted A Roads at 3am, (the Brecon bypass is a favourite) or tiny lanes that I know really well. You can see cars coming at you from a long way off. Riding at night has got a load easier in the last 7 or 8 years, lights are so much better.


    The only night ride I could do from home has an underpass to go through. One time during the day I was entering said underpass when I saw another bike enter from the other end, I then saw the bike do an endo! Turns out there was a couple of hoodies sat in the dark inside the unlit underpass and he had ridden into them.

    After writing that I realise that had it been a night ride there would have been lights involved so he would have seen them. Still, I am sure they would have stabbed him and taken his bike and clothing.

    Premier Icon tomd

    I find solo night riding a bit odd. I do it from time to time and have done a few epics but I never relax into it fully. Always slightly on edge.

    Premier Icon richmtb

    I’ve done a fair bit of solo night riding.

    It depends on where you are riding but yes sometimes “the fear” creeps in.

    If I’m riding somewhere like Cathkin Braes (little trail centre above Glasgow) then I can see the sodium glow of civilization all around me, riding in the dark isn’t much different to riding in the daylight up there.

    Somewhere like Carron Valley is a different prospect – a huge forest in the middle of nowhere can creep you out fairly quickly.

    A helmet light makes a big difference. Less weird shadows in your peripheral vision as your bar light catches ups with where you are actually looking. I can still find myself creeped out for no reason though, although its a lot less common with two good lights. Years ago setting out with a 10W halogen Vistalite for company made every night ride, however simple, an adventure

    I agree its totally irrational but sometimes hard to avoid so I have some sympathy for the OP.

    Anna B

    Yunki advised what I did when I started solo xc night riding, that is to start before sunset, ride through dusk andthen put your lights on. It was a good acclimitisation for me. Also knowing the terrain and routes really well, I have cycled “my area” at all times of day. Cycling is all about enjoyment for me, so if I am off road in the dark and not enjoying for any reason, I make my way to the nearest road and go home. No prizes for brave ness, don’t do it if you don’t want to! Have to say tho, now I have pretty much de sensitised myself to the fear, I love it.


    I’ve done loads of solo night riding and you soon get used to it. I will admit though the first few times it was a bit freaky but as you get used to your lights it’s fine. A head torch also helps. As Anna says ^^ up there ^^ setting off before sunset is good. Some of my best rides have included late afternoon sun, sunset, dusk then total darkness all in about 2hrs, especially this time of year. One of my routes to and from work at the moment goes through a grave yard.


    I do a few solo night rides and as much as I enjoy it, something that surprises me is how different things look in the dark and how easy it is to miss a turn or get lost.


    MTFU, but manage the risks. If you are on trails you know you can ride well, and in a good state of mind, solo night rides can be some of the best riding you will ever do. Nothing like an imaginary beast in the dark to improve your climbing speed.
    If the weather is poor, you are unsure of your route or trails and you are underprepared then you are another mountain rescue statistic in waiting. Changing one of the risk factors is probably best in these circumstances.
    But remember a swigg of single malt tastes best on a dark cold night at the top of a hill.

    If I’m riding somewhere like Cathkin Braes (little trail centre above Glasgow) then I can see the sodium glow of civilization all around me, riding in the dark isn’t much different to riding in the daylight up there.

    Somewhere like Carron Valley is a different prospect – a huge forest in the middle of nowhere can creep you out fairly quickly.

    There’s far more to worry about at CB than there is at CV!. Gimme the woods over a park with neds and devil dugs anytime 😯 😀

    Premier Icon tenfoot

    I do a few here and there. I tend to ride faster at night on my own…….something to do with adrenalin I should think.

    Funny how during the summer there is 6 or 7 people on our night rides, but this time of year it’s just 2 of us and sometimes just me.

    Premier Icon Yak

    I solo night ride quite a bit. I quite enjoy the solitude. Rarely come across anybody – sometimes a dog walker, or the odd steamy car in a deserted carpark. Occasionally bump into other folk out night-riding and have a quick chat.

    I can’t really recall anything spooky or terrifying though. Yes theres the sound of more animals in the bushes, but we’re talking rabbits, badgers and deers not bears or sabre-toothed-cyclist-eating-terracats. I do love the sound of owls and getting one flying in front of you all lit up is a real treat.

    I do always ride routes I know well as I can’t be doing with navigation stops at night. Solo night-riding is about going out and covering the ground fast without stops, enjoying the flow, lack of interruption and empty trails. I love group or pairs night riding too, but that’s a more social activity and both are good.


    Doing one tonight. Big light on bars and one on helmet. Not doing anything too techy but it’s remote and if the sky is clear tonight it’ll be spectacular from the top of the trail. I see plenty of eyes reflecting back – mainly deer. I prefer to use my full suss in the dark, just in case I miss a rock or pothole!

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