It’s as easy as riding a bike, right? Not at night it’s not! Riding at night is a challenging and unfamiliar environment to ride in. From going out alone to riding an unfamiliar trail, here are some of the mistakes that we’ve made over our time out at night!
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Night riding is great fun. It gives you a chance to look at the same trails you ride everyday in a different light (literally). It’s a great environment to work on reactive riding skills and adds a whole new dimension to your mountain biking experience!
Riding In Twilight
It’s not bright enough for your eyes and it’s not dark enough for your lights! Avoid riding at twilight!
Trees and other obstacles come out of the darkness a lot quicker. Even if riding an incredibly familiar trail, we do not recommend riding alone at night.
Ride Somewhere Familiar
You shouldn’t attempt a trail or even a line you haven’t done before for the first time at night. Ride it during the day, become familiar with it, then hit it at night!
The landings of jumps can become a dark spot when getting airborne. If you’re unsure, get a friend to light your landing area with their lights before you take off!
Blinding Your Mates
A persons night vision can take a long time to adjust and will disappear straight away once a bright light is shined in their eyes. Try to avoid blinding both your riding mates and oncoming people or riders with your lights by dipping them on the settings, looking at their feet or to their side or altering the path of your beam with a hand.
Light Set Up
Not too far down, not too far forward. Somewhere in the middle so you can see what’s coming on trail is just right!
If you ride right behind a mate with your lights on full beam, their vision will become obstructed by the shadow their body is throwing off of your lights! Not to mention the distraction of you right behind them! Back off and leave more room at night, especially as your mate could be more likely to crash!
Always make sure your light mounting brackets are up to torque. Too tight and you risk damaging your bars, too loose and your light will be pointing straight down (or even worse behind you!) after a short section of bumpy trail.