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  1. #1
    Who took my gears?
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    Broke my Night Riding Cherry...

    Wow, that was an experience! Decided to ride a nearby trail that I know well, and decided to ride there from my house... Hate to admit it, but I went down hard on the green belt (sprinklers were on and I came around a corner pretty fast, and the sidewalk was like ice), anyway, after I shook that off that fun slip and slide trip on the pavement (thankfully no one was around to witness that mess) I was on with my ride. Got to the mountain with about 20-30 minutes of daylight left (planned it that way to make sure the light worked as expected - if it didn't I wouldn't be too far from home in the dark).

    Anyway, wow, I am hooked. Even though it was still over a hundred degrees, it sure did not feel like it. Not having the sun beating down on you sure makes a HUGE difference. What I was most surprised by was all the sounds I heard. Bugs, animals, and the sounds of the city all seemed to be amplified. I could hear people talking in their backyards. Crazy stuff. Having the trail all to myself was a bit eerie, but I liked it. Once I got to the top, I noticed a vehicle with flashing lights (looked like po-po, but hard to tell), locking up all the gates. At that moment, I wondered, hum, I am sure he sees this 700 lumen light up here on top of the mountain, and I am not sure I am supposed to be here. I was expecting for him to be waiting for me at the gate, but nope when I got to the gate there was no one there. Heading down the trail was a completely different experience, I had to pay WAY more attention to the trail and my speed, this will surely make me a better rider when the sun is out.

    The feeling of being totally dependent on that light was a bit weird, definitely getting a second one and probably a small flashlight as second backup. Can't wait to head out again...

    So, that gets me to the legitimacy of this night riding thing... I need to read up on the laws/rules I suppose, but has anyone been ticketed/warned about being out on the trails after dark? Should I even be posting this ?

  2. #2
    My other ride is your mom
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    No worries...ride on....once you become comfortable in the night, you will have the advantage over anyone who is not...to include Paul Blart. I've found night riding to be more mental than anything....we're accustomed to using our eyes to form our heuristic interpretation and response; and when that is severely limited, we're forced to use our lesser senses like aural, olfactory and others to fill in the picture. It's a complete trip to receive an experience of a trail you know well, in a completely different light wavelength.....it really alters what you perceive to be true sometimes.....you realize that absolute truth is hard for us to comprehend because we are always biased by our preferred sensory systems....limiting and minimizing our other modes for knowing.

  3. #3
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    Riding Sonoran at night is no problem. I passed and even chatted with park rangers as they close up the gate for parking. The parking closes at dusk at the park, the park does not close - no problem since I ride from home.

    I looked in to this Dennis. The places that don't want you ride at night will post PARK closing hours, not to be confused with parking. Most places like Sonoran, Deem Hills, etc. don't have park closing hours listed at all...so.............

  4. #4
    I am Walt
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    Broke my Night Riding Cherry...

    Nice...night riding is such a different vibe...

    Quote of the year, wiping out on the sidewalk!


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  5. #5
    Who took my gears?
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    Cool! This totally changes summer riding for me. Nice to have this forum o go to for advice and support. You guys rock!

  6. #6
    Who took my gears?
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    Quote of the year, wiping out on the sidewalk!
    Yeah, definitely was not one of my better moments! Just made this all the more memorable for me

  7. #7
    I am Walt
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    Broke my Night Riding Cherry...

    You hit on the key...it may be 115 during the day, but once that sun dips low on the horizon, it's bearable...

    Night riding hint: Pack an oil can for the high point of your ride, then enjoy it under the moon, and bomb back to the cars...or home...

    Been busted once, in the McDowell's a few years ago..."Hey, I think those loudspeakers are yelling at US...!!"


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  8. #8
    Who took my gears?
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    Sweet idea! A brew at the top would have been so sweet.

  9. #9
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    Kicks ass, doesnt' it?
    Robzona used to head up a Tuesday night Deems ride a few years ago before he moved from the valley. Maybe it's time to bring it back!
    If you can swing it, I definitely recommend a light on the bar and one on the head. Obstacles are easier to pick out with the different shadow lines.

  10. #10
    Who took my gears?
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    Yeah, second light is ordered and on the way. Had this one on the bars and some of the switchbacks were a little sketchy!

  11. #11
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    Broke my Night Riding Cherry...

    Yup broke my night riding cherry on Saturday at fins, very cool!! Now I just gotta grow a big enough pair to ride solo at night and my summer will be all set

  12. #12
    Black and Sticky
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    Congrats on your first successful night ride, isn't it super! You get a whole different perspective on the desert at night, more critters out and about, beautiful sky, oh yeah not so hot! I would ride more at night but my wife is overly protective of my safety and doesn't like me going alone. And most of my riding friends wimp out and won't ride at night. Night riding is on my top ten list of fav activities. Have fun Dennis!

    Bob
    "Some people follow their dreams, others hunt them down and beat them mercilessly into submission." - Neil Kendall

  13. #13
    Meatbomb
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    What trail were u on? Like Walt said the people in the Hidden Hills area have been know to report people on that side of the McD's at night but I have never heard of anyone getting hassled elsewhere.

  14. #14
    Who took my gears?
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    I was riding out at Thunderbird Conservation Park (T-Bird). It is riding distance from my front door, so I do not have to worry about parking lots closing / etc... I will probably also add in some Deems and Sonora preserve rides as I get more comfortable, but will probably stick to T-Bird for now while I get settled in.

  15. #15
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    Hey Dennis,

    I used to be paranoid about the park rangers at T-Bird, but they never gave me any problem...though I never got close enough to them to discuss the issue haha. I could have swore one was waiting for me one time, so I just waited them out at the top of the amphitheater climb. In all reality, the guy was probably milking the clock =)

  16. #16
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    Very cool dude. It's surreal at times, experiencing that kind of solitude so close to your house.

  17. #17
    Who took my gears?
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    Quote Originally Posted by phatmike2112 View Post
    Hey Dennis,

    I used to be paranoid about the park rangers at T-Bird, but they never gave me any problem...though I never got close enough to them to discuss the issue haha. I could have swore one was waiting for me one time, so I just waited them out at the top of the amphitheater climb. In all reality, the guy was probably milking the clock =)
    Cool, good to know! That makes me feel a little better about it. I was probably overly paranoid because it was my first time night riding.

  18. #18
    Break it, Fix it, Ride it
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    You can get pretty use to the night riding. I'd often hit up Mormon-National solo, just because I like the solitude and challenge. It can get pretty creepy out there, especially by yourself. I thought for sure one night I was being chased by ancient spirits as I heard some strange, weird howling laugh out there, nearby to boot. Totally freaked me out! That was a fast exit down National that night! Night riding is one of my favorite activities. All the trails seem different - puts lots more life into the same old trails.
    Today's the day I eat bikes.

  19. #19
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    Aha, that's the real reason you rode the waterfall for the first time at night!

  20. #20
    Always in the wrong gear
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    A friend and I will be regulars at PSP:south on mondays for a majority of the summer. Hope to see you on the trail. This past monday the gate was closed early (7pm), we just parked at the community center and rode in.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeeter97 View Post
    Yup broke my night riding cherry on Saturday at fins, very cool!! Now I just gotta grow a big enough pair to ride solo at night and my summer will be all set
    It's 100x safer on the trails at night than on the streets/sidewalks - crime and traffic.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bituman View Post
    I would ride more at night but my wife is overly protective of my safety and doesn't like me going alone. !

    Bob
    It's called life and disability insurance, don't leave home without it - if you got family to support.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    Nice...night riding is such a different vibe...

    Quote of the year, wiping out on the sidewalk!


    Sent from my iPhone 5 using Tapatalk
    Back when the Cactus Cup race was at west world, a buddy of mine and I were riding into the race. We had stopped for a drink and my buddy was riding carrying a 44oz big gulp. He wiped out and broke his wrist on the sidewalk trying to save his soda.

    Thanks for the chuckle.
    Drinkin the S-Works Kool-aid

  24. #24
    Who took my gears?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coondog#77 View Post
    A friend and I will be regulars at PSP:south on mondays for a majority of the summer. Hope to see you on the trail. This past monday the gate was closed early (7pm), we just parked at the community center and rode in.
    What time do you start? I know all those trails out there very well... Would love to join you guys for a few rides out there.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coondog#77 View Post
    A friend and I will be regulars at PSP:south on mondays for a majority of the summer. Hope to see you on the trail. This past monday the gate was closed early (7pm), we just parked at the community center and rode in.
    I think we might have crossed paths on Monday. I passed two separate groups of two riders on Monday. The first set was right on the road to the parking lot and the second was a couple of guys who just stopped right at the trailhead who I said "hi" to. I was solo and heading in... Must have been a little bit after 9PM.

  26. #26
    Break it, Fix it, Ride it
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevland View Post
    Aha, that's the real reason you rode the waterfall for the first time at night!
    If you can't see the bottom, it doesn't look so bad!
    Today's the day I eat bikes.

  27. #27
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    Night riding is so much fun but can be nerve wracking your first time. I started doing it about 3 years ago and have never looked back! If you really want a freaky experience, try night riding up in Show Low/Pinetop. The trees throw these really long shadows and you have to really concentrate. And as maad said above, a beer at the top of your ride is a must!

    I'm going to try and set up a night group ride at Hawes one of these weeks so stay tuned!

  28. #28
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    Finished a ride in the San Tans around 10 one night and got back to the car to find a cop waiting for me. Thought for sure I was in trouble as the park closes during the week at 8:00PM. Anyway he comes up and asks if I'd seen any strange lights or maybe a low flying plane in trouble while I was out. Apparently somebody reported a possible plane crash in the area. I realized pretty quick that it was me that they had seen. I was testing out some new lights that had a combined output of over 5000 lumen. It must have scared the crap out of some of the folks that live out there.

  29. #29
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    3 Of Us Will be OuT AT Psp Tonight Starting At Midnight.
    NowThat's Night Riding.

  30. #30
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    Night riding is certainly fun and different. I have been riding the PMP by my house for the last 5 years or so and have often had owls swoop through my beams, almost ran over a gila monster once, along with the occasional snake. Once you get in the valley south of the 32nd street alignment you would swear you are in the middle of nowhere... in your own little light bubble.

    May need to up my game after reading these posts as I am using a pair of Niterider Sols at a whopping 115 lumens each.

  31. #31
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    Broke my Night Riding Cherry...

    Quote Originally Posted by Coondog#77 View Post
    A friend and I will be regulars at PSP:south on mondays for a majority of the summer. Hope to see you on the trail. This past monday the gate was closed early (7pm), we just parked at the community center and rode in.
    How's PSP at night? I think that's going to be next on my list. Seems to me you'd see a lot more snakes out there..

  32. #32
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    anyone want to ride hawes tonight about 7? tfischer7@cox.net

  33. #33
    EDR
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomfish View Post
    anyone want to ride hawes tonight about 7? tfischer7@cox.net
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  34. #34
    aka Diesel
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    Broke my Night Riding Cherry...

    Once you are comfortable with night riding, take it a step further and ride during a full moon, lights OFF. You will find that when the moon is strong and full, it's the only light you really need, and it will make the trails become something so entirely enchanting, that you will never want to use a light again! That's my favorite.
    "People do not lack strength; they lack will" (Victor Hugo)

  35. #35
    Always in the wrong gear
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeeter97 View Post
    How's PSP at night? I think that's going to be next on my list. Seems to me you'd see a lot more snakes out there..
    Actually I have yet to see any wildlife outside of a rabbit and a beetle in the last three weeks I've gone there. We start at 7:30 and finish around 9. We just take our time.

  36. #36
    Who took my gears?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteKis View Post
    Once you are comfortable with night riding, take it a step further and ride during a full moon, lights OFF. You will find that when the moon is strong and full, it's the only light you really need, and it will make the trails become something so entirely enchanting, that you will never want to use a light again! That's my favorite.
    Sounds freakin awesome! Now I have to figure out when the next full moon is... Thanks for the idea.

    Rode last night again with 2 lights, one on the bars, and one on the helmet. That was quite a bit different than just the one on the bars. Between me weaving back and forth and looking around, it looked like a search party out there on the trail!

    Couple of questions for you guys...

    1) Do you usually ride with your lights on full power, or one of the lower modes. My ride was expected to take under an hour and both of my lights should go around 2 hours on high, but I was nervous and ran them on medium power. Probably will go with one on high and the other on medium next time.

    2) When you stop for a break at the top, or whatever, do you usually turn off the lights (to save battery and let them cool off a bit) or just leave them on?

    Just wondering

  37. #37
    Always in the wrong gear
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    Sounds freakin awesome! Now I have to figure out when the next full moon is... Thanks for the idea.

    Rode last night again with 2 lights, one on the bars, and one on the helmet. That was quite a bit different than just the one on the bars. Between me weaving back and forth and looking around, it looked like a search party out there on the trail!

    Couple of questions for you guys...



    1) Do you usually ride with your lights on full power, or one of the lower modes. My ride was expected to take under an hour and both of my lights should go around 2 hours on high, but I was nervous and ran them on medium power. Probably will go with one on high and the other on medium next time.

    2) When you stop for a break at the top, or whatever, do you usually turn off the lights (to save battery and let them cool off a bit) or just leave them on?

    Just wondering
    Dennis, I usually run my bar mounted light on medium and my helmet mounted on high. If we stop for a break I turn all my lights off so I don't blind someone while chatting and to take in the night sky. Otherwise, I leave my lights on.

  38. #38
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    I run my lights on high all the time, but I have batteries rated at 4 hours that last more like 5 or 6.
    Depending on your light, they may shut off w/o warning. My magicshine 900 doesn't dim as the battery gets low, it just goes from max to off. Kinda screwed me one of the first times I used it before I got the second light and more better batteries.
    I like to turn the lights off when I rest at the top of hills just to enjoy the dark quiet desert and it's sounds.

  39. #39
    I am Walt
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post

    Couple of questions for you guys...

    1) Do you usually ride with your lights on full power, or one of the lower modes. My ride was expected to take under an hour and both of my lights should go around 2 hours on high, but I was nervous and ran them on medium power. Probably will go with one on high and the other on medium next time.

    2) When you stop for a break at the top, or whatever, do you usually turn off the lights (to save battery and let them cool off a bit) or just leave them on?

    Just wondering
    1) If one light, on full. If two lights (helmet and HB), I run medium on each, to conserve battery life, plus I don't need all that light anyway.

    2) In a group, yes, turn them off at breaks; alone, I don't pause much, and don't bother turning them off.
    Ride more; post less...

  40. #40
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    Depends what kind of light you got. I run both of mine at medium - too bright limits your peripheral vision by excessive pupil constriction. I got one running 700 and the other 350 lumes.

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