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  1. #1
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    Good night ride trail for a noob??

    Ok so after years of "maybe we should get some lights" me and my riding buddy finally pulled the trigger on a couple niterider lumina 650's. tried riding during the day earlier this week and the heat flat out kicked my ass. And I'm not about to lose all the gains I've made this season by skipping 3-4 months of saddle time. Soooo, time to saddle up in the dark. Any suggestions for a night noob on a trail to break in the lights? North/northwest valley area would be nice if possible. Something fun but at the same time I don't wanna run home with my soiled pantalones and burry my light so it will never be seen again, so nothing too scary either. Deems? White tanks? Sonoran? Trail 100? Finns? Whatcha think? Tell me about the first night ride you ever made, how was it? Also, should I bring extra undies due to the fact that the rattlesnakes will be out in force, and harder to see!!? 😁 Thanks for the info in advance folks. And if anyone on here is looking for another night riding partner, I got a couple..

  2. #2
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    Good night ride trail for a noob??

    Oh and I should make it clear I'm not a noob (still slow though) I'm just a noob at night riding

  3. #3
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    I would be in for joining you guys... I myself am relatively a noob night rider having only done deems a few times (only because I live by it)... Open to any of the places you suggested... Sonoran north might be ideal as the "parking lot" doesn't close? Also pretty tame

  4. #4
    I am Walt
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    Good night ride trail for a noob??

    Sonoran North would be great for some initial night rides.


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  5. #5
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    legal, easy, and lots of other folks around to help out:

    Parks & Recreation - Maricopa County

  6. #6
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    I would suggest riding a trail you have ridden many times and know well. Another good option is to do a pre-dawn out and back ride where half is I the dark and the other half is after sunrise. Another good option is to do a night ride when there is a full moon.

    I find other night riders more of an issue than any wildlife...

    Bob

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobo_krkk_NIN View Post
    I find other night riders more of an issue than any wildlife...
    Why? I too am thinking about starting night riding this year... Why would other night riders be "an issue"? Bright lights coming at you and blinding you?

  8. #8
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    I night ride Deem and Sonoran primarily. That being said, even though I live right next to Deem, I tend to bypass it and ride the CAP and bypass over I-17 and hit Sonoran. The main reason is because I just get to dang paranoid at Deem. It is significantly rockier than Sonoran and every rock/shadow looks like a snake to me. So I avoid it and hit Sonoran which has zero rocks and therefore less shadows/phantom snakes haha.

  9. #9
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    Good night ride trail for a noob??

    Phat- are you running a light on your helmet? I found the same issue until I did.



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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cstem View Post
    Phat- are you running a light on your helmet? I found the same issue until I did.
    Yeah I am...however my helmet light is on the fritz and is much dimmer than it should be. Certainly that is part of the problem. Still - much easier to run into a snake with little warning at Deem as opposed to Sonoran IMO. More nooks and crannies to hide behind/under etc.

  11. #11
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    I'm the opposite, more paranoid at Sonoran because it feels less urban. Saw an owl, two coyote pups and a couple rats last night. No snakes so far! Night riding is so cool, it's extremely liberating. Everyone else is inside and it's just you and the snakes, owls, coyotes, and javelina. It almost feels like I'm getting away with something, like you're in on a secret. I highly recommend it.

  12. #12
    I am Walt
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    Quote Originally Posted by cm374 View Post
    I'm the opposite, more paranoid at Sonoran because it feels less urban. Saw an owl, two coyote pups and a couple rats last night. No snakes so far! Night riding is so cool, it's extremely liberating. Everyone else is inside and it's just you and the snakes, owls, coyotes, and javelina. It almost feels like I'm getting away with something, like you're in on a secret. I highly recommend it.
    Bring a beer (preferably, an oil can) for the top of the biggest climb on your night ride, and it's even better!
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  13. #13
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    FINS is great for night riding. That being said, FINS is the only place I have ever ridden at night. There is a group that rides Thursday night out there, very cool people. I haven't in a while due to child and wife work schedule, and I miss it. WHite Tanks, I'd like to know if people ride there at night, as I ride there from my house.

    Night riding is amazing, especially with beer, as waltaz stated.
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  14. #14
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    Good night ride trail for a noob??

    Phat- are you running a light on your helmet? I found the same issue until I did.



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  15. #15
    Meatbomb
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtownmtb View Post
    legal, easy, and lots of other folks around to help out:

    Parks & Recreation - Maricopa County
    Best ever for a night noob and there is a ride this weekend.

  16. #16
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    Sonoran - especially North. Easy wide, buff trails. No big rocks to smash your face on (unlike Deems). The view are spectacular at night.

  17. #17
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    McDowell Regional Park has a summer night ride series on Pemberton, the next ride is this Saturday 6/8:

    Parks & Recreation - Maricopa County

    Pemberton is super easy, a fun vibe with lots of other riders.

  18. #18
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    +1 on the MMP Night Ride Series on Pemberton. There is one this Sat night and the complete series schedule can be found at McDowell Mtn Park Summer Night Ride Series 2013 Schedule
    Marty

  19. #19
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    Phoenix Sonoran North or South.... I ride PSP South all the time in the dark, it's perfect for that... But the north is good too...

    Deems is good but a bit more techy than PSP... Also Cave Creek Park is really good for night riding...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    Why? I too am thinking about starting night riding this year... Why would other night riders be "an issue"? Bright lights coming at you and blinding you?
    Oncoming lights are tough to judge the distance that you actually are from the other riders or if they are moving at all. Leads to some circumstances where both groups stop to wait for the other and slows down the ride. Pretty minor and mostly on busy trails like DC. Animal interaction is almost nil. Rattlesnakes are exciting at night though!

    Get lights and night ride it is alot of fun. Ride a trail that you know well as it makes things much easier. Handlebar and head lamp is the best combination.

    Bob

  21. #21
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    Good night ride trail for a noob??

    Wow thanks for all the great info!! When you say Sonoran "north" are you talking about the trails by fireside like Dixie mine or do you mean the new trails that opened off of carefree highway? That McDowell ride looks fun too, ordered my lights last night so if they get to my door by Friday I think ill give it a shot.. Just gotta order some thigh high snake boots 😁

  22. #22
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    Yes, Sonoran North refers to the trails between Carefree highway and dove valley road/sonoran blvd. Sonoran South is the stuff between Sonoran Desert Drive and Jomax.

  23. #23
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    Good night ride trail for a noob??

    Quote Originally Posted by phatmike2112 View Post
    Yes, Sonoran North refers to the trails between Carefree highway and dove valley road/sonoran blvd. Sonoran South is the stuff between Sonoran Desert Drive and Jomax.
    Got it, thanks for the clarification. I'm itching to try out the north stuff!

  24. #24
    Meatbomb
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeeter97 View Post
    Just gotta order some thigh high snake boots 😁
    Snakes are not out at night.

  25. #25
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    Good night ride trail for a noob??

    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    Snakes are not out at night.
    Really? I've heard they are way more active. No worries, I'm only fooling around with all the boot chat, I don't bug the snakes so they don't bug me

  26. #26
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    The simple answer here is every trail is good for a night ride. The better ones for first starting off are the ones you are more familiar with. Run a bar light and helmet light to start, until you figure out a system that works best for you. Shoot for at least one of them being 1000+ lumens.
    There is usually a Slippery Pig shop night ride tonight(Wednesday) you can tag along with, starts from Aunt Chilladas at Dreamy Draw around ~7:30. Rides most of trail 100 and probably whatever else anyone feels like.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeeter97 View Post
    Really? I've heard they are way more active. No worries, I'm only fooling around with all the boot chat, I don't bug the snakes so they don't bug me
    I night ride almost exclusively during the winter and summer, and I have only seen maybe one snake every couple months, and usually at dusk. So I wouldn't worry about that.

  28. #28
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    Good night ride trail for a noob??

    Quote Originally Posted by PhxBenK View Post
    The simple answer here is every trail is good for a night ride. The better ones for first starting off are the ones you are more familiar with. Run a bar light and helmet light to start, until you figure out a system that works best for you. Shoot for at least one of them being 1000+ lumens.
    There is usually a Slippery Pig shop night ride tonight(Wednesday) you can tag along with, starts from Aunt Chilladas at Dreamy Draw around ~7:30. Rides most of trail 100 and probably whatever else anyone feels like.
    Ill have to get by with my lumina 650 on the helmet for a ride or two, won't be able to buy another light for a week or so. Should be ok, I'm slow

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeeter97 View Post
    Ill have to get by with my lumina 650 on the helmet for a ride or two, won't be able to buy another light for a week or so. Should be ok, I'm slow
    You will be fine. I run that as a helmet light.

  30. #30
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    Good night ride trail for a noob??

    Quote Originally Posted by PhxBenK View Post
    You will be fine. I run that as a helmet light.
    Good to know. Do you like your niterider? So many dang lights out there now it got a little overwhelming, so I just said screw it and picked one

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeeter97 View Post
    Good to know. Do you like your niterider? So many dang lights out there now it got a little overwhelming, so I just said screw it and picked one
    It is great for a helmet light, since it doesn't need to attach to a separate battery pack, kinda narrow beam though.

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    I started on a budget and bought two lumina 650's... One on the helmet and one on the bar and it seems to work out pretty well... Any interest in a ride this friday night? Sonoran north (carefree)... I'd be interested in a standing mid week ride up there too... I haven't done the mcd deal yet as it's pretty far but would be all over that if it were closer

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeeter97 View Post
    Ill have to get by with my lumina 650 on the helmet for a ride or two, won't be able to buy another light for a week or so. Should be ok, I'm slow

    650 works well, I use that on a helmet and the pro1800 that I picked up on sale for $200. I don't run pro at 1800 lum but only at 700. Too damn bright at 1800 - less light is needed to keep the pupils dilated for better peripheral vision.

  34. #34
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    Good night ride trail for a noob??

    Right on sounds like it'll be a good starting point at least, damn I'm getting anxious I've been wanting to do this for years

  35. #35
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    Good night ride trail for a noob??

    Quote Originally Posted by GSNED View Post
    I started on a budget and bought two lumina 650's... One on the helmet and one on the bar and it seems to work out pretty well... Any interest in a ride this friday night? Sonoran north (carefree)... I'd be interested in a standing mid week ride up there too... I haven't done the mcd deal yet as it's pretty far but would be all over that if it were closer
    Fridays no good for me unfortunately, I work till 1am so probably a little late to start a ride. We usually ride on the weekends or Monday, with the occasional Tuesday or Wednesday mixed in

  36. #36
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    No sweat, you call it!

  37. #37
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    This thread inspired me to quit dragging my feet and buy a light! Now just waiting for it to get here. Looking forward to breaking my night ride cherry!

    Picked up this one: Cygolite Expilion 700 Lumen USB Rechargeable Bicycle Headlight, Black, One Size : Amazon.com : Sports & Outdoors

    Going to see how it goes, nervous about just having one light, going to carry a small flashlight as a backup for now, and then will decide on a second one... If this one works out well, may just get another one of these... I really liked that it is all integrated into one unit and the battery is removable, and I could get a backup battery for longer rides.

    Planning on going to my regular spot (T-Bird) for my first few rides, because I have ridden them so much, and I am very familiar with them.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    This thread inspired me to quit dragging my feet and buy a light! Now just waiting for it to get here. Looking forward to breaking my night ride cherry!

    Picked up this one: Cygolite Expilion 700 Lumen USB Rechargeable Bicycle Headlight, Black, One Size : Amazon.com : Sports & Outdoors

    Going to see how it goes, nervous about just having one light, going to carry a small flashlight as a backup for now, and then will decide on a second one... If this one works out well, may just get another one of these... I really liked that it is all integrated into one unit and the battery is removable, and I could get a backup battery for longer rides.

    Planning on going to my regular spot (T-Bird) for my first few rides, because I have ridden them so much, and I am very familiar with them.

    Those cygolites don't seem to be very popular with Arizona folks... not sure why because they are awesome lights
    You are going to like this one.. its very lightweight and the USB recharging is nice also...

    I have the Serfas versions of these type of lights that I like slightly better, but the cygolites are
    good too...

    some advice : if you are only going to have one light, mount it on your helmet.

  39. #39
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    IT's all preference, I prefer both but when only one choice bar mount is best for me. everyone try their own thing, and I see snakes out at night all the time, not this year yet but they do come out at night.
    If you like cooler night rides I go out a 11-11:30pm weekdays, it's nice at that time and best of all very, very few other riders. In the last 15 yrs I only came across less than 10 others that late and only 5 riding.
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  40. #40
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    Thanks guys! Yeah, not sure why it is not popular in AZ, I did a bit of research and for my entry level price (I intend on this ultimately being my backup light) it seemed to be a great fit, I plan on mounting it on my helmet. I really liked that it is all one piece, with an integrated battery, and that the battery can be removed. So I will probably get a spare battery and take it with me on longer rides.

    I also picked up a Cheap-O china CREE for the bars for ridiculous cheap ($18.50 - I don't expect it to last long) that I plan on mounting to my handlebars for now until I get fully hooked and get something good for the bars.

    Really looking forward to getting started with nite riding and hope to join one of the group rides soon.

  41. #41
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    Good night ride trail for a noob??

    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    Snakes are not out at night.
    Okay....

  42. #42
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    Get a cheap dim light and the rocks go away also.

  43. #43
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    Good night ride trail for a noob??

    Ok I may be too tired and not able to read a map at the moment, but where the heck do you access sonoran north from carefree highway? I see a "walk in" access point on the map but no parking lot. Never been to Sonoran north, but I'm not waiting till fall to ride it, what could happen riding a strange trail on my first ever night ride?

  44. #44
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    7th ave and carefree... Large dirt shoulder that people park on (south side of carefree)

  45. #45
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    Good night ride trail for a noob??

    Quote Originally Posted by GSNED View Post
    7th ave and carefree... Large dirt shoulder that people park on (south side of carefree)
    Gracias

  46. #46
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    Good night ride trail for a noob??

    Broke my night riding cherry on FINS tonight. All I can say is AWESOME!! I can't believe it took me this long to pull the trigger on this. We had an absolute blast and I'm definitely hooked! The niterider performed better than I could have hoped, and I plan on ordering another for my bars. If you're on the fence about trying night riding, do it!

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