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  1. #1
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    Fighting sunset: ride harder?

    Seems like only two weeks ago I could start a ride at 6 be back at the car at 8, get in a solid ride, and have daylight to spare. Its crazy how rapidly the sun goes down earlier and earlier. Its dark in the woods now by 7:50ish here.

    I ride a lot with a couple buddies that are good riders but really like to stop and talk etc...basically just slow down the ride to where we spend 2+ hours in the woods but are only actually riding for 1.5 hours. This doesn't especially bother me when time/daylight is not a factor but lately it has been driving me kind of nuts. I'm not the type to go all alpha on my buddies in order to move the ride along.

    I'm thinking I should just go out solo (with my dog) for the rest of my evening rides and really push myself so that I can actually get a good ride in before sunset. I really have no interest in riding in the dark with lights. First off the woods at night kinda creep me out. Secondly, I can think of better ways to spend my money than on lights. Lastly, my dog is a small yellow lab that looks like a small deer....the coyotes love chasing small deer at dusk around here which also freaks me out.

    What do you guys do?
    2011 Trance x1

    All good things in all good time

  2. #2
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    Buy lights, don't you pedal during winter?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Buy lights, don't you pedal during winter?
    Nah, way too much snow. Winter is for skiing.
    2011 Trance x1

    All good things in all good time

  4. #4
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    I ride alone during the week because I don't get home from work until 6:00pm or so. There is just too little time to coordinate with others. I do ride with friends on the weekend when there is more time and we do longer rides. When I was younger I did a lot of night riding with lights, but age has affected my night vision and I crash enough during the day as it is.......

  5. #5
    Oh, I've GOT bike money
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    In my riding group, the phrase "It's gettin' mighty DARK out here!" means stop screwing around and let's get rolling.

    We have lights, but this time of year they attract a lot of bugs.

  6. #6
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    Bring a few beers for a post-ride drink. The ride will go much faster, and you guys can chat it up after the ride while enjoying a beer!

  7. #7
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    I wouldn't bring a single dog out in the woods at night. Coyotes will isolate and kill lone dogs if they can. Two dogs is a different story.

    Riding solo always has it's risks and even more so at night. If you crash and are injured badly, help may not be coming and the lights will eventually go out. Maybe literally.

  8. #8
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    No big deal

    What's the problem with riding solo? I do it 90% of the time.

  9. #9
    Anytime. Anywhere.
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    It always surprises me that anyone would not want to ride solo, or ride at night. I ride solo a lot and love it. My own pace, route, and schedule. I'm going out by myself after I write this and don't know what route, how far, or when I'll be back and I don't care. Make it up as you go. By not night riding you are missing out on some incredible fun. I miss night riding and am looking forward to it very much. Solo night riding, bring it on. What can happen at night that can't happen during the day. Mountain Biking is fun and adventure not worrying about sh{#.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  10. #10
    The White Jeff W
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    It always surprises me that anyone would not want to ride solo, or ride at night. I ride solo a lot and love it. My own pace, route, and schedule.
    Me too. The majority of my rides are solo. Occasionally I bump into a friend in the lot & ride with them but gave up on trying to coordinate with others long ago. Too frustrating.
    No moss...

  11. #11
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    I'm not afraid of the dark, I'm afraid of getting a $200 ticket from the rangers. All the open space preserves around here (where the trails are) close 1/2 hour after sunset.
    These trails feature particularly beautiful sunsets, so after watching the last rays of the setting sun it's hammer time up the hill to the gate.

    Riding alone? All the time.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf View Post
    What's the problem with riding solo? I do it 90% of the time.
    I do too. 99% of the time and at night. But don't fool yourself, there is more risk.

  13. #13
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Fighting sunset: ride harder?-highres_319112122.jpgFighting sunset: ride harder?-highres_319110812.jpgFighting sunset: ride harder?-gedc0289.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by mizzaboom View Post
    Nah, way too much snow. Winter is for skiing.
    Winter is for lights and fatbikes!
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  14. #14
    It's about showing up.
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    Ride when you can to do as much as you can.
    I don't rattle.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sevenrats View Post
    I do too. 99% of the time and at night. But don't fool yourself, there is more risk.
    This. Be vigilant, I've seen creatures at night that I never want to see again.

    Fighting sunset: ride harder?-night-living-dead-sm.jpg

  16. #16
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    I ride solo and with friends. I go everyday at 2:30, all my friends know they.. So if they're available they text me. If not no big deal.

    Sent from my 831C using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    I ride solo a lot and have no problem with it. But there are certain evenings during the week that I ride with a couple of buddies. I guess I was more concerned with it being awkward that we would all be showing up at the same trail system to ride at the same time and then I just ride off alone?

    Good point about a solo dog and the coyotes. This particular trail system is the only one where it is problematic to bring both of my dogs because typically I have to ride some pavement to link trails and get back to the car. Handling one dog on a leash while riding is doable....tow of em? hahaha no way!
    2011 Trance x1

    All good things in all good time

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizzaboom View Post
    Handling one dog on a leash while riding is doable....tow of em? hahaha no way!
    Your voice should be the only leash you need.

    Around here there have been big dogs attacked and/or killed by packs of coyotes at night. But even six coyotes aren't going to take on two 60lb dogs and a human. Man and dog are a formidable team.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sevenrats View Post
    Your voice should be the only leash you need.

    Around here there have been big dogs attacked and/or killed by packs of coyotes at night. But even six coyotes aren't going to take on two 60lb dogs and a human. Man and dog are a formidable team.
    My dogs are great off leash but I will not ride down a twisting mountain road with a 50 mph speed limit, at dusk with two dogs off leash. That would be pretty damn irresponsible.

    Good point about the coyotes.

    EDIT: for the sake of clarity -- the dogs are never on-leash while riding trails, only on roads with moderate to high traffic.
    2011 Trance x1

    All good things in all good time

  20. #20
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    don't ride with the dog in the dark. too much of a PITA to keep track of with reduced visibility.

    buy lights. they're an awesome investment.

    Where I live, night riding is a difficult proposition. Most night riding options require a 1-2hr drive because the local trails close early. One trail system we can usually get a handful of special night ride permits for each year, which is awesome when the snow drops.

  21. #21
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    Fall afternoon rides, that transition into night rides, are about as good as it gets to me. Love me some night riding, but do prefer to ride with others at night. The crash numbers definitely go up for me.

    Lights are so affordable now, I don't know why you wouldn't want some. It opens up a whole new mtb experience.

  22. #22
    Brackish
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    Re: Fighting sunset: ride harder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf View Post
    What's the problem with riding solo? I do it 90% of the time.
    Ditto, and due to my schedule they are all "night" rides in the predawn dark.

  23. #23
    Anytime. Anywhere.
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    I rode with a guy who had a small Jack Russell Terrier. That dog put in easily twice the distance we did and when he got tired the owner would carry him in his backpack. It sucks that they close the trails at night, none of that here.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  24. #24
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    The problem for me at this time of year isn't the darkness itself (I have a set of lights), but the spiders. I'm in Florida, and we have banana spiders. The biggest are the size of the palm of your hand, though most are "only" around 3 inches across. They come out at sunset and spin webs across the trail at face height, then sit right in the center. Their activity slows down when the temps drop below about 70 degrees, and they disappear altogether below 60, but nighttime temperatures aren't going to drop that low around here until late November.

    So I'm not racing the darkness so much as beating the spiders.
    Speed solves all problems, except for those things it makes worse.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjaguar View Post
    The problem for me at this time of year isn't the darkness itself (I have a set of lights), but the spiders. I'm in Florida, and we have banana spiders. The biggest are the size of the palm of your hand, though most are "only" around 3 inches across. They come out at sunset and spin webs across the trail at face height, then sit right in the center. Their activity slows down when the temps drop below about 70 degrees, and they disappear altogether below 60, but nighttime temperatures aren't going to drop that low around here until late November.

    So I'm not racing the darkness so much as beating the spiders.
    That would freak me out! I have spiders.

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