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  1. #1
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    Ever Get Scared Night Riding?

    Before you pull my "Man-Card", I'm just curious if anybody gets a little scared while night riding solo? We have a lot of wild life (moose, deer, bobcats, mountain goats, & bears) in my area; although, I only run into some of them infrequently. We don't have any tweekers or anything like that (not in my experience anyway). I recently purchased my first light (will have back up as well) and will probably ride solo a lot. Does your mind start playing tricks on you in the dark?
    Last edited by wookie; 11-29-2011 at 08:57 AM.

  2. #2
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    I did once, when I thought I was being chased by 2 owls. They're pretty scary sounding things on your own in the woods!

  3. #3
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    Oh yea!...down here in Texas we have a hog problem and these things are not affraid of humans lol come up on a pile of them while shagging ass down a trail.....one charged me after i passed him.


    Wish i could take my traps to the trails....50lbs on hoof makes some gooood BBQ bruuuuuuther
    Last edited by Bernal; 11-29-2011 at 08:23 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wookie View Post
    ... beers
    definitely not scared of those!

    i just started night riding and have only two under my belt, both riding solo. but yeah, my mind has played tricks on me, there are these flying shadows my lights make that have freaked me out for a split second. i hear squirrels, rabbits and owls (these are kind of cool) in the background, that's basically the extent of wildlife where i ride...it's in the heart of Houston, what else can you expect.

  5. #5
    Got a suspension fork
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    I sometimes get scared of what I am riding, but that has nothing to do with it being dark out.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloo View Post
    definitely not scared of those!

    i just started night riding and have only two under my belt, both riding solo. but yeah, my mind has played tricks on me, there are these flying shadows my lights make that have freaked me out for a split second. i hear squirrels, rabbits and owls (these are kind of cool) in the background, that's basically the extent of wildlife where i ride...it's in the heart of Houston, what else can you expect.
    Fixed. Yeah I'd hardly be afraid of some beers chasing me.

  7. #7
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    Used to night ride with a buddy at school. In the summer there would be a bunch of spider webs across the trail and the lead rider was the spider sweeper. I remember looking down at my bars and cables and seeing it coated with webs that I picked up. Got over it after riding through the first few. But night riding adds a certain element that elevates the heart rate a bit more.

  8. #8
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    I only get nervous if I start thinking about it too much, other than that i'm fine, even with the coyotes howling

  9. #9
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    Yeah you can definitely get freaked out about the shadows and noises in the bushes and those sticks on the trails that turn out to be rattle snakes. The spookiest ride for me is usually the first night ride of the fall. I'm fresh off of riding in daylight for six months and it takes a ride or two in the dark to become desensitized to it. A friend of mine gave up night riding after Mark Reynolds was killed by a mountain lion less than a mile from the trails we were on the night before. I think the odds are really low of an attack so I won't let that stop me.

  10. #10
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    At night I always have friends with me. I'm actually surprised I have more friends available to ride with at night after the kids are asleep than during the daylight.

  11. #11
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    Three words: Blair Witch Project. Oh, and zombies. Don't forget about the zombies. Hopefully the slow kind that can be outrun on a bike.
    "I thought you'd never love me without my Mojo." -Austin Powers

  12. #12
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    Sorry, no mtb content. But my 9 mile commute home last night was in a heavy fog. I could see the mist in my bar light. My glasses were wet and later got foggy as well. I have really poor sight, but looking over the tops of the lenses was better than trying to see through them. The fog got worse during the ride. I couldn't see the next set of streetlights. This is the only route I ride and it's always after dark. I feel like I know it like I know the back of my hand. But in the fog it was a different story. My speed decreased over the length of the ride home as I became more fearful of rear ending a parked car.

    Until that ride, the scariest thing was commuting on an overpass with 18" bike lane in heavy wind.

  13. #13
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    Actually, the other day. I live about two miles give or take to my trail head. On route I ride through some bad area's (thugs and what not) and through a park. Well, on my way through the park i'm just going along and I look up and there's some huge dude standing in the middle of the dirt path no lights nothing, mind you it's around 3-3:30AM. I carefully passed the guy and was like Hi... So as I leave the path and head over across the road to the trail head I notice there is a 18 wheeler parked in the dirt/gravel parking lot so it could have been him. So I head off into the trail. The guy why was he there was in my mind but that didn't get me. As I'm doing my usual loop I come to a top of a climb and take a break for a second to sip water. Next thing I hear is some stigs and leaves crunching on the down side the trail. I shine my lights over there and guess what? It's that dude! Mind you i'm about 2-3 miles in the middle of the woods with windy single track. I'm like wtf. Needless to say hauled ass back the way I came down the climb. Luckly there's a brigde crossing which takes you out to a road down the path so I made it there in record time and as i'm riding home I just keep thinking what did this guy want or who was he?
    Yip yip yip nope nope nope

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    I did once, when I thought I was being chased by 2 owls. They're pretty scary sounding things on your own in the woods!

    The most unique adaptation of Owl feathers is the comb-like or fimbriate (fringe-like) leading edge of the primary wing feathers referred to as "flutings" or "fimbriae". With a normal bird in flight, air rushes over the surface of the wing, creating turbulence, which makes a gushing noise. With an Owl's wing, the comb-like feather edge breaks down the turbulence into little groups called micro-turbulences. This effectively muffles the sound of the air rushing over the wing surface and allows the Owl to fly silently. There is also an alternate theory that the flutings actually shift the sound energy created by the wingbeats to a higher frequency spectrum, where most creatures (including prey and humans) cannot hear.



    I haven't been on a solo night ride in a year or two but yeah. Feeling like you're not the top of the food chain is one of the cooler things about it!
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
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  15. #15
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    Close encounters with rattlesnakes make it difficult to have fun on the rest of the ride. In North Scottsdale (Pima & Dynamite), the snakes are the same color as the decomposed granite and I tend to spot them when I am uncomfortably close. I have been on spring night rides where we have run into up 5 or so. When I see one at night by myself, sticks and rocks all seem to be snakes for the next hour.

  16. #16
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    I rode up on a skunk and I almost ran it over.The skunk just turned around lifted its tail than took off down the trail. I got lucky I didn't get sprayed. I have also had an owl swoop down from behind me right in front of my lights and fly ahead of me for awhile. Now that freaked me out.
    Last edited by coach2win; 12-13-2011 at 11:38 AM.

  17. #17
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    I had an owl swoop right past my head and it damn near gave me a heart attack. I have seen all sorts of critters, thankfully my Avid Juicy Animal Alert System lets them know I'm coming.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jugdish View Post
    The most unique adaptation of Owl feathers is the comb-like or fimbriate (fringe-like) leading edge of the primary wing feathers referred to as "flutings" or "fimbriae". With a normal bird in flight, air rushes over the surface of the wing, creating turbulence, which makes a gushing noise. With an Owl's wing, the comb-like feather edge breaks down the turbulence into little groups called micro-turbulences. This effectively muffles the sound of the air rushing over the wing surface and allows the Owl to fly silently. There is also an alternate theory that the flutings actually shift the sound energy created by the wingbeats to a higher frequency spectrum, where most creatures (including prey and humans) cannot hear.
    Damn! Beat me to it...and did a much better job than I ever could. Owls are effing cool.
    Responds to gravity

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernal View Post
    Oh yea!...down here in Texas we have a hog problem and these things are not affraid of humans lol come up on a pile of them while shagging ass down a trail.....one charged me after i passed him.


    Wish i could take my traps to the trails....50lbs on hoof makes some gooood BBQ bruuuuuuther
    I hear ya. Most of our park trails in this area (NE Texas) include some creek bottoms. And where there's a creek bottom...............................hogs won't be far away. I've encountered them in the day and had them run from me. Night is a whole other story.

    I guess I'm more afraid of cottonmouths and copperheads on the trail at night than I am the hogs.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak View Post
    and did a much better job than I ever could. Owls are effing cool.
    It was cut and paste, I'm not that smart. I did know they didn't make a sound when flying and yes, they are effing cool. I used to cut wood in the fall up around 8000 feet and would hear, at times up to 3 GH's hooting away up and down the canyon. Effing cool, indeed!
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
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  21. #21
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    I was getting in a scary situation when I rode on one of my favourite trails at night, somewhere in September (place: middle of Europe, hills of Buda). When I was descending from a hill suddenly a wild boar jumped out to the trail, just in front of my front wheel. I almost ran off and crashed (it was a narrow shave) but at the end I could stop. Probably because of my two big lights the wild boar ran away, but suddenly an another one appeared in my back - uh, that was not so funny but finally I survived.

  22. #22
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    I usually ride alone at night and find that when I start off I am fine but after a stop for water or gear check when I pay attention to the sounds I start to get squirrelly. The second half of the ride is usually faster than the first as a result.

    Always bring a phone and a backup light and let someone know you are heading out

  23. #23
    No, that's not phonetic
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    I live in Kodiak Alaska and I've been chased by a brown bear on my bike. That was during the day. I tend to not look around much when riding at night because, well, I just would rather not know.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  24. #24
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    It's the people that scare me the most. On a pitch black moonless night I almost ran into a guy riding a bike in the opposite direction. No light. Dark clothes, dark colored bike, no reflectors, nothing white or light colored on him. A scarf wrapped around his head with only his eyes peering out. Because it was so pitch black, he was going about 3 mph. Any faster and he would have run off the trail into a tree or something.

    It really is creepy being the only one on the trail. The worst is getting a flat and feeling like you're exposed to the forest, but you can't see anyone or anything else that might be out there.

  25. #25
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    I have had a couple of scares

    The most recent was last winter on the commute home from work. I was climbing up this gravel path in the woods when an owl swooped through my light and just missed my head. That got the heart rate up.

    The scariest one though was a number of years back when I was riding home through a forested park after working a 3 - 11 shift. Coyotes in the trees to my right started howling. I like the sound so at first I felt privileged. Then the coyotes started moving with me. They would yip and howl then go quiet only to repeat further down the trail. This went on for at least ten minutes. I kept riding faster and they seemed to be sticking with me. I never saw them but it gave me a scare. I was real glad to get out of the park.

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