Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 50 of 52
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    380

    Night riding alone?

    Just wondering, for those who ride at night, do you ride alone or with others? ThinkIng aboutinvesting in light setup, but I ride alone and am not sure about it.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mtbRevolution's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    379
    Quote Originally Posted by moldau94 View Post
    Just wondering, for those who ride at night, do you ride alone or with others? ThinkIng aboutinvesting in light setup, but I ride alone and am not sure about it.
    I ride alone most of the time. IMO, a powerful helmet light is the most essential item when night riding alone. This doesn't mean having 3000+ real lumens on the head but a good high intensity focused throw to give you total light command on or off the bike. Needless to say a secondary bar light is as important as good flood and back up light. Good batteries are a must because no juice, no light. Use common sense when night riding in your area. There may be dangers others like us don't think about. It is very safe night ride in Australia. mtb riding here is 24/7. We take it for granted.

    There are things to consider like, there may be restrictions imposed on mtb night riding in some national parks and great trail riding areas in other countries. Then there are seasons where certain animals are known to prowl more than others. I am no wildlife expert but most will agree animals attack because they are startled, cornered or protecting their territory and young.

    If you apply common sense and go well prepared its safe to night ride in most places. If you have loved ones at home you give a damn about, don't make them worry unnecessarily. Use a real time GPS tracker so they know where you are at any time.
    Leonard - All things Xeccon + Beyond
    mtbRevolution.com

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,995
    Almost always night ride solo. I usually avoid night riding on "urban" trails. At least in my area, they seem to be the haunt of moderate numbers of "undomesticated" humans. Away from town though it is totally worry free. As Xeccon said having a helmet light is the handiest and most versatile.

    One thing I'll add though is that any helmet light should have a low enough setting that one can use it fix a flat, read a map, do repairs to bike or rider. Trying to read a map with too bright of a light is nearly impossible. You turn your head to the side so it is illuminated by only the spill and you're reading it out of the corner of your eye. Kind of awkward IMO.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: smilinsteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    8,608
    I used to ride alone at night all the time when I lived in Tucson. Some of the most peaceful times I've ever had. When you get used to it, you can feel as at home in the dark as in the day. The animal life is much more present at night in the desert, but never a problem for me.
    If you are already used to riding alone, than doing it at night shouldn't be too hard of a transition, but of course it all depends on the environment around you.

  5. #5
    Light freak
    Reputation: scar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,755
    Some of my best rides were/are when riding alone. Your senses are heightened to the extremes and am really able to flush the mind.

    ***

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1,434
    Points already made above are bang on. I do most of my night riding solo as my riding group usually bail in the cool damp winters here in Squamish BC. Because of some close calls with bears/cougar, and poor night vision I have gone a little over kill on my light set up, but it does make me feel a bit more secure. What I make sure and do now is in heavily brushed areas and blind corners I find simply clearing my throat or coughing any type of human sound will usually clear the way. I've tried an air horn,,, the bear just stood it's ground so don't use that any more. I do carry bear bangers and if in a position where i'm hymned in they do work. As mentioned if comfortable, night riding is some of the most awesome, peaceful riding one can ever do!! Cheers!!

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    513
    I usually ride alone also but this summer we manage to get in more group rides at night than pass summers. It's a lot more fun when riding with a big group as you can see from this video.

    "By Your Command"

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mtbRevolution's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    379
    Quote Originally Posted by pucked up View Post
    I usually ride alone also but this summer we manage to get in more group rides at night than pass summers. It's a lot more fun when riding with a big group
    Nice one, pucked. Have to agree that it's more fun when riding in a group, but only if the groups riding skills and speed are about the same. Nothing worse than slowing down or worse stopping to wait for the huffin 'n puffin guy back there.

    Was going mention the 3rd most important thing to have when riding solo - chain-breaker/Tools. Decided to watch the video first then noticed the ending. Did someone's rear derailleur dropout snap at 12:10? Mine did a couple of months back. That week, I decided to leave the chain- breaker at home because I got myself a new smaller Camelbak and wanted to travel lighter. Big mistake. My dropout snapped as I changed gears riding through roots. Never happened before but when I really needed a chain breaker, I don't have it. It would still be ok if it was a puncture or a torn sidewall but a wrecked derailleur or dropout means only one thing, I'm walking. Had about 18kms or just over 10 miles of walking to get home. No problem, had enough juice in the batteries to get me out to the trailhead which is just 5ks from that point. Now reverse this scenario. Have a chain-breaker on board, but came out with only one light and it's about to deplete. I am seriously prepared to walk 20 miles,... if only I could see where I am going.
    Leonard - All things Xeccon + Beyond
    mtbRevolution.com

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    958
    I hit a stick one time and my chain jumped into the spokes (no chain protector) and tore up half the spokes. The chain got so lodged in there that I couldn't remove the chain at all. I couldn't even roll the wheel. Using a chain tool I broke the chain and wrapped it around the cassette. I could at at least roll the bike back to my car. If I hadn't had the tool, I would have had to walk back while carrying my bike. I couldn't imagine having to do that in the dark with your batteries running out.

    So you definitely have to be prepared at night. Extra flashlight, small lantern, full tube, patch kit, emergency phone, and tools. I even used to have one of those chemical glowsticks, I should probably get another one of those.

    If you are deep in the woods by yourself you should probably have all the survival stuff, space blanket, fire starter, knife etc. But most of us probably don't get more than 5 or 10 miles from safety.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,995
    I know it's not the most prudent approach, but I often go without most of the things mentioned in the previous posts. If the ride is a 1-2 hour loop I usually just bring a water bottle. I'm going to jinx myself here, but in 21 years of mt biking I have never broken a chain or derailleur. Never taco'd a wheel. I've had one flat in the past 8 years since going tubeless. I have gotten pretty lackadaisical about gear when heading out. Like I said in my first sentence, not too prudent. I expect one of these days I'll be walking out of somewhere when a simple fix with a tool would keep me riding.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    958
    I was getting pretty cavalier about equipment last year. Maybe cavalier isn't the right word, I was getting minimal. All I had was C02 inflator, two cartridges, a tire iron and a glueless patch kit in a small under-the-seat-bag. No pump of any kind. I was riding my mountain bike on the road. I jumped onto a patch of grass to let a car pass. I hit a very hidden man-hole cover and got a pinch flat. I was about 9 miles out. I put the glue-less patch on, installed the tube and used up one cartridge. Started inflating the tire and then suddenly lost pressure again. As the tube inflated, the patch was getting rubbed off of the tube. I don't know if they were crappy patches, or if they old, but they weren't working. Tried a second patch with my last cartridge with the same result. Now I was screwed.

    I ended up walking home and it took me almost three hours to walk home in the dark with mountain bike SPD shoes. Not a pleasant experience. It had only taken me 30-35 minutes to get out there. At least it was on a nice warm night.

    So now I carry at least a tube, a real patch kit, Co2 cartridges, a shrader to presta adapter, plus a small frame pump.

    You only make that walk once.

  12. #12
    > /dev/null 2&>1
    Reputation: Procter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    3,341

    Re: Night riding alone?

    I do a lot of night rides alone, i love the zen . . . just you and the trail. I usually wear a bear bell (for the mountain lions we have here). But like others I'm never more than 5mi from the road. I carry an extra tube, patches, c02, pump, multi tool, power links, zip ties, derailleur cable and a cheap spare LED AA flashlight in case my primary dies. Sounds like a lot of gear but except for the tube its all pretty light for the value you get out of it.

    But yeah, its dangerous to be sure, take a hard wreck and no one is going to come across you. Good idea on the space blanket, i will add that. But, yeah, i usually take it a little easy. And my wife knows where i ride and where i park.

    Sent from (redacted by nsa)

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5,133
    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    I know it's not the most prudent approach, but I often go without most of the things mentioned in the previous posts. If the ride is a 1-2 hour loop I usually just bring a water bottle. I'm going to jinx myself here, but in 21 years of mt biking I have never broken a chain or derailleur. Never taco'd a wheel. I've had one flat in the past 8 years since going tubeless. I have gotten pretty lackadaisical about gear when heading out. Like I said in my first sentence, not too prudent. I expect one of these days I'll be walking out of somewhere when a simple fix with a tool would keep me riding.
    I have to agree...^^...although I did break a chain on one ride it was on a local trail and was during my early years of MTB'ing when I rode almost every other day. It only took 20 minutes to walk out. After that I took a chain tool on most every ride figuring it was the thing to do. That was many years ago. A couple years back I decided to clean out the excess "stuff" in my bike bag. Since I never did use the chain tool ( except at home ) I took it out. I don't think I'd ever consider carrying it again unless I was really doing a very long ride in unknown terrain. Then again if you replace your chain on a regular basis you likely will never need a chain tool. All I carry now is a spare tube, levers, pump and patch kit. My only luxury item is a CO'2 device for pumping up a tire. At night sometimes I don't feel like hassling with the pump.

    The only other thing I can say about riding alone at night is that is best not to take the same kind of chances you might take when riding during the day. That's because no matter how good your lights are your ability to see things at night is not going to be as good as it is during the day. The light that comes from a set directional source will never be able to approximate what you can see when using ambient lighting. Things like drop offs, sharp turns, steep drops, big logs or log pyramids can be crazy dangerous at night. Yep, many a time I could of killed myself by being over-confident about how bright my lights were.

    Also, never a good idea to explore new trails at night. Do your exploring during the day. Ride what you know at night.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    513
    Quote Originally Posted by mtbRevolution View Post
    Nothing worse than slowing down or worse stopping to wait for the huffin 'n puffin guy back there.

    Did someone's rear derailleur dropout snap at 12:10?
    We were all at about the same condition, some of the guys that were out with us that night was not familiar with the trail so was going a bit slower than the rest. They were not too far behind the wait was not very long at all, we just didn't want them to turn the opposite direction when we came to a fork on the trail.

    Yeah one of the guys bump into a stump on the trail and wrecked his derailleur hanger. It was about a 10 - 15mins bike a hike back to the parking lot. A quick fix the next day and we were all out a couple of days later.

    So adding a derailleur hanger to the list to have along with you when going out for a night ride. Also depending on how long you ride for having extra batteries / battery packs is always a good thing.
    "By Your Command"

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    285
    I too alter my route for night riding. I skip the expert loop as I don't really need to increase the chances of me falling off of a cliff. Instead of taking the downhills, I climb them (single track climbs instead of my usual firelane climb). This also keeps me closer to the park entrance so I am at most 2 miles in. No needs for any tools as I can probably walk home quicker than I could change a flat tire. Only had 1 flat in the 1.5 years of going tubeless, and that was from user error (going too fast over sharp, loose rocks in WV).

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,995
    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Also, never a good idea to explore new trails at night. Do your exploring during the day. Ride what you know at night.
    Dang it, another thing I do wrong. When I go on a road trip for riding, it's not unusual that I get to the destination late in the day or into the night. Not one to waste time, I often will gear up and hit the trail for a one to two hour ride. On these rides I do carry a map and compass and maybe even GPS with the truck location marked.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    31
    The flashlight app on my smartphone has saved me more than a few times!

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5,133
    Yeah, forgot about the compass. I always carry one of those. Saved my butt a couple times. I upgraded to a compass/emergency whistle/temp gauge last year. Since I bought the smart phone I carry that all the time and have GPS, map and real-time weather access at a moments notice.

    When riding very large areas with lots of trail junctures navigating at night can be strange/disorienting. Even if you think you know the area if you don't ride it much it's amazing how different things look at night. Real easy to get turned around and lose your sense of direction.

    One of the worse times I ever got lost was in a large recreation area. Trail junctures every quarter mile or so. It was dark and I had my old style halogen lights. Somehow I took a wrong trail and lost my sense of direction. Back in those days halogen lights only gave you so much run time so it was real important to be headed the right way. I had a map and a compass. Using a river as a point of reference along with the compass I determined I had somehow crossed the river without really noticing. ( DUHHH ). Hey, it happens. What I thought was a stream was a river. Anyway, figured it out and I was fine. Nowadays with LED lighting I have all the run time I will need, no matter what. Along with the smart phone getting lost should be a thing of the past unless you lose your signal ( which can happen ). Still, there are programs that give you an off-line map and GPS will almost always work. Regardless, I'll always carry a compass even though the phone has a compass app.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    800
    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Even if you think you know the area if you don't ride it much it's amazing how different things look at night.
    Exactly!

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    958
    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Dang it, another thing I do wrong. When I go on a road trip for riding, it's not unusual that I get to the destination late in the day or into the night. Not one to waste time, I often will gear up and hit the trail for a one to two hour ride. On these rides I do carry a map and compass and maybe even GPS with the truck location marked.
    Haha, I think you just like living dangerously. Maybe we can arrange to have you followed by a large pack of angry dogs, just to increase the danger factor.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    800
    I was under impression that this tread is purely-technical one, but if not... Well, I do night riding both alone & with company. The latter is preferred, though!

    BikeTime 14 03 2013 ????? ? ????? - YouTube

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: androgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    902
    I like how NiteRider has a super low power "walk" mode, that's long enough to last all the way till the morning. It's a shame that Light & Motion doesn't have that. The High / Med / Low on L&M are all designed for when your bike is operational - but the mode for when it's not is simply not there. This is a really bad oversight, don't you think ?

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    800
    Just buy the battery which will allow you to ride as long as you want without switching to the "moonlight" mode!

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: androgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    902
    Quote Originally Posted by -Archie- View Post
    Just buy the battery which will allow you to ride as long as you want without switching to the "moonlight" mode!
    ok i think somebody is missing the point ... or was that sarcasm ?

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    800
    I remember the days when riding with 4*AA-powered halogen light was considered "normal", but now? Why one want to have super-low mode on bike light?

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation: androgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    902
    Quote Originally Posted by -archie- View Post
    i remember the days when riding with 4*aa-powered halogen light was considered "normal", but now? Why one want to have super-low mode on bike light?
    for when you snap your frame in half and have to walk back 20 miles

  27. #27
    Brant-C.
    Reputation: bcaronongan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    1,046
    i typically ride with buddies. wife and i just think it's safer since i have a two hour drive to any trail head.
    I just like riding my mountain bike.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,995
    Quote Originally Posted by -Archie- View Post
    I remember the days when riding with 4*AA-powered halogen light was considered "normal", but now? Why one want to have super-low mode on bike light?
    I use a "hidden" low low mode on my helmet light for checking the map or most any other non-riding time.

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation: androgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    902
    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    I use a "hidden" low low mode on my helmet light for checking the map or most any other non-riding time.
    on the seca there is a diffuse downward spill which works very well for things like that provided that the light is helmet mounted. unfortunately the light is still chewing through the battery at a fast pace when you do that.

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mtbRevolution's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    379
    Fully agree having a compass at all times. If you know where north is and the trailhead general direction then chances of you making it back without a map is quite good. I have a compass on my watch but I still carry one of these small Munkees compass. I stuck a separate thermometer on my bike using double sided tape. Their products are great and I am sure you'll find something you need for ride or trek. Product 1084 in this page is really handy. They are not expensive and I advise against getting the really cheap compasses off eBay. It's a survival tool.

    The danger with losing your sense of direction is, you may be less than a mile from a main road when you FELT got lost and you ride deeper in the opposite direction. Now, you're truly lost. Also, if you feel you're lost, conserve battery power. Use hi only to indentify landmarks.
    Leonard - All things Xeccon + Beyond
    mtbRevolution.com

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation: androgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    902
    Quote Originally Posted by mtbRevolution View Post
    Fully agree having a compass at all times. If you know where north is and the trailhead general direction then chances of you making it back without a map is quite good. I have a compass on my watch but I still carry one of these small Munkees compass. I stuck a separate thermometer on my bike using double sided tape. Their products are great and I am sure you'll find something you need for ride or trek. Product 1084 in this page is really handy. They are not expensive and I advise against getting the really cheap compasses off eBay. It's a survival tool.

    The danger with losing your sense of direction is, you may be less than a mile from a main road when you FELT got lost and you ride deeper in the opposite direction. Now, you're truly lost. Also, if you feel you're lost, conserve battery power. Use hi only to indentify landmarks.
    iphone has a built in compass, aside from GPS. so do many other good smartphones.

    maybe i'm missing something here ...

  32. #32
    turtles make me hot
    Reputation: NYrr496's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    7,609
    I ride the exact same trails at night I ride during the day. Most of it is a greenbelt and you can see houses through the trees especially in winter when there's no leaves.
    We don't have bears or anything on Long Island, so really no worries in the wildlife department.
    I like turtles

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    513
    compass = halogen. GPS = LED
    "By Your Command"

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,995
    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    iphone has a built in compass, aside from GPS. so do many other good smartphones.

    maybe i'm missing something here ...
    No miss. The point, I think, was that a compass, whether old school or new fangled, or a GPS can be a useful piece of piece of gear in the event of getting disoriented in the woods.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mtbRevolution's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    379
    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    No miss. The point, I think, was that a compass, whether old school or new fangled, or a GPS can be a useful piece of piece of gear in the event of getting disoriented in the woods.
    That's right. IMO this is not about old school or new. My HTC is in the cradle on the stem every time I night ride. GPS is turned on for Real Time GPS tracker. Using GPS and having the display screen on even periodically drains phone batteries really fast. Set the screen brightness higher or have apps running will see it go down even faster. It can take hours to walk out of a forest. Will the power-hungry smartphone endure? Keep precious power when you really need it. Also bear in mind a smartphone can hold charge better on some days compared to another depending in use and what's running in the background - they are almost unpredictable. If we are walking out in the dark then all we need is enough light and direction check every so often. The humble compass at your service.

    Going old school with survival equipment isn't a bad thing. Battery power is finite. Old school equipment don't have these limitations. Wind-up torches are items we laugh at when we see them. Wind, wind wind to get these pathetic outputs? When bike light batteries are long depleted and the smartphone dead in the water, that silly wind up torch will end up being your new best friend. I know this is not what the OP wants to hear but so far, we've only assume we're stuck because of bike problems. Consider unfortunates like sprained ankles, broken bones or internal injuries. Having a small low powered torch will also see you though the night if you are staying put till sunrise.

    So best to avoid these very unlikely but possible unfortunates. Listen to the unanimous advice to night ride only on familiar trails. Ride within reasonable distances from roads and civilization. Don't play control the uncontrollable. Don't ride dangerous technical sections or explore new areas alone. Let loved ones know where you are. Come home safe to do it another day, I mean night.
    Leonard - All things Xeccon + Beyond
    mtbRevolution.com

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation: androgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    902
    Quote Originally Posted by mtbRevolution View Post
    That's right. IMO this is not about old school or new. My HTC is in the cradle on the stem every time I night ride. GPS is turned on for Real Time GPS tracker. Using GPS and having the display screen on even periodically drains phone batteries really fast. Set the screen brightness higher or have apps running will see it go down even faster. It can take hours to walk out of a forest. Will the power-hungry smartphone endure? Keep precious power when you really need it. Also bear in mind a smartphone can hold charge better on some days compared to another depending in use and what's running in the background - they are almost unpredictable. If we are walking out in the dark then all we need is enough light and direction check every so often. The humble compass at your service.

    Going old school with survival equipment isn't a bad thing. Battery power is finite. Old school equipment don't have these limitations. Wind-up torches are items we laugh at when we see them. Wind, wind wind to get these pathetic outputs? When bike light batteries are long depleted and the smartphone dead in the water, that silly wind up torch will end up being your new best friend. I know this is not what the OP wants to hear but so far, we've only assume we're stuck because of bike problems. Consider unfortunates like sprained ankles, broken bones or internal injuries. Having a small low powered torch will also see you though the night if you are staying put till sunrise.

    So best to avoid these very unlikely but possible unfortunates. Listen to the unanimous advice to night ride only on familiar trails. Ride within reasonable distances from roads and civilization. Don't play control the uncontrollable. Don't ride dangerous technical sections or explore new areas alone. Let loved ones know where you are. Come home safe to do it another day, I mean night.
    one thing that drains phone batteries is low network signal level. when there is no cell tower nearby the phone will boost its own antenna output to try to communicate and this really takes a hit on the battery life. when i go to swimming pool i leave my phone in a metal locker which blocks most of the signal - if i don't turn my phone off when i put it there 2 hours later it has used up as much battery as it would have in a whole day in an area with good signal. so it's not just the screen and the apps that eat the battery, but also the antenna output.

    that said i have an anker portable charger:

    Amazon.com: Anker 2nd Gen Astro2 9000mAh External Battery Charger Rapid-Recharge (3A Output) Dual-Port Shake-to-Wake Portable Highest-Energy-Efficiency Backup Power Pack for Google Glass, iPhone 5S, 5C, 5, 4S, 4, iPads, Samsung Galaxy Tablets, other

    the link is to the new one, i have an older one, but it will recharge a phone from flat several times. an older android phone has 1700-1800 mah batteries. a new android phone will have 2100 - 2600 mah batteries. this power bank is 9000 mah. i bought it after Hurricane Sandy left us without power for days ( others were without power for weeks ). but Anker has different size ones and most are pocketable.

    additionally my Samsung phone has removable battery, and i actually crushed my battery in an accident and using an Anker battery in it right now ( Samsung Brand Battery was like $50, Anker was like $15 and it holds charge very well ). anyway both Samsung and Anker sell external chargers and spare batteries for Samsung phones, so you have have a spare battery or two with you OR you can have an external battery, or both.

    so even in a low signal area with the screen on you can still prepare your phone battery to survive for as long as necessary - and as long as you don't use genuine Samsung parts to do it it won't even be that expensive.

    Samsung currently has the best battery solutions on their phones. Not only are Samsung batteries removable in a flash ( unlike iPhone, HTC One, or Motorola X ) but Samsung also has the highest capacity batteries in their phones right now - 2600 mah in Galaxy S4 and 3200 mah in Galaxy Note 3 ( goes on sale October 1st ).

    Anker replacement batteries are same capacity as Samsung original ones. Samsung simply designs their phones nowadays with physically LARGE batteries, so replacement ones from 3rd party will be high capacity as well. The battery is Galaxy Note 3 phone is almost the same size as an entire iPhone !

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    2,099
    Dealing with normal survival things is pretty straightforward and there has been a lot written on it. Even if you have to stash your bike and walk out, while uncomfortable and inconvenient, it's doable and you'll be ok.

    The real risk is this is if you incapacitated or hurt where you can't walk. Then your survival could be a serious issue. If alone, there is no one to help you etc... Hopefully, you've been prudent and told someone where you are going and when you will be back.

    The big risk is a head injury or an injury or condition that leaves you either loopy in making poor decisions or unconscious. If you are unconscious, you can't call anyone either (assuming you're in cellular coverage). If you are loopy or disoriented, you may not ever be found since you likely won't proceed in a rational direction and searchers will be looking for you in the rational locations first. So this is a really bad deal and we've all heard what happens where someone gets lost in the backcountry and searchers finally find the body in a completely unexpected place. This is where having a tracker on you is valuable.

    If you are in cellular coverage, and have a smart phone, there are a number of apps that will allow others to track where you were or to, at least, find out your last location in the event the battery dies or the phone is rendered inoperable. This is especially useful if you have told someone where you are going and when you intend to be back. It's easy for them to monitor your progress and check up on you. I use an iPhone and the apps that I use are either/or Find My Friends or Glympse. Both work really well and a rescuer can walk right to your location with a GPS or smartphone.

    Other than that, while it's not a great idea to go alone, you can do it but not recommended. Same caveats apply to swimming alone, being in the backcountry alone etc... (lots written on how to do this - search is your friend).

    J.

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    2,099
    BTW, here's what I use to get lots of battery power. I use my iPhone as my bike computer using Cyclemeter from abvio.com (great app). For about each hour of use though if you have the display on, it will drop about 20-30% so depending on the level when I go out, that can be a problem.

    When I travel for work, I need an extra battery so I bought the iBattz Mojo Refuel battery case for the iphone. You can use (ironically) Samsung i9300 batteries to swap them in and out as much as you want. With a full iBattz battery and my iphone battery, it would be good for 10 hours or more. For an additional $20, they make a otterbox style case that the battery sled fits into so the whole thing is well ruggedized. I mount that using a Quadlock (iPhone Bike Mount | Quad Lock - iPhone/Galaxy Bike Mount) stem mount. Works super well - and has plenty of juice for my needs plus sending my position back so my wife can find me if I'm hurt or stuck.



    J.

  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5,133
    Quote Originally Posted by mtbRevolution View Post
    Going old school with survival equipment isn't a bad thing. Battery power is finite. Old school equipment don't have these limitations. Wind-up torches are items we laugh at when we see them. Wind, wind wind to get these pathetic outputs? When bike light batteries are long depleted and the smartphone dead in the water, that silly wind up torch will end up being your new best friend. I know this is not what the OP wants to hear but so far, we've only assume we're stuck because of bike problems. Consider unfortunates like sprained ankles, broken bones or internal injuries. Having a small low powered torch will also see you though the night if you are staying put till sunrise.
    Generally I carry a small AA powered torch for emergency repairs and that should carry me through most circumstances on which I find myself without a working lamp. On low it should run close to three hours ( about 60 lumen on low ). If needed I could helmet mount it if I could still ride.

    I don't do back country excursions too often but when I do I will always carry lights, even for planned day rides. For those planned day excursions I will usually carry some lighter weight torches rather than my usual night set-up. In a pinch the two torches can supply enough run time to run for three hours. That's with one on the helmet and one on the bars...( ea. with one 18650 cell ) with each lamp set for medium.

    Along with that set-up I will bring a hiker/camping torch that has a super low output. I own one of the old style Princeton Tec AAA LED torches that has maybe a 10-20 lumen output. It's suppose to run for 40hrs on 4 AAA's.

    Now that we're on the subject of emergencies and such I've decided to do something I've wanted to do for some time now but have always put off. I'm going to WRITE DOWN the sequence of things I'm going to do if I ever hurt myself and can't walk out of the woods. Then I'm going to put a copy on my computer and in each of my bike bags. Basically it's just going to be a formal list of Apps and phone numbers I'll be using on my phone to help others find me. Believe me, if you ride alone you need to do this because no way do you want to try to figure this out when your leg or arm is broken and you are in great pain.

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    2,099
    A number of years ago, my wife and I went for a ride on the trails near Bayfield, WI (on Lake Superior). It was a cloudy overcast afternoon (4pm or so) when we left. Plan was to ride for about an hour and then go back to the car. Even though we were very familiar with the area, we got turned around in the woods and on the fire trails. Got dark (was October) and with the overcast there was no light, no landmarks, no moon etc... It was incredibly dark - in places it was hard to see 10' away.

    We finally got out by following trails and roads downhill until we saw some lights through the trees and got back onto the local ski area's trail system. The only way we knew that was I had one of those coin cell early LED lights on my keychain (<4 lumens). It was enough so that we could see a sign and figure out where we were. That's how we figured out we had just gone in a big circle.

    But there's the lesson. We came very close to spending the night out in the woods with no warm clothing (there was snow on the ground in places from the week before), no way to make a fire, no water except what was left in our water bottles, no compass, no map, etc... Totally stupid and totally our fault. We're just lucky we didn't get hurt on top of it all.

    Things look really different in the dark. Now I never go out at night for something like that without being totally prepared. It's pretty easy to get in serious trouble in a place that you even think is familiar.

    J.
    Last edited by JohnJ80; 09-20-2013 at 10:15 AM.

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5,133
    ....^^^, yep...you only go through that once to learn the lesson.
    On one of my few back country excursions ( This was many years ago ) I was navigating unknown territory by map and suddenly realized that the sun was setting faster than I expected. I did have the forethought to bring a bike light but it was for my ( then ) Niterider halogen helmet light and the battery was half depleted from a previous ride. I figured I had maybe 40 minutes of batttery juice left at best and I had at least an hour or so of travel left providing I didn't get lost. With the old style NiMH batteries you never knew how long you had before the battery pooped. Luckily I had just enough to get me off the mountain and back to my campsite. I had the Princeton tec with me but I certainly didn't want to wander through unknown territory with just one of those.

    With current LED/Li-ion technology available things are just so much better. LED lamps and GPS/smart phones you just have to love. Now if the same thing were to happen again I would just yawn and think to myself, "No problem, I have 6 hours of available run time with just two torches and two Li-ion cells". "GPS shows I have three miles to my next trail juncture, no problem".

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    122
    I have been thinking exactly the same thing, i.e. is it irresponsible riding alone at night? Made it a bit more of a question to take seriously, now I have a kid. I live in the UK and am therefore fortunate that animals do not present any kind of issue on the trails. I usually ride in areas where I do not expect any trouble.

    I recently opted out of a solo night ride in Wales, (at a manmade trail centre - Y Wall at Afan), mainly because the height, exposure and technical element of the ride made me think twice. It is not a trail I know like the back of my hand, but I have ridden it previously. Funnily enough I have ridden the same trail in the rain late in an afternoon - again if anything happened it would likely be a while before anyone found me.

    Strangely I don't mind riding on some trails at night, solo, some 30 minutes from my house (Surrey Hills, UK). Arguably you are a bit closer to help, but you could still be out alone for a long time if lost/injured.

    I have just bought a second bike light, but things still go wrong and as the above posts say, good idea to have an idea of which direction you need to be headed in.

    My experiences of being lost/stranded are thankfully relatively limited, but they do include being lost in Pisghah, NC, with my wife (mid-afternoon) and stuck on trail I frequently ride in the UK after my CO2 and inner-tubes both failed when I needed to repair a puncture. Both not pleasant, but Pisgah was a lot more serious due to the size of the area and our lack of preparation.

    For longer rides I now pack compass, 1st aid, space blanket, whistle and if possible a decent map. Cell Phone also gets packed, but it is not always the best idea to rely on them.

  43. #43
    Light freak
    Reputation: scar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,755
    As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I ride in the dark alone occasionally. Always a chill ride but things can happen at anytime. Was on a group morning (5am) ride about 4 weeks ago and I woke up trying to pull myself back on trail but I could not stand up. Another rider behind me found me laying in the middle of the trail and brought me around enough to continue on to catch up with the pack. Tried to continue on but ended up passing out and waking up to find a bunch of people standing over top of me. Had to be helped out by the fire department. Ended up breaking two ribs, puncturing a lung, and a concussion. Really glad I was not by myself.

    Here is a story of a local rider that went out on training ride during the day by herself, fell and hit her head and could not find her way out. Quick little ride turned into spending a cold night in the mountains till search and rescue found her. Her husband helped by being able to recognize her tire tracks.

    Stuff happens - 'I don't remember falling:' Cyclist recounts 30-hour ordeal, rescue in mountains west of Colorado Springs


    ***

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    2,099
    Exactly. Hitting your head (our family has considerable experience with traumatic brain injuries) means that all bets are off. It really doesn't take much to disorient you with that type of injury. Worse, if you do have a TBI and are disoriented and conscious, your decision making can be a mess and you'll make bad choices - choices that are likely illogical and lead you to get more lost rather than less. Just like happened here.

    Standard rules are in play - tell someone where you are going, when you will back and what your route is. Have communications that is trackable if there is any question that you would be hard to find. You can do this with smartphone apps and there are very reasonable personal EPIRB type devices around.

    The other side of this is that you also need to think about your rescuers. Searching at night for you can be dangerous to them as well. Searching at night isn't easy either and it's really easy to miss finding someone.

    J.

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5,133
    Quote Originally Posted by scar View Post
    As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I ride in the dark alone occasionally. Always a chill ride but things can happen at anytime. Was on a group morning (5am) ride about 4 weeks ago and I woke up trying to pull myself back on trail but I could not stand up. Another rider behind me found me laying in the middle of the trail and brought me around enough to continue on to catch up with the pack. Tried to continue on but ended up passing out and waking up to find a bunch of people standing over top of me. Had to be helped out by the fire department. Ended up breaking two ribs, puncturing a lung, and a concussion. Really glad I was not by myself....
    If I had ever had something like that happen I would have been in big time trouble. This is also why when I do ride alone at night that I just don't take big time chances. It sort of takes some of the fun out of it but if you ride at night alone on a regular basis you accept the limitations in order to protect your skin.

    A couple weekends ago I did a ride where I came to a short steep section that I was well familiar with. Having not ridden the trail in over a year I stopped to look it over. The trail was extremely dry and sandy. I was about to pick a line and then thought better of it. Dry sandy terrain simply does not have the consistency/traction to provide for a safe controlled descent. With a line of trees looming at the bottom of the hill I decided to play it safe and walk. If I rode down, started to slide and lost control I could of been pealing my a8s off of one of the trees.

    Mountain biking is a dangerous sport. The more you know about the potential dangers of the terrain, the limitations of your equipment and your own limitations the better off you are. Been a while since I really rode anything scary at night. If I do decide to ride scary trails at night it might be a good idea to look into some good light-weight body armor. At my age a bad fall is not something I want to entertain.

  46. #46
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    2,099
    It's worthy to note that your helmet will do a great job protecting against penetrating injuries but it does little to protect against concussion (shearing AKA DAI or Diffuse Axonal Injury) that comes from "shaken baby syndrome." While it didn't say in the article about the woman who got lost in Colorado Springs, she almost certainly was wearing a helmet and she still suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) with the resulting disorientation.

    There are helmets coming out now (this year and next) that do a better job (MIPS technology) but still when you are doing the survival thing you need to be completely on the ball.

    You have to be more careful at night, but it is fun and it is doable but even if the trail or road is in your backyard, you still need to be diligent about making sure you do it safely and that someone will come looking for you (and knows where to look) if you don't come back on time.

    J.

  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    513
    Most of my night rides are with myself. I do bring with me my blackberry and I have a program set that when the GPS notice that I have not move for more than 45mins, it'll send a text/bbm to my contacts as to the location I"m currently at and to send for help.

    You may want to see if your smart phone has this kind of program / app. It may be worth installing just in case you get in to trouble while on the trail day or night, if you ride a lone a lot. Hopefully you're in cell range when you're out on the trail. Most of the trails I ride are.
    "By Your Command"

  48. #48
    www.hahntronix.com
    Reputation: mhahn@hvc.rr.com's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    252
    My quick list of rules for night riding:

    1- More lights are better
    I usually ride with one on helmet, one on bars, a couple flashlights. If you have some kind of mounting device you can loan flashlight to folks whose lights die. Flashlights should be something you can actually use to ride with.

    2-The harder, less well known, or longer the ride, the more people you should bring
    I don't ride alone on hard trails. I might do a trail I've never been on at night but only with somebody who's ridden it before and doesn't ride like d*ckhead.

    4- Nobody gets left behind
    Group I ride with waits for everybody at every intersection. Anybody gets bored they can ride back and look for the slow riders.

    5-Tell someone where you will be riding and when you'll be back
    Saves the search and rescue guys a lot of time. I break this sometimes if riding really easy trails near home.

    6- Always bring a cell phone (two if in a group)
    Even if coverage sucks. In a group you can send somebody to find a signal and call the cavalry.

    7- Always bring too much crap
    Extra food, water, batteries, clothing, space blanket, tools, matches, etc. It gets mighty cold if you get stuck in the woods overnight (most of my night riding happens late fall, winter, and early spring).

    Edit:

    3- there is no rule 3 :-)
    Last edited by mhahn@hvc.rr.com; 10-06-2013 at 12:29 PM.
    Nimium est melior!

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    108
    Yes I ride alone at night now and during the day alone as well. I find myself for the first time ever with a full time job meaning on week days I either dont ride or I ride at night. However, I take small precautions in that I ride the same regular spot that I always ride so I know exactly where I am and exactly how to tell people where I am. I also always ride with my phone set to endomondo so anybody on my friends list can see where I was when I last had signal. I also ride alone with my dog so I guess she gives me an ever so small sense of security in anybody approaching me.... they dont know shes a massive wuss and at 40kg she tends to put people off!

    However, i can definitely testify how its not nice riding alone whether it be during the day or at night. April this year while riding along I had an accident and I hit the deck going roughly 30mph (I know this because I remember seeing the tree and thinking oh crap and then I remember the sensation of somehow being 500 metres further on already on the phone to emergency services) and broke my jaw in 3 places and had to somehow explain to 999 exactly where I was and the feeling and thoughts that they perhaps may not find me.

    If you're riding somewhere you are not completely familiar with please take some precautions! The only reason I was able to tell 999 where I was is because I go there practically 3 times a week for the last 3 years... I know the sensation of concussion and looking round knowing exactly where I am and trying to connect my brain with my mouth to tell them and that was somewhere I knew. The idea of having to be in that situation where I was unfamiliar is fairly terrifying!

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    2,099
    or being unconscious. or telling them the wrong place. Or not remembering that you actually even crashed (traumatic amnesia).

    I'm a ski patroller and I deal with a fair amount of concussions. Basically, if it's more than a mild one, you pretty much can't depend on anything they say and they usually can't remember anything either - like their name, where they are or what time it is or what happened (usually some combination of those). In point of fact, that's how you diagnose concussion in the field - orientation in person, place and time. Incidentally, all of those are pretty important fact for your potential rescuers. Some of the responses can be downright hilarious.

    When you get a concussion, you get your brains scrambled. What memory/knowledge you lose depends on where the actual injury to your brain is and how deeply you learned that knowledge. For example, few people could recognize someone they walked past on the street 10 minutes later but they would remember what their mother looked like even if they were pretty heavily injured. There are a lot more neurons committed to the memory of your mother than an incidental passerby. So there is no way to predict how you will react or how capable you will be even with a mild concussion.

    So for any planning, if you ride alone, you really should be trackable and someone should know what your planned route was and when you will be back. Otherwise, if you get whacked on the head, you could be in serious trouble and may be very difficult to rescue because you will have inadvertently increased the search radius. If you do the math, the area that needs to be searched increases with the square of the distance from you last known point. If you walk double the distance away, it's 4X the area.

    J.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Night riding - Do you do it?
    By Mr. Lynch in forum Washington
    Replies: 121
    Last Post: 01-28-2014, 02:06 PM
  2. Nox Night riding
    By justriding in forum Pennsylvania
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 11-01-2012, 05:34 PM
  3. Night riding with a dog?
    By homey in forum Arizona
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 09-09-2012, 06:58 PM
  4. Night Riding?
    By vinnyl26 in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 09-29-2011, 03:38 PM
  5. why did nobody tell me about night riding?!?
    By sdmtnguy in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 05-25-2011, 03:00 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •