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Thread: Night riding

  1. #1
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    Night riding

    With the time change coming up just wondering were are some good places to night ride. I know itís legal at Coe and a few East bay parks. Most of the places around here the sign says sunrise to sunset. What are the chances seeing a ranger out here patrolling? Well other than Skeggs

  2. #2
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    Itís a roll of the dice. I used to head out (on the bike from home) after 10:00PM and get back around 1:00AM and only ever had an almost run-in (I was going downhill so I won that race). Full moon rides are the best since you donít need your lights on except for 1/3 of the ride.
    Donít frail and blow if youíre going to Braille and Flow.

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    How is 1/3 the magical number for a night ride with a full moon?

    I don't get your reasoning there.
    Maybe because I don't ride the trail you are referring to which is super brightly lit?

    I night ride and can't see at dark, even with a full moon. That's me -not saying it's not possible. Just trying to understand how 1/3 is the magic number.

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    If you are not under tree cover and the (full or mostly full) moon is high enough in the sky, then all your uphill riding can be done without lights. Downhill you will want lights. About 1/3 of your time will be spent travelling downhill vs. 2/3 climbing.

    The trick is to turn your lights off and let you eyes adjust to the low light condition. It takes about a minute. If you turn your lights on, even for just a bit, it will take another minute to adjust back.

    Riding (or hiking) in the moonlight is so much fun. Try to time your moonlight ride a day or two before the actual full moon, because the moon will be higher in the sky when you are riding. On the official full moon, it rises at sunset and is not high enough to be much good until after 10 or 11pm. If the moon is low on the horizon, you will be in/out of the moonlight in mountainous area. If you ride under trees, moonlight won't help.

    There is a group the rides at Coe Hunting Hollow trailhead Wednesdays at 7pm. Usual rides are about 2 to 3 hours long.

  5. #5
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    If you plan to night ride Skeggs, bring 2x as much light as you think you'll need and a back up. Full moon or not, you can't see your hand in front of your face there.

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    Summer after 10pm, winter after 8pm seem to be pretty un-patrolled in my experience.

    And I would reiterate 2 lights BUT on at all times when headed down. There is no reason not to and the consequences are pretty evil at even at a slow 10mph on a DH. Loosing a light will happen at some point due to battery issue, wiring issue, snag from a branch etc.

    Uphill is a different story, find one with a micro light mode, that is all you need and it saves your battery.

  7. #7
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    I like the idea of night riding because in high school we used to cruise around late nights on bmx bikes when we didn't drive. It was always good fun.

    However, now what freaks me out about night riding is that is the time the cougars come out. Both types are active and hunt at night. (Lol), but the animal type is what I'm talking about. Cougars definitely prowl the mtb parks in the area.

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    Braille is a friggin hoot at night. no really. a hoot......I once nearly got taken out by an owl swooping right in front of my face. lol


    but really. youll never have ranger issues at demo for a night ride. just park on the road.

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    Many riders in the east bay night riding Lime and Shell Ridge
    East Bay Parks AKA East Bay Cattle Ranches

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    Quote Originally Posted by aliikane View Post
    However, now what freaks me out about night riding is that is the time the cougars come out..
    All of our trails are covered with large cats, hard PASS for night riding trails here.

    I have a long steep driveway and make some runs up and down it, if I need to stretch the legs a small bit.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outhouse View Post
    I have a long steep driveway and make some runs up and down it, if I need to stretch the legs a small bit.
    Strava segment reveal or youíre full of hooha!!!

    Donít frail and blow if youíre going to Braille and Flow.

  12. #12
    the half breed devil
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    when i do ride at night, it's in the marin headlands or GG park in SF.

    GG park is a bit iffy now due to the number of people sleeping in the park, lots of whom have unsocialized dogs.

  13. #13
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    Marin Headlands and the Marin Open Space lands are both open for night riding although the whole purpose of night riding is to go where you want! Its single track season.
    Previously known as mttamrnr.

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    Went on a ride on my usual backyard loop with a buddy yesterday evening. Came around a bend in the fire road where I couldn't see the ground that far ahead due to an embankment with starthistle. Saw something on the ground that at first I couldn't tell what it was, and then was able to turn at the last second to avoid smoking a little owl with my front tire. Probably missed it by 2-3". It didn't move until I was basically on top of it.

    Not sure what species. I would guess a burrowing owl simply by virtue of it chilling on the ground, but not sure.

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    Those are usually Whip Poor Wills and while not technically owls they look a lot like them. I scare them off the trail in the Marin Headlands a lot.

    Occasionally a Short Eared Owl apparently too.

    One of my riding buddies is a bird nerd .
    Previously known as mttamrnr.

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    Quote Originally Posted by etuck View Post
    Those are usually Whip Poor Wills and while not technically owls they look a lot like them. I scare them off the trail in the Marin Headlands a lot.

    Occasionally a Short Eared Owl apparently too.

    One of my riding buddies is a bird nerd .
    Interesting!

    Yeah, I was looking on the Merlin app (Cornell Ornithology Lab) when I got home, and burrowing owl wasn't showing as likely. Short-eared owl was an option.

    Whip-poor-will does look like what I saw in photos, but online research shows they've only been seen in Southern Cal, and fairly rare? Maybe a subspecies or something that I'm missing maybe.

    I'm a semi-bird nerd, but get lost with less common species. :-)

  17. #17
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    I think this is the one:

    https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/...rwill/overview

    Sorry OP for the Owl thread jack....but owls are pretty rad.
    Previously known as mttamrnr.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by etuck View Post
    Marin Headlands and the Marin Open Space lands are both open for night riding although the whole purpose of night riding is to go where you want! Its single track season.
    there is good singletrack to ride at night in the headlands...

  19. #19
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    Good singletrack all over Marin at night or Christmas morning -- I always do what Santa says.

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    Quote Originally Posted by etuck View Post
    I think this is the one:

    https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/...rwill/overview

    Sorry OP for the Owl thread jack....but owls are pretty rad.
    Yep. Pretty sure that's what I saw. Thanks dude!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    Good singletrack all over Marin at night or Christmas morning -- I always do what Santa says.
    some weekday late afternoons in the headlands are good as well...

    back on the subject, don't try riding china camp at night. a few friends and i did several years ago and got a severe tongue lashing from a state park ranger who looked like none other than santa claus.

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    Poor Will

    Quote Originally Posted by LightRanger View Post
    Yep. Pretty sure that's what I saw. Thanks dude!
    Yep. It's a Poor Will. I saw one a couple of months ago on a night hike at Coe-Hunting Hollow. I also thought it was some kind of owl until I posted the pics to "Friends of Henry Coe" and a bunch of bird nerds corrected me.

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?sto...00000731913656

    Night riding-20190921_193954.jpg

    Night riding-20190921_193806.jpg

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    a few friends and i did several years ago and got a severe tongue lashing from a state park ranger who looked like none other than santa claus.
    Well, ol Saint Nickís gotta stay busy in the off season.
    Donít frail and blow if youíre going to Braille and Flow.

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    Those Poor Wills are all over Coe trails at night in the fall. They wait until the last minute and then fly away right before you run them over. Sometimes they fly right in your face. We slow down when we see them.

    Depending on the season, Coe night riders must avoid big frogs (dozens per ride sometimes), newts (hundred per ride sometimes), tarantulas (up to 10 per ride), Poor Wills (up to 15 per ride) and one single skunk that insists on running down the middle of the trail for a half mile or more before bailing at a switchback.

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    Hah. Awesome.

    I'm starting to do more night riding since meeting a new buddy a couple blocks away who is into it too. First poor will I've seen. Massive shit ton of toads on the trails about three weeks ago. Must've been breeding week or something.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by cragnshag View Post
    Those Poor Wills are all over Coe trails at night in the fall. They wait until the last minute and then fly away right before you run them over. Sometimes they fly right in your face.
    I used to encounter them on warm evening rides after dark at Pleasanton Ridge a couple years ago. Iíve had a couple close calls with running into them, seeing as they were just sitting in the middle of the singletrack sections.
    Donít frail and blow if youíre going to Braille and Flow.

  27. #27
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    Night riding

    Ran into this little guy on last nightís ride. This was Coastal/Cardiac Hill at Mt. Tam. Lots and lots of big cat scat out there too! It was fully dark, but the helmet light is making it look like daylight.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Hi, Iím new here.

    I went on my first night ride this evening at JMP. Iíve had a good run of after work rides and didnít want to stop the momentum. See if I can push it into actual winter.

    There were some hikers, and cars parked. What is your opinion of JMP at night, and riding alone there?

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