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  1. #1
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    few people ride at night?

    why don't more people ride at night? I was the only one left to ride at night.
    Are people spooked by the night?

  2. #2
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    It's often dark at night and continually dark until morning.

  3. #3
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    While I enjoy riding at night, I prefer to ride with others in case we encounter one of these on our local trails. These photos were both taken within 6 miles of my house on my local trails.

    few people ride at night?-205139_143010285769874_3430821_n.jpg

    few people ride at night?-209179_143010869103149_1469396_o.jpg

  4. #4
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    I used to ride at night a lot, but never alone.

    North Peak in the Cuyamacas (from a friend's game camera):

    few people ride at night?-cuyamaca-lions-2-3-18.jpg
    A plateau is the highest form of flattery.

  5. #5
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    Has a lion ever attacked a cyclist at night? I always figured the lights would give it enough pause to give you a pass.

    Mechanical issues are a much bigger issue at night though. Having to hike out miles, light batteries dead, giving off an uneasy and tired vibe = lion bait.

  6. #6
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    Hey, we're out here. Been riding with a group at least one night ride a week (summer months excluded) since the mid 90s. I own lots of old lighting systems.

    No bear or cat issues for me. But I do see occasional owls and lots of spider eyes/green glints. Forgot, I've been harrased by European Hornets twice.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah View Post
    ... Forgot, I've been harrased by European Hornets twice.
    That's scary (I'm very allergic), didn't know they operated at night.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    why don't more people ride at night? I was the only one left to ride at night.
    Are people spooked by the night?
    Because we have jobs that require us to get up in the morning?

  9. #9
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    I would ride at night but I work nights so I go riding in the am usually six days a week weather depending. There are quite a few night rides where I am located.

    Sent from my HTC One M9 using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by the one ring View Post
    I used to ride at night a lot, but never alone.

    North Peak in the Cuyamacas (from a friend's game camera):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    ^Same location: My girl and I hiked this trail the day before this attack. We had hiked it numerous times prior but for some reason we felt uneasy this day. Like something was watching us. I canít help but wonder if this cat had been stalking us.

    few people ride at night?-a55ad815-950b-4356-8f36-294cb5b59415.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    While I enjoy riding at night, I prefer to ride with others in case we encounter one of these on our local trails. These photos were both taken within 6 miles of my house on my local trails.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Are these the game cameras at Bobcat Ridge?
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDO View Post
    That's scary (I'm very allergic), didn't know they operated at night.
    They do operate at night, and they're attracted to lights (which would Include bike lights). In all fairness, it only happened twice during one early fall season. One time I was fixing a mechanical on the side of a hill, and I had to pickup my bike and run with it.

    https://sciencing.com/do-hornets-come-out-4587863.html

  13. #13
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    50% of our rides in fall and winter are at night (It's dark at 6pm now) I think fewer people ride at night in Eastern Canada because of the weather ... and the effect on the trails eg wet clay in the Don. It won't be long before there is snow and unless you pay to ride on groomed trails, there's more bushwhacking than riding.

    That being said Chris and I ride all year including night

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah View Post
    They do operate at night, and they're attracted to lights (which would Include bike lights). In all fairness, it only happened twice during one early fall season. One time I was fixing a mechanical on the side of a hill, and I had to pickup my bike and run with it.

    https://sciencing.com/do-hornets-come-out-4587863.html
    Thanks for the link. Good to know.

  15. #15
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    When I lived in TX, I rode at night almost exclusively in the summertime to avoid the worst of the heat. I liked evening hours better than pre-dawn.

    Some places I haven't ridden at night much because the trails near home didn't allow night riding. Urban parks with set hours and such. Now I live in a place where night riding is feasible again and I've not really gone out because I'm more or less out of the habit of doing so. There are some groups I'm aware of that go ride, but I haven't had much luck with group rides here. Locals are all so much faster than me, and nighttime is the last time I want to be out solo or get dropped.

    Except in TX because of the heat, I don't night ride in summertime much because of how late I'd be out (well after midnight, usually) and messing up my sleep/work schedule. This time of year is when night riding doesn't really mess up schedules at all.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by the one ring View Post
    I used to ride at night a lot, but never alone.

    North Peak in the Cuyamacas (from a friend's game camera):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thatís Awesome! I ride in the Cuyamacas all the time. I rode Noble at night alone just because no one else wanted to do it, and it was something I wanted to experience. It was a ride Iíll never forget. I think I saw it all that night except for a big cat which Iím sure saw me. Plenty of deer, some coyotes, a bobcat, lots of snakes, mostly rattlers, a taranchula, raccoons, and a big ass boar. Iím not going to lie, i was uncomfortable at times out there alone, but damn that ride made me feel alive.

    I Believe I read somewhere there have only been 9 deaths by mountain lions in the US. With the amount of deer I saw that night, thereís no reason for me to be on the menu unless I happen to run into a younger lion who canít quite catch prey very well, or maybe an old, sick lion.

  17. #17
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    Iím scared shitless to ride at night. I wish it were otherwise. It would open up endless possibilities time wise and my bet is that it would feel like I was riding all brand new trails.

    I have been caught in the mountains a number of times, long after sundown. I have had lights (not proper night riding lights) but still felt uncomfortable as hell. I was so freaked out that the ride turned into a race to get back to my truck safe and sound.

    There is lots of wildlife in my area but I donít think I am at all that much more risk riding at night than during the day. I have researched the issue and could find no evidence of an increased incidence of encounters at night.

    I ALWAYS carry bear spray, bangers and a knife (as if that will do anything). For some reason I get super spooked at night. And itís not just the risk of an animal encounter either...

  18. #18
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    Night riding does have a spookiness to it, but it's so much fun. Makes the old typical trails, new again.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by d365 View Post
    Night riding does have a spookiness to it, but it's so much fun. Makes the old typical trails, new again.
    yep, those moving shadows take some getting used too
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Iím scared shitless to ride at night. I wish it were otherwise. It would open up endless possibilities time wise and my bet is that it would feel like I was riding all brand new trails.

    I have been caught in the mountains a number of times, long after sundown. I have had lights (not proper night riding lights) but still felt uncomfortable as hell. I was so freaked out that the ride turned into a race to get back to my truck safe and sound.

    There is lots of wildlife in my area but I donít think I am at all that much more risk riding at night than during the day. I have researched the issue and could find no evidence of an increased incidence of encounters at night.

    I ALWAYS carry bear spray, bangers and a knife (as if that will do anything). For some reason I get super spooked at night. And itís not just the risk of an animal encounter either...
    No reason to be scared, just go prepared. I carry much more in my pack when riding at night. Iím prepared to stay the night if I have to. Get a really good light and go have some fun! Night riding is a really cool, unique experience. Nothing to be afraid of when youíre prepared. Plenty to be worried about when youíre not.

  21. #21
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    No predators to worry about in the northeast US, so no real difference between riding in the day or night besides needed a light. I've probably ridden as much in the dark as in the light.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    No predators to worry about in the northeast US, so no real difference between riding in the day or night besides needed a light. I've probably ridden as much in the dark as in the light.
    Really.

    Although there is not a confirmed population of reproducing mountain lions in Massachusetts. An occasional rogue one has been reported. Well at least ones tracks and skat, I jest. Nothing to worry about except the occasional crazy moose.

    https://www.mass.gov/service-details...-massachusetts
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    50% of our rides in fall and winter are at night (It's dark at 6pm now) I think fewer people ride at night in Eastern Canada because of the weather ... and the effect on the trails eg wet clay in the Don. It won't be long before there is snow and unless you pay to ride on groomed trails, there's more bushwhacking than riding.

    That being said Chris and I ride all year including night

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    where is this trail? I was at Durham forest and there wasn't a soul there.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    When I lived in TX, I rode at night almost exclusively in the summertime to avoid the worst of the heat. I liked evening hours better than pre-dawn.

    Some places I haven't ridden at night much because the trails near home didn't allow night riding. Urban parks with set hours and such. Now I live in a place where night riding is feasible again and I've not really gone out because I'm more or less out of the habit of doing so. There are some groups I'm aware of that go ride, but I haven't had much luck with group rides here. Locals are all so much faster than me, and nighttime is the last time I want to be out solo or get dropped.

    Except in TX because of the heat, I don't night ride in summertime much because of how late I'd be out (well after midnight, usually) and messing up my sleep/work schedule. This time of year is when night riding doesn't really mess up schedules at all.
    In MD you need a permit. When the wife and I visit WNC we ride Dupont Lake imaging area. Its not very technical just fast but night riding is fun.

  25. #25
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    I took my wife and son (11 years old) on their first night ride last night, on tight singletrack we know really, really well. My son was doing fine with the creepy aspect of the ride, until I reminded him of a scene from a movie we watched the night before. The movie was Alpha, the scene with pre-historic european hunters sitting around a fire at night, and a big cat comes of the dark, drags one off, and the sounds of death are really graphic. He didn't appreciate that at all. Shortly thereafter, as I was bringing up the rear, wife was leading, I came to quiet stop way behind him and turned out my lights - didn't answer when he called...for a bit anyway. Just a little payback for all the giant plastic spiders he hid in my stuff for the entire week of Halloween. I hate spiders.
    Anyway, they're both totally sold on night riding now. We're heading out again tonight, and looking forward to riding the same trails on the fatbikes in the dark once the snow finally flies. Good bike lights make the daylight savings time change something to look forward to.
    I would advise not taking my advice.

  26. #26
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    Hereís an older thread on this topic with some interesting comments:

    https://forums.mtbr.com/lights-night...t-1069918.html

  27. #27
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    A side benefit to night riding (especially in the leafy cold months) is that it makes you a better day rider.

  28. #28
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    I'm with Cyclelicious, at least half of my rides are at night right now.

    I bring my main battery depending on how long I intend to ride, I have another light on my helmet, I control the main light on the handlebar from a remote and turn it way down during climbs and the other light I turn off. I get plenty of burn time for 3hr rides or more this way and pretty much anything after work now is dark.

    There are a lot less people on the trails, to a point, when we get enough snow the trails will be buzzing again, but less people than in the summer time for sure. Here in the winter people live by the night so they get out and do all sorts of things regardless of if the sun is up.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Really.

    Although there is not a confirmed population of reproducing mountain lions in Massachusetts. An occasional rogue one has been reported. Well at least ones tracks and skat, I jest. Nothing to worry about except the occasional crazy moose.

    https://www.mass.gov/service-details...-massachusetts
    Pretty sure there are more Bigfoot reports from my local forest where we night-ride regularly than there are lion reports across MA (though the Quabbin isn't all that far from me either). The area's been known as 'Monsterland' for generations, and nuts...er...I mean people...regularly report Samsquantch activity.


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  30. #30
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    IDK, Iím grateful that lights are so good and they let us ride when we want. When I first started night riding I got more flats. Last year I lost my car keys and In desperation I kept searching for my keys until my batteries died. That wasnít a big deal, getting covered in animal poop was a real bummer (no pun intended). Lights let you ride @ a fast pace, but you just donít have the peripheral focus of picking lines and judging obstacles covered by leaves. If I lived in a arid climate the decision would be easier. Obviously, considering the predator factor you all are bringing up.

  31. #31
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    Looks squatchy.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  32. #32
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    Just got back from this years first night ride for me, not another rider in sight and mine was the only car in the lot when I got to the trail head. I usually have strong bar and helmet lamps but went out with only a roadie-type bar light, pretty spooked out when that squirrel jumped out.
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  33. #33
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    Our group has two night rides a week, has for decades, starting times are 6:30. For two months during the summer we don't need lights at all, early spring and late summer/early fall we need them to finish, now we need them start to finish.

    Most of us have really good bar and helmet lights and our pace is 85-90% of our daytime pace with the 90% on very, very familiar trails. I love riding at night it just gives a whole different experience to the same trails. We also don't need to worry about bears or big cats in WPa. just white tail deer but they can be dangerous and take you out by accident.

  34. #34
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    Iíve got a 31.00 Amazon bar light that I and others have used for multiple rides. I also just added a helmet light, just waiting for the action cam adapter bracket to show up so I can mount it properly.

  35. #35
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    All our trails are urban. Ive night road multi times solo, there is coyotes and ive heard of mountain lions but i doubt it. Ive seen a moose tho and it was later on the streets and made the news.

    Lots of deer, nothing like coming over a hill and about 12 pairs of eyes staring at you and a crash of trees as they take off.

    Ive came across a beaver, was ****ing huge and i had no idea what it was. Was standing on the trail and freaked me out i yelled. It waddled away and i realized what it was and i cursed at it as its the bastard we probably have to chain saw downed trees from.

    The single thing other than animals is the homeless camp along the river, delinquents also drink and do drugs. Heard stories of them attacking people but ive so far never had issues. See so many trail runners and people walking their dogs i dont believe it.

    Weirdest thing was me and a friend were riding, we found these plastic flowers stuck in the trail every so often, We are like wtf. We have to cross a shallow creek and then turn into a trail that has a picnic table under this old huge weird tree. Holy shit there is lights hanging from it, incense burning, a fire and music playing.

    Bunch of hippy girls dancing in the dark around this fire.

    The headlamps flying up towards them freaked them out and we were freaked out till we seen the girls dancing.

    Weird shit at night tho till winter. Then we fatbike on the trails and its too cold for weird stuff.


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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    where is this trail? I was at Durham forest and there wasn't a soul there.
    Most of our rides are local. We can ride to trails from the house.

    Are you just looking to ride with people with common interests and a schedule that matches yours? . I suggest you post your request on a local social media site or local forum... eg mountainbikers Ontario, Riding Feels Good , Durham Mountain Bike club etc. Be specific about what you are looking for in the ride. I'm sure you eventually will find a group or someone with the same interests but you might have to be flexible to find a match. Where and when you ride depends where you live, skill level, what you want from of the rides? you want to hammer it? more social? how long do you want to ride? Rides can be between 1-8 hours? ride only at night?... there's so many variables.

    You've been posting for many years, this can't be a new problem
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  37. #37
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    The majority of my mountain biking has always been in the dark. Can't get enough of it. Here along the Denver Front Range trails are overcrowded during the day and can sometimes even not be fun. In the dark, usually have the trail to yourself and new features that are not apparent in the daylight are abundant. Seen a few bear on trail, have come across a few steaming deer carcasses. Thing that scared me the most was a skunk that popped out on trail right in front of me with his tail sticking up in the air! Did not get sprayed, but he was letting me know he could at anytime.





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    Last edited by scar; 11-12-2018 at 08:16 AM.

  38. #38
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    Night riding is such a unique experience if you're only used to day riding. It also helps get rides in when schedule otherwise wouldn't allow. I absolutely love solo night riding!

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I was so freaked out that the ride turned into a race to get back to my truck safe and sound.
    This is a typical first solo night ride. The second one you stay calm the first 30 min or so, then hear a noise and the race starts again. After a half dozen or so you learn to stay calm the whole ride. At this point when I feel that urge to sprint for the car I stop, turn my lights off and just take in the surroundings for a second... Sprinting only increases the feeling of panic, stopping and being still forces you to recognize that panic as irrational.

    I find it funny each time I get spooked on a night ride and think 'if I were backpacking I'd have no problem laying down on the ground right here and sleeping for eight hours, why should passing through scare me?'

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    There is lots of wildlife in my area but I donít think I am at all that much more risk riding at night than during the day. I have researched the issue and could find no evidence of an increased incidence of encounters at night.
    Really? I definitely see a far greater number of animals at night. Mostly deer but the occasional fox, coyote, bobcat... The woods is definitely more active at night.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    And itís not just the risk of an animal encounter either...
    Two legged critters are what legitimately scare me... But I almost never see any at all. I'm most worried at my car before and after the ride, so I park in different places for night rides than day rides - usually a public (like a church) lot with good lights.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Are these the game cameras at Bobcat Ridge?
    No, the posted pix are from Lory State Park:
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/LoryStat...43010249103211

    Bobcat does have similar wildlife showing up in their photos:
    https://www.fcgov.com/naturalareas/wildlife-camera.php

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    I ride at night 2-4 times a week.
    I prefer during the day, but in summer it is hot so night is needed to keep temps ok and winter the temps are great, but there is often not enough daylight to ride afterwork unless it is in the dark. So I ride alot at dusk/night or early am dark into light. It is actually nice to start a ride before dawn and watch the sun come up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    No, the posted pix are from Lory State Park:
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/LoryStat...43010249103211

    Bobcat does have similar wildlife showing up in their photos:
    https://www.fcgov.com/naturalareas/wildlife-camera.php
    Yep, every time I ride Bobcat those photos haunt me.
    My nephew was riding out there a couple of years ago and saw a bear up on Powerline.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    I would not mind riding at night, but I know that where our trails are, there are homeless people and thugs out doing their "thing" in the woods, cause I see the remnants of it during the day. The homeless camps are always sort of a place to avoid. Places where you can get accosted during the day. They are known in one place to jump out of the brush and push bikers into the river....

    In the winter it is better b/c most of the ner'do'wells aren't out there.

    I am always worried about my lights attracting them...it is like moths to a flame....

    I definitely ride BMX at night though. Both skateparks I go to get enough residual light to make it ridable even after the park lights go out
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    I ride year round, nights, days, mornings. Unfortunately, there are only a few (2-3) parks which (legally) allow night rides. I do enjoy riding solo at night. I also like encountering other night riders. What I do not enjoy is encountering other trail users (cyclists, hikers, and runners) during a night ride who do NOT have lights. Its 8:30pm. Pitch black. 4+mi from the TH. And you come across someone out in the woods without so much as a flash light. Spooky.

  44. #44
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    I love riding at night. Sometimes solo....sometimes with friends. Love the solitude and quietness. No jeeps or motos on the mountain. No other riders or hikers.

    Haven't worried one bit about the big kitties out there. I did do one early morning start(3:45am) where I was concerned about bears, but that went away quickly.

    I do a lot of late night into sunrise rides....often times solo....there is just something special about being out there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by solarplex View Post
    Holy shit there is lights hanging from it, incense burning, a fire and music playing.

    Bunch of hippy girls dancing in the dark around this fire.

    The headlamps flying up towards them freaked them out and we were freaked out till we seen the girls dancing.
    And then......?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?



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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    It is actually nice to start a ride before dawn and watch the sun come up.
    I often do the inverse, but need to do this more. I think the only time I've done it (not in a race at least) is in July in Moab... Seemed necessary there due to the heat and I'll never forget sitting solo in the middle of the desert watching the sun rise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bingemtbr View Post
    I ride year round, nights, days, mornings. Unfortunately, there are only a few (2-3) parks which (legally) allow night rides. I do enjoy riding solo at night. I also like encountering other night riders. What I do not enjoy is encountering other trail users (cyclists, hikers, and runners) during a night ride who do NOT have lights. Its 8:30pm. Pitch black. 4+mi from the TH. And you come across someone out in the woods without so much as a flash light. Spooky.
    Somebody that far out in the forest with no lights would be a bit creepy unless it's a full moon. I've been night riding for about 20 years and haven't really run into that issue much. Lack of other traffic on the trails is one of the biggest benefits. There are a few trails I ride faster at night because you don't want to be irresponsible going fast on trails with other trail users.

    We'll see other trail users without lights just after dusk on occasion, but mostly we ride between 9pm and 11pm, and often in cold/rainy conditions, so we don't see anybody else. And anybody out there without a light will see us coming a long way off, so even then it's not much of an issue. And if it was....well, who was the one in the dark with no light?

    I don't worry too much about 2 legged animals during my night MTB rides, but my bike commute to/from work includes about 2 miles of bike path lined with homeless camps. Have had a few run ins with less than savory characters, so I avoid that route late at night. Not easy to defend/protect yourself against a group of 6 or 8 people, or somebody hiding the the bushes that can push you off your bike. I'll take my chances in traffic over that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    It is actually nice to start a ride before dawn and watch the sun come up.
    More than 1/3 of my rides start before dawn. I love to see the sun coming up.

    few people ride at night?-1029180728.jpg

    few people ride at night?-44407368_10217475882597930_121311411405062144_n.jpg

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    I do ride at night, mostly on the road. There are many reasons why I and many others don't usually ride offroad after dark.

    1. Most trails/dirt roads are closed after dark in my area. That by itself hasn't stopped me, but I just don't want the neighbors to say something, I'm sure they see the bright lights of riders going in and out of the trailhead opening. If I do ride places like that I usually turn off the flashlight for a while and go low profile. Biking etiquette can be just as important as what some county sign says.

    2. If you go downhill at night, it can be pretty scary. Not as much time to hit the brakes when you see something come up fast in the light. It's just not the same. Not very fun.

    3. I've seen (and heard) almost as many rattlesnakes at night as in the day, and they were much closer at night because I didn't see/hear them in time. The question is, do they have enough energy to strike when they are colder after dark? I really don't want to find out.
    Spiders at night are also an issue. I've almost rode into huge 6-8 foot webs, slammed on the brakes, and turned right around. I really do not want all that webbing all over me when riding lol.

    4. Depending on your area, how urban it is, a lot of the homeless and druggies come out at night, and it's just a hassle to ride by them, they can be very unpredictable. They can be very nice, or they could take one look at your bike and decide it's their bike. That can also happen on the street too, so far I have not had any major issues with them but I do carry pepper spray now.
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    I'm in CT and been doing night rides for at least 20 years. As soon as time change hits in Oct, it's dark by 5pm so no time to get a full ride in after work without lights. Ride all winter long...snow, ice, darkness becomes the norm until spring. Riding at night changes everything and familiar trails become very different. We see TONS of deer and a few other critters but nothing that will eat us so it's cool to be out there. It's normal to come within 6' of a deer on a typical ride. Many just freeze and give you the...you know...deer in the headlight look.
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    ^ Pretty sure mtnbkrmike lives in dense grizzly country which should give anyone night riding pause, especially in spring and fall.

    I remember trying to do some solo hiking in Jasper when the 4 to a group restrictions were in effect. I honestly felt safer alone after being paired up with some morons so I had to get crafty bypassing trailheads. I've also done a fair amount of night riding and exploring in and around Glacier and AK. The risk/fear is always present in my mind but never let it deter me. I've been in close proximity to grizzlies many times, but definitely would NOT want roll up on one at mtb speeds.

    With that I have zero fear of Cougars, rational or not. I'm more afraid of my imagination, sasquatch, and aliens. True story.
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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    2. If you go downhill at night, it can be pretty scary.
    Only if your lights suck and/or you are extremely fearful.

    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    Not as much time to hit the brakes when you see something come up fast in the light.
    Only if your lights suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    It's just not the same. Not very fun.
    Only if your lights suck and/or you are extremely fearful.

  54. #54
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    This time of year and for the next few months most of my riding will be at night as it's dark so early, it's one of my favourite parts of mountain biking that you can go anywhere, any time and pretty much any weather and enjoy it.

    That said I can understand why people find it daunting to get started as this time of year when getting used to riding at night again it is challenging getting used to the lack of visual information again. Once you're used to it though in some ways it's easier as I only need to focus on the small area in front of the bike, it can soak up rougher stuff that I might steer around in normal riding and tend to ride technical features better as I'm onto them before I know it and therefore have to ride it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    While I enjoy riding at night, I prefer to ride with others in case we encounter one of these on our local trails. These photos were both taken within 6 miles of my house on my local trails.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    do you carry a gun on bike ride at night?

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    do you carry a gun on bike ride at night?
    I do not own a gun. The chances of actually encountering either of these beautiful creatures is very minimal. On night rides for which I believe there is a threat, I'll take along another rider or two.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    On night rides for which I believe there is a threat, I'll take along another rider or two.
    slower riders?

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by d365 View Post
    slower riders?
    Preferably!

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    I was night riding with some friends and stopped to pick up a stick from the side of the trail. One rider asked me what I was doing and I told him it was in case we came across a mtn lion. He laughed and asked if I really though a 2-foot stick would be much good against a mtn lion. I told him, "it depends on how fast you can get it out of your spokes."
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  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    I've ridden at night for years, but I don't really do it a lot. The primary reason is that the trailheads are super sketchy at night. They are usually poorly lit if they are lit at all. I also will only ride at night if I have a riding partner, just for safety in case of wrecking or from weirdos. I have this constant fear of riding at night where a thief can see me because of my lights but I can't see them.

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    Dark at 6pm? Lucky. I'm at the Eastern edge of the central time zone (Murfreesboro TN). Sunset is at 4:40 tomorrow, so it's dark in the woods even earlier than that.
    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    50% of our rides in fall and winter are at night (It's dark at 6pm now) I think fewer people ride at night in Eastern Canada because of the weather ... and the effect on the trails eg wet clay in the Don. It won't be long before there is snow and unless you pay to ride on groomed trails, there's more bushwhacking than riding.

    That being said Chris and I ride all year including night

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    I never had any fear riding at night until I read this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    I never had any fear riding at night until I read this thread.
    I'm scared of deer orgiesfew people ride at night?-screenshot_20181112-211433.jpeg

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    Done lots of night riding in the past, but not as much lately. It's dark going to work and dark coming out of work so with the time change, it's dark by five now. Sucks. I don't mind riding at night with the lights, but prefer some company, even though I walk the dogs almost every night by myself in the middle of nowhere. Hiking I have my headlamp, back up light(phone) and knife, biking I have helmet light, handle bar light, phone and backpack with some supplies. Sometimes gets spooky, but I try not to overthink it.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by drwx View Post
    I've ridden at night for years, but I don't really do it a lot. The primary reason is that the trailheads are super sketchy at night. They are usually poorly lit if they are lit at all. I also will only ride at night if I have a riding partner, just for safety in case of wrecking or from weirdos. I have this constant fear of riding at night where a thief can see me because of my lights but I can't see them.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
    I have the same fear about the light being a huge tracking beacon for turds (thugs). They can see you coming a mile away, and if they know the area, they can plan a jump or attack.

    I will ride at night with friends, but still only in certain areas
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    1. Most trails/dirt roads are closed after dark in my area. That by itself hasn't stopped me, but I just don't want the neighbors to say something, I'm sure they see the bright lights of riders going in and out of the trailhead opening. If I do ride places like that I usually turn off the flashlight for a while and go low profile. Biking etiquette can be just as important as what some county sign says.
    "I'm very sorry, I got turned around and ended up out much later than expected... Luckily I had my lights with me just in case."

    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    2. If you go downhill at night, it can be pretty scary. Not as much time to hit the brakes when you see something come up fast in the light. It's just not the same. Not very fun.
    What? I'm consistently faster at night on descents that don't have big moves. Even those with big moves I still enjoy riding at night, it's not that much more difficult - I just know it's kind of a bonehead move so I make damn sure I don't have to tell people I was stupid enough to have a bad wreck at night alone.

    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    3. I've seen (and heard) almost as many rattlesnakes at night as in the day, and they were much closer at night because I didn't see/hear them in time. The question is, do they have enough energy to strike when they are colder after dark? I really don't want to find out.
    Spiders at night are also an issue. I've almost rode into huge 6-8 foot webs, slammed on the brakes, and turned right around. I really do not want all that webbing all over me when riding lol.
    I've never seen a rattler at night, but I've seen enough to know they are very docile when temps dip. Unless we're talking about a warm summer night (and maybe even then since they can't get sunlight to warm them further) I'd imagine they are very, very docile. A friend once stepped directly on a rattler, looked down and slowly moved off of it without it moving at all. It was a damp summer morning, probably 60 or 70 degrees. (Afterwards another guy picked it up, but that's another story.)

    No doubt, rattlers are less of a concern at night.

    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    4. Depending on your area, how urban it is, a lot of the homeless and druggies come out at night, and it's just a hassle to ride by them, they can be very unpredictable. They can be very nice, or they could take one look at your bike and decide it's their bike. That can also happen on the street too, so far I have not had any major issues with them but I do carry pepper spray now.
    Ya this one is tough to get around. Luckily not an issue where I ride, or at least extremely unlikely to be, but I could understand apprehension if your trails are close to an urban area.

    Quote Originally Posted by drwx View Post
    I've ridden at night for years, but I don't really do it a lot. The primary reason is that the trailheads are super sketchy at night. They are usually poorly lit if they are lit at all.
    Whether or not they're safe (mine are), trailheads are creepy at night. I also worry about break-ins or getting ticketed (don't really know if parking up there is legal or not at night) so I park at nearby churches who always seem to have something going on fairly late in the evenings. They don't seem to mind (I try to ask someone if I see anyone) and it gives me some peace of mind for myself and my car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    3. I've seen (and heard) almost as many rattlesnakes at night as in the day, and they were much closer at night because I didn't see/hear them in time. The question is, do they have enough energy to strike when they are colder after dark? I really don't want to find out.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    I've never seen a rattler at night, but I've seen enough to know they are very docile when temps dip. Unless we're talking about a warm summer night (and maybe even then since they can't get sunlight to warm them further) I'd imagine they are very, very docile. A friend once stepped directly on a rattler, looked down and slowly moved off of it without it moving at all. It was a damp summer morning, probably 60 or 70 degrees. (Afterwards another guy picked it up, but that's another story.)

    No doubt, rattlers are less of a concern at night.

    Actually itís dependent on the days temperature. In the hottest months of the summer rattlers are more active at night. So in desert areas in the summer youíre more apt to come across active Rattlesnakes at night than in the hottest time of the day during those months.

    few people ride at night?-2f623fae-1f74-42b3-baac-efde147ac86e.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Actually itís dependent on the days temperature. In the hottest months of the summer rattlers are more active at night. So in desert areas in the summer youíre more apt to come across active Rattlesnakes at night than in the hottest time of the day during those months.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Makes sense, thanks for the info. Here on the East Coast I think it's too cool at night for them even during the summer months (at least up on the mountain it is) but I figured deserts are probably very different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Makes sense, thanks for the info. Here on the East Coast I think it's too cool at night for them even during the summer months (at least up on the mountain it is) but I figured deserts are probably very different.
    It's going,to vary a lot based on local conditions. In WNC, I see activity spikes in springtime and during mating and egglaying seasons. Other times, they hide very well because there are so many good hiding spots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Makes sense, thanks for the info. Here on the East Coast I think it's too cool at night for them even during the summer months (at least up on the mountain it is) but I figured deserts are probably very different.
    Which makes sense with Riches comment. He lives and rides in SoCal which basically a desert region. And yes back east they arenít going to be as active at night due to the temps. As Harold said itís based more on local conditions and temperatures.

    I lived for a time on the edge of San Diego in the desert. Driving at night I often saw Rattlesnakes crossing the road. Rarely in the heat of the day though.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    The robbers keep me home at night.
    Stick around if you're housebroken...

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    I'm a little taken aback on how many posters avoid the pleasures of night do to the most dangerous animal of all, humans. What a commentary on how great America is. Easy for me to say but I'd either go all Charles Bronson or move....but likely move. Life's too short.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    I'm a little taken aback on how many posters avoid the pleasures of night do to the most dangerous animal of all, humans. What a commentary on how great America is. Easy for me to say but I'd either go all Charles Bronson or move....but likely move. Life's too short.
    Some arenít as fortunate enough to live where itís of little concern. And arenít in a situation where they can up and go, or maybe just donít want to. Fortunately for me my area is pretty safe when it comes to human predators.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Which makes sense with Riches comment. He lives and rides in SoCal which basically a desert region. And yes back east they arenít going to be as active at night due to the temps. As Harold said itís based more on local conditions and temperatures.

    I lived for a time on the edge of San Diego in the desert. Driving at night I often saw Rattlesnakes crossing the road. Rarely in the heat of the day though.
    Where I am, most snakes are more active during the day early in the season when the sun is good for basking in the open, but they seek the shade during the daytime in midsummer when it's hot, and they are more active when temps cool off in the evenings.

    I don't think it really differs that much from the desert activity patterns. It's just that out east, they can be right near you and escape notice because hiding spots are better.

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    You Yankees are so scare of 2 legs animals and wild life. Is it that bad out there?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    You Yankees are so scare of 2 legs animals and wild life. Is it that bad out there?

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    You realize that YOU asked people if they carry a gun in this thread, right?




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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    I'm a little taken aback on how many posters avoid the pleasures of night do to the most dangerous animal of all, humans. What a commentary on how great America is. Easy for me to say but I'd either go all Charles Bronson or move....but likely move. Life's too short.
    it may not necessarily be thieves. i live near nashville and several of the parks are known as hookup spots...aka people who don't really want you riding up on their illegal activities in the woods. usually trailheads are in more secluded sections of the parks too, so this further encourages the behavior on the trail.
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    Quote Originally Posted by drwx View Post
    it may not necessarily be thieves. i live near nashville and several of the parks are known as hookup spots...aka people who don't really want you riding up on their illegal activities in the woods. usually trailheads are in more secluded sections of the parks too, so this further encourages the behavior on the trail.
    Have US parks becoming hot spots for criminals?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    You realize that YOU asked people if they carry a gun in this thread, right?




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    I am wondering about typical behavior of you guys on this trail

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    It may be because I'm not the best with directions but I get easily lost riding at night unless I'm on trails I'm extremely familiar with. If I am night riding at night I'll start around dusk so only the last part of my ride is in the dark and there is still some residual day light.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    I'm a little taken aback on how many posters avoid the pleasures of night do to the most dangerous animal of all, humans. What a commentary on how great America is. Easy for me to say but I'd either go all Charles Bronson or move....but likely move. Life's too short.
    Yeah, I was thinking the same - where the hell do people live where there are so many criminals that you can't even go out at night, and why the hell would anyone stay in a place like that?
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Actually itís dependent on the days temperature. In the hottest months of the summer rattlers are more active at night. So in desert areas in the summer youíre more apt to come across active Rattlesnakes at night than in the hottest time of the day during those months.

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    There have been at least two times I remember when I came up on them in the dark without realizing it, and their rattles were really pissed off. They had the energy to shake their rattles in a very confrontational way, the rattling was so fast that it sounded like an old alarm clock, just nonstop rattling. Needless to say I hauled ass away from the sound. Now that it's cooler I haven't seen one in months.

    Certain times in the summer I see enough that I look first for rattlesnakes on the trail, and second the best line on the trail. It's that bad. And then when it gets to be sunset and the shadows come out, every twig or branch that's on the ground, either on the fire road or trail, that is 2-3 feet long and curved looks like a rattlesnake. It's almost like PTSD, your brain tricks you to think you see what you are looking out for. That same twig or branch is completely ignored in the cooler months of the year, but not in summer.

    And the worst is when they slither right into the middle of the trail and then just sit there and do nothing. I've had to turn around a few times because they will not budge and there is no path around them because of trees/bushes. Some guys brag that they run over them, but I'm just not going to do that until I have to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    There have been at least two times I remember when I came up on them in the dark without realizing it, and their rattles were really pissed off. They had the energy to shake their rattles in a very confrontational way
    it's more like they want you gone because they see YOU as the threat.

    Even when I worked in the UT desert for the USFS, and part of my job involved nighttime wildlife surveys and I saw PLENTY of rattlesnakes, I never had an issue. I wasn't dumb about it. I didn't panic. The snakes were fine. A little patience and we could both go about our business. When I lived in TX, I encountered venomous snakes with regularity, too. Often knowingly stepped right over them (did this with a number of cottonmouths).

    And the worst is when they slither right into the middle of the trail and then just sit there and do nothing.
    Probably because the ground is warm and they're soaking up the heat from it. It's not doing "nothing" and it may need that warmth to help it digest its last meal. Throw a few pebbles or sticks at it, and it'll move along.

    Mt lions are a different story. Since they actually think, are usually at least curious, and might decide to actively hunt you, it's worth a decent bit more consideration. And I encountered them in the dark, by myself, too. No way I'd ever solo night ride with fairly high densities of large predators like mt lions. Not too concerned about black bears. They're more numerous than deer where I live (it at least seems that way at times). Had one on my back deck trying to raid my (empty) bird feeders recently. The only times they really seem to charge people around here are when there are cubs, and usually in springtime when the cubs are especially young. My wife and I carry bear spray when the bears are active. It's about time to put that away for the winter.

    People haven't been an issue for me, even living in and riding in cities, in the dark or not, no matter where my route took me. Even though I haven't done many nighttime mtb rides in recent years because the urban parks all closed, I have done plenty of nighttime urban rides and commutes. Never a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Yeah, I was thinking the same - where the hell do people live where there are so many criminals that you can't even go out at night, and why the hell would anyone stay in a place like that?
    There are places in my area that make me uncomfortable at night (not trails, in the city I mean) but the reality is I could go there 100 nights in a row and have no issue. That doesn't mean I'm going to though. Same applies here; it's not that they're saying they would be attacked if they went, they just feel the risk is greater than the reward. Whether or not the threat was real, I probably wouldn't ride past a homeless camp on my $3k bike either.

    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    There have been at least two times I remember when I came up on them in the dark without realizing it, and their rattles were really pissed off. They had the energy to shake their rattles in a very confrontational way, the rattling was so fast that it sounded like an old alarm clock, just nonstop rattling.
    If they're rattling, they're active. I see tons that never rattle at me, usually when it's cool.

    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    And the worst is when they slither right into the middle of the trail and then just sit there and do nothing. I've had to turn around a few times because they will not budge and there is no path around them because of trees/bushes. Some guys brag that they run over them, but I'm just not going to do that until I have to.
    I pick them up with a long (like ten foot long, seriously) stick and move them a few feet off the trail. They really don't seem to mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Throw a few pebbles or sticks at it, and it'll move along.
    Probably varies by species but I have a fairly large sample size of evidence saying this is not the case with the Eastern timber rattler. Once you throw something it will coil as if prepared to strike, rattle like crazy and not take eyes off of you, much less move. I used to do that, but never once did it make one move, always the opposite. Now I employ the long stick method, they don't get defensive for that shockingly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Probably varies by species but I have a fairly large sample size of evidence saying this is not the case with the Eastern timber rattler. Once you throw something it will coil as if prepared to strike, rattle like crazy and not take eyes off of you, much less move. I used to do that, but never once did it make one move, always the opposite. Now I employ the long stick method, they don't get defensive for that shockingly.
    Fair enough. I haven't encountered many of those. Just one, really, and it moseyed along on its own. Got some photos in the process.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Fair enough. I haven't encountered many of those. Just one, really, and it moseyed along on its own. Got some photos in the process.


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    In the Mid Atlantic I find rattlers to be pretty easy to deal with. Like mentioned just get a lond stick and scoop them off the trail. Copperheads on the otherhand can be a bit more temperamental.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Whoa! That's a big boy!
    they grow 'em big in Texas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drwx View Post
    it may not necessarily be thieves. i live near nashville and several of the parks are known as hookup spots...aka people who don't really want you riding up on their illegal activities in the woods. usually trailheads are in more secluded sections of the parks too, so this further encourages the behavior on the trail.
    Most of our weekly night rides finish up after 11pm. A lot of the trail heads here are just a small gravel pullout at the start of a gated fire road. We've seen plenty of steamed up car windows and lots of cars so full of pot smoke you couldn't see inside. Best part is nobody expects someone to be coming out of the forest from behind a locked gate at that late hour.

    I'm sure we've been responsible for a heart attack or two, after we've lit them up with a half dozen riders passing with bar and helmet lights fully ablaze.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Probably varies by species but I have a fairly large sample size of evidence saying this is not the case with the Eastern timber rattler. Once you throw something it will coil as if prepared to strike, rattle like crazy and not take eyes off of you, much less move. I used to do that, but never once did it make one move, always the opposite. Now I employ the long stick method, they don't get defensive for that shockingly.

    That's been my experience too, mostly blacktails around here but western diamondbacks are the same. Once they get agitated they tend to coil up and hunker down. On the trail I'll either wait or give them a little nudge with a stick.
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    Officially a rattlesnake thread now.

    Bicker, bicker, bicker. Always disagreements when this topic comes up.
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    Who's bickering?
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    Thinking about throwing stuff a little more, and I probably ought to point out that whatever you toss should be small enough (and probably shouldn't actually touch the snake) that it's just annoying enough that the snake wants to go away, but not so significant that it initiates that defensive threat response. This has worked for me in the past. I mentioned in in particular because I recognize that sometimes those in desert environments might not have ready access to many long, sturdy sticks.

    And yeah, if you have sticks around that are long enough to nudge the snake away or pick it up and move it and be outside of strike range, then that'll work, too. Plenty of those around where you might encounter eastern timber rattlers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    There are places in my area that make me uncomfortable at night (not trails, in the city I mean) but the reality is I could go there 100 nights in a row and have no issue. That doesn't mean I'm going to though. Same applies here; it's not that they're saying they would be attacked if they went, they just feel the risk is greater than the reward. Whether or not the threat was real, I probably wouldn't ride past a homeless camp on my $3k bike either.
    Are there really so many homeless camps that anywhere you want to ride you have to go through them? And why would this only an be issue at night?

    Personally, I've stopped for a trailside beer 'n' smoke with local denizens staying "down by the river" quite a few times back when I lived in the city. Never had any issues.
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    I like to night ride the 18 Rd trails in Fruita when I'm there but, where I live, when the days get short enough to warrant lights winter is pretty close behind and the cold temps and snow covered trails turn me off ( I was snowboarding knee-deep powder yesterday). I'd rather put on a headlamp and do some xc skiing closer to my home/office.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scar View Post
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    One of the groups I occasionally ride with do night rides. It changes the trail completely, but I'm also not to keen on going on my own. I've been super busy and working evenings, that I have not ridden at night in a while.

    Maybe one of these nights I will venture on my own. Road riding at night? I'm not too sure about that, its bad enough during the day!
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    I do ride at night, mostly on the road.
    Say what???? I thought you hated roadies!
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    Lol, guilty as charged.
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