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  1. #1
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    New to Night Riding

    so, aside from strapping a flashlight onto my bike and riding around campsites, i have never actually been night riding . Im just getting into it now, and have a 24h race in 2 months, so i need my practice. Any tips on how not to fail/crash/fataly injure myself? Thanks in advance.
    Death is like pie, you never know when its gonna hit you in the face.

  2. #2
    Yes, that's fonetic
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    I find that at night with good lights I'm more focused on the trail than during the daytime. Your entire attention is on the tunnel of light ahead of you with no peripheral distractions. You'll be fine but do get in a night ride or 3 before the race to get the feel of it.

  3. #3
    Huckin' trails
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    Just be sure to always be able to rely on your suspension (if available), because theres a lot of holes and bumps you might not see coming... Even little streams that will simply stop you on you way or slow you down a lot (depend where you ride also) and get you dirty and smelly (life experiences)...

    Keep the saddle low and don't be afraid to use your brakes whenever you think so. Camelback will be a good idea and cellphone too, as a toolkit as always. I can't really recommends you to carry an extra air tube, as I never had a flat in my whole life, but others do, so its up to you... anyway, a air tube alone will not work, unless you also have a air pump...

    Put your helmet on, turn on the light and enjoy the night !

    David
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  4. #4
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    I agree with everything these other two guys have said, with the addition of: YOUR LIGHTS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF EQUIPMENT AT A 24HR RACE. You can get by with old tires, a crappy saddle, a cheapish helmet, etc., but if your lights go out on you during a night loop...well, it is a long walk back to the pits.

    A lot of first time racers don't take their lighting seriously. All of the scary dips, bumps, and streams that the other guys have mentioned are far less dangerous and scary if you have a good bar and helmet light. The bar light throws good shadows which allows your eyes to properly gauge depth/height of trail irregularities, while the helmet light allows you to look around corners and into things before your bar light will be aimed at them, ie; when cresting a hill, hopping a log, or rock, or dropping into a stream bed, or gauging the depth of ruts, etc. (a helmet system is also huge when making a trail side repair) Most racers with good lights systems will find that their night laps are as fast if not faster than their day time laps, primarily due to the pure focus you'll have on the trail.

    You should always have a back up light system, just another reason to run both a helmet and a bar light.

    I work for a light company so of course I am biased toward our systems, so I won't even get into which systems you should buy. Most lights out there work well and will get the job done for you. The most important thing to remember is that you will have a lot more fun, ride much more quickly and safely with a good set of lights.

    Which 24hr race are you going to?

    Shannon Scott
    Baja Designs Inc.
    [email protected]

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the advice guys, i'll try to get some night ride in before the race. As for which race im doing, its the Hot August Nights at Albion Hills, Ontario.
    Death is like pie, you never know when its gonna hit you in the face.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matty0401 View Post
    Thanks for the advice guys, i'll try to get some night ride in before the race. As for which race im doing, its the Hot August Nights at Albion Hills, Ontario.

    Good idea, although I imagine it doesn't get dark till almost 10:30-11:00pm in your neck of the woods? Definitely try to get as much night riding under your belt as you can, a lot of 24hr races are won or lost during the dark hours.

    Good luck! Let me know if you have any questions.

  7. #7
    turtles make me hot
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    I agree with the other guys. Absolutely ride with a bar light and a helmet light. I ride the exact same trails at night as I do during the day and I'm able to go just as fast because I have awesome lights. I can't say enough about getting good quality lights.
    Carry a good flashlight in your camelbak too. I like Fenix TK series.
    I like turtles

  8. #8
    Yes, that's fonetic
    Reputation: whoda*huck's Avatar
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    I also might add that Baja Designs makes killer lights. There are cheaper lights available, but the build quality of BD (waterproof to 30' ) is incomparable. If you want the best, check them out.

    And yes, the bar/helmet combo works far better for me too. I get (perceive?) a kind of a double shadow effect with two lights that adds depth. I can't ride with a helmet light alone, seems like the shadows are thrown straight away from my eyes which really flattens things out. I recommend putting it on the bike if you only have one light.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by whodaphuck View Post
    I also might add that Baja Designs makes killer lights. There are cheaper lights available, but the build quality of BD (waterproof to 30' ) is incomparable. If you want the best, check them out.

    And yes, the bar/helmet combo works far better for me too. I get (perceive?) a kind of a double shadow effect with two lights that adds depth. I can't ride with a helmet light alone, seems like the shadows are thrown straight away from my eyes which really flattens things out. I recommend putting it on the bike if you only have one light.
    Thanks for the props Mr. Phuck. (I like our lights too, but I try not to brag too much )

    I completely concur, for me just a helmet light will drive me slowly insane (and make me crash a lot), it definitely flattens things a bit to my eyes.

    One of the other things you'll need for a 24hr race (I thought of this last night on our Tuesday night ride) is a few sets of riding gear. There is nothing worse than pulling on an icy cold, and wet riding jersey at 3am in the morning...no fun!! A fresh pair of shorts, jersey, and socks will go a looooooong way towards making your life much more pleasant at the race.

  10. #10
    Huckin' trails
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    Those guys agree with me ^^

    And get some clean underwear too... in case you get harm and send to hospital, you might want to have something clean to hang around.



    Be safe dude.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BajaDesignsShannon View Post
    One of the other things you'll need for a 24hr race (I thought of this last night on our Tuesday night ride) is a few sets of riding gear. There is nothing worse than pulling on an icy cold, and wet riding jersey at 3am in the morning...no fun!! A fresh pair of shorts, jersey, and socks will go a looooooong way towards making your life much more pleasant at the race.
    ++1 on this advice.

    One of the best things I found when I did 24hr races was having someone (non-racer) to run the "camp". Having good food and drink ready, organizing, whatever, just made it way better.

  12. #12
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    if you drink coffee (and why wouldn't you?) then a single burner stove and an expresso kettle is an absolute winner. Also helps if you want to cadge something free from someone at 3am.

    What you don't want is to do a 24h as a duo with a team mate that steals your sleeping bag so you have to go back out and do another night lap.

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