Night Riding in the Baltimore Area- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Night Riding in the Baltimore Area

    Any recommendations for good night time riding in and around Baltimore? Just keep me off the roads. A few crossings is okay.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Seek and ye shall find, eh? Just saw info for the Tues and Wed night Patapsco rides.

    Time to buy some lights. I'm a little nervous though. Anybody done these rides before? I used to night ride when I lived in Mass, but that was years ago!!! Pretty flat too.

  3. #3
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    Patapsco can be a fairly harrowing night ride, make sure you go with people who know the trails. Its twice as techy in the dark.

    I used to night ride at Loch Raven all the time when I lived in Bmore, I think its much more suited for night riding than Patapsco. Don't let the man bring you down.

  4. #4
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    I'd start with either the Tuesday night casual ride or the Wednesday night coed-casual ride. The Tuesday night Fast ride is very fast, and the Wednesday night single speed outlaw ride is not as fast as the fast ride but definitely moving. The casual rides stop to regroup more often and don't ride for as long. All rides hit any and all the trails in Patapsco, including steep hills and technical bits, it's really just the pace and numbers of stops to regroup that change.

    All groups are friendly and all rides are no-drop. You won't find any attitudes - everyone's happy to be riding at night, so c'mon out and give it a shot.

  5. #5
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    Where do you meet for the night rides?

    No issues with park police?

  6. #6
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    MORE has worked very hard with the park for special permission to hold legal night rides at the park during the fall/winter season. There is a formal agreement with the park, including rules and restrictions, and we are very careful to abide by this agreement in order to continue this privilege. See Home Page | MORE-MTB for more details, e.g.: Weekly Ride Patapsco After Dark - SSOFT ride - 2012 ed. - MORE Forums

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    And note that none of these rides are suitable for beginners, since night riding presents special challenges. For example, you're depth perception is often thrown off, and it can be challenging to discern rocks and roots from smooth dirt. Even the casual rides -- it's only the pace that's casual, not the terrain. It's OK if you're a beginner to night riding, but you should otherwise be very comfortable with the technical terrain at Patapsco.

    The only more beginner-friendly night rides that I'm aware of are at Schaeffer Farms and Rosaryville, both a decent hike from Baltimore, especially during the week.

  8. #8
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    Last thing I should mention -- you need GOOD LIGHTS. Something like Amazon.com: Magicshine MJ-808 Bike Light New Improved Battery Latest Version: Sports & Outdoors or CygoLite MityCross 380 OSP Bike Light - Free Shipping at REI.com. There is plenty of discussion on MTBR and elsewhere regarding what lights to buy, etc., but I just want to be clear that a little commuter blinky light or a flashlight duct-taped to the handlebars will be horribly insufficient. Most riders use both handlebar and helmet lights.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Alberto_ View Post
    Where do you meet for the night rides?

    No issues with park police?
    These are legal night rides with permission from the park. Patapsco has the most options of any park, most parks have a once a week ride.

    Patapsco will be adding another ride to their roster which will be in the Woodstock area, they are finalizing now.

    A little further out, we'll have Gambrill night rides kicking off again this year, we are just finalizing our agreement.

    The Baltimore/DC region has a ton of legal night riding thanks to MORE. I'm willing to bet that this region has the largest number of night rides going on in the country. A few years ago there were zero legal night riding options. Now there are many. The MORE ride coordinator recently posted this list of area night riding trails:

    • Schaeffer Farm (MD)
    • Patapsco (MD)
    • Little Bennett (MD)
    • Lower Magruder/etc (MD)
    • Black Hills (MD)
    • Gambrill (MD)
    • Greenbriar (MD)
    • Wakefield (VA)
    • Freedom Ctr (VA)
    • Rosaryville (in need of a Ride Leader!)
    • Cabin John (in the works)


    All of them (except Wakefield) require you to ride with the group on the designated day/time, so don't just head out and ride.
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  10. #10
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    Thanks for the info guys. I'll look into that.

  11. #11
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    Definitely a good deal of info here... I'll start w/tues casual and see how that goes.

    Do you know the loop they ride? I'd like to ride it a few times to prepare.

    Buying a good light system is at the top of my list right now. I'm not sure what I'm going to buy, but I have a reasonable budget. Thanks Again!!!

  12. #12
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    I'll chime in here. The route is different each time. It just depends on what the ride leader wants to do, and what the group is up for.

    I'll second the Magic Shine lights. They are a good bang for the buck.

  13. #13
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    A "typical" counterclockwise loop might looks like this: From the trailhead at CCBC hang a right and eventually pick up Santee Branch Trail (sorry don't remember the color of the blaze). Follow this across Hilton Ave. and eventually Hilltop Rd. to pick up Buzzard's trail, which will take us down to the Dam. We then cross the bridge and follow Ridge all the way over to the descend the waterbar trail to the park road near the pavillions. Ride the park road around to the other side by the tunnel under the trail tracks, and take Vineyard Springs up to Santee to CCBC to complete the loop.

    Casual might go shorter; moderate and fast might go farther. Might go counterclockwise or clockwise. Sometimes we'll take Soapstone instead of Valley View, sometimes we'll take Cascade, Morning Choice, or any combination of trails.
    Last edited by BmoreKen; 09-25-2012 at 07:33 PM.

  14. #14
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    Hey LowFreq I wouldn't worry about getting a ton of money for the best lights on the market. I'm sure you research lights on here and come up with something good. In July I rode with a guy who lights so bright there was no tunnel vision effect even riding behind him! Just make sure you get one for the handlebars and one for your helmet.

    Sometimes if I want some night ride action I will ride right before dawn or until after dark. That way some of the ride is in daylight and some is in the dark. That might be a good way to intro yourself to your new lights. I'm not sure where you're going to do that in Maryland!

    Maryland has the most legal night riding trails? I think the guys in Whistler and Slatyfork would disagree.
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