If another rider approaches you (from
the front, not behind), look away from
the rider. If you catch a glimpse of the
other rider’s helmet light or headlight,
you may suffer night blindness.
When your buddies regroup during the ride, keep your eyes on your
shoes. Nothing is worse for destroying
night vision than a buddy looking into
your eyes with his helmet light blasting away. Better yet, turn off the lights
when hanging out.
YOU WILL BE
Vision is severely altered at night.
Depth perception, color recognition
and peripheral vision, all necessary for
competent riding, are compromised
after sundown. Older riders have even
greater difficulties seeing at night. A
50-year-old rider may need twice as
much light to see as well as a 30-year-
old. That means slowing down the
pace considerably will still feel fast
under the stars.
Your battery will never be as powerful as the first time you charged it. It
loses power every time you charge it
after that. Sorry.
You spent the bucks for a good
light; now, invest the time to read the
system’s charging and battery-storage
instructions. The lamp gets the glory,
but it’s the battery pack that does the
hard work. Store it near the charger in
a place where you will look at it regu-
larly. This will remind you to service
the battery when needed during the
BATTERY’S BURN TIME
While we can get away with using
moonlight on our desert trails that have
an unobstructed view of the sky, if your
trails go in and out of tree cover, leave
your lights on. The blackest black you’ll
ever see is under tree cover at night.
CLEAR THE CLUTTER
Your handlebar is already cluttered with shifters, brake levers,
dropper seatpost remotes and even
remote suspension controls. In front
of all that mess is a freeway interchange of hoses, cables and wires.
Clamping your light in the middle
of all that can be tough. That’s why
Paul Component Engineering offers
the $36 stem-cap light mount.
Pull off your stem cap, replace it
with the PCE aluminum light mount,
and your headlight beam gets to
shine unobstructed. Neat.
NEED AN EXCUSE
It is a little surprising how many riders
have never tried a night ride. There
are so many great reasons if you are
looking for an excuse.
•Doubles the available
hours you have to ride
•It is the best way to
beat the summer heat
• The trails are less busy
and usually deserted
• Makes the most familiar trail
• You will see a lot more animals
•It forces you to look ahead
and focus better
•Makes climbs feel less steep
•Makes you feel faster
•It is more intense than daytime riding
–It is a little scary
Okay, so we have done solo night rides on
more than one occasion (it is not always
easy to find other crazy riders), but for the
sake of safety and fun, the more the merrier. Buy your lights as a group and the shop
might cut you a deal. ■
A night ride is going to get your
adrenaline pumping and your pulse
racing. Don’t expect to fall asleep
easily after a night ride. Plan your
night rides for when you don’t have
early obligations the next morning.
The number one night-riding rule is to turn your lights off when
the group stops. Blinding each other with high-powered LED
lights can actually ruin the ride, especially as riders get older.