Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Night Mountain Biking

Last night was hoot! A trip! A doosie! I went mountain biking, which by itself isn't too out of the ordinary -- only this time I did it at night. It's crazy, but even though I've been mountain biking many many times, and I know the nearby trails well, I felt like I was tying something completely new. During the day, mountain biking is a wonderful way so survey the countryside and enjoy the scenery. At night, mountain biking feels like going hyper-speed through an asteroid field in a blizzard -- it's disorienting, it's challenging, and it's awesome. I started down World Cycle: 

 The NiteRider rep was in town, and was offering their full range of lights to demo:
 I chose a modest 600-lumen helmet-mounted light...
...which was more than enough to turn night into day out on the trail. Now I said modest, but that's only in comparison to the rest of NiteRider's product line (they offer a 3,000-lumen model, which is brighter than any car headlight). I'm used to commuting through town with a much smaller 90-lumen light, so by comparison I felt like I had a piece of the sun strapped to my head. Night biking feels kind of like riding through a tunnel -- you can see what's ahead with perfect clarity, but you have no idea what's above, below, or to the sides. It can be nerve-wracking: is that a small drop-off to my right? or the edge of a bottomless crevasse?
 Finally I returned to World Cycle freezing and tired, and was greeted with a sandwich spread and a keg of nice beer. What a swell way to finish off a swell night.
 Despite being cold, I give the thumbs up:

Thanks World Cycle and NiteRider for the splendid introduction to the world of night biking.

1 comment:

Martin Criminale said...

Nice! I used to go for night rides in parks with friends and we would play MTB tag. Tons of fun...

Recently I entered a 12-hour MTB race and the last 1.5 laps were in BLACKNESS. I only had a handlebar light but it was still a total blast. Night riding makes everything seem faster, kind of like skiing at night.