13 December 2011

Riding in the dark

So mountainbiking at night seems to be becomming more and more popular. More and more so, with LED's getting brighter and more affordable. I've ridden it for some years, during the winter months. It's pretty much the only option to be able to ride on weekdays, if you work during the day at least.

Sometimes it's fun to ride in the dark. You get surprised and have to react fast. Constantly being aware, because you can only see effectivly 10 meters ahead. This also forces you into some situations you wouldn't normally get into. So it's good for the technical skills.

Sometimes it's also a bit tedious. Especially if it's just a stretch of boring trail (So you think it's boring eh? Then why bother to ride at all. Side thought...). You just sit there in the dark, only being able to see what's within the glow of your bike lights. No scenery. You might as well sit on your stationary bike at home with the lights out. But then, sometimes the stars are out, or the moon. And then you get out and away from the city and it's all still. Maybe being able to see the city lights far away with it's light polution glowing up into the sky. And then it gets pretty cool after all.

In a dark room?
Same place, 6-7 hours later.

Another aspect, that I've gotten more aware of recently, is in regards to wildlife. On a mountainbike you really get out there... The woods are normally a pretty quiet place at night. But then suddenly 10 riders blast through there with only their own fitness in mind. Rabbits and birds flying left and right. Last night I was out, and came across a deer on the trail. It quickly jumped into the shrubs and was gone. I saw there was a low barbed wire fence there, and can only imagine the deer getting some scrapes from that, just because I came riding there. Maybe it would be better to go ride on a motocross bike... at least the animals would be alerted in time.

Anyway, just some thought and observations. I'll keep riding in the dark. My point is just to try to be a bit aware out there and think about the world around you. This could be applied in many places beyond riding though...

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