When the clocks change and the nights draw in, cyclists have a decision to make: get in the groove with night riding and embrace the darkness. Or, hang up the wheels and miss out on hours of glorious saddle time.
Sometimes it’s a depressing thought, the nights closing in. However, night riding is also to be relished as one of the most rewarding experiences you can have on a bike, and especially when riding with a group. Riding in the dark heightens your senses, improves your skills and builds awareness. If you are a bike commuter, it’s easy to see winter commutes as a means to an end, but with a good set of lights, some warm clothing and some interesting ride options, it can offer a wonderful new take on your cycling.
For those who need a really bright headlight check out the NiteRider Pro 1800 Race on the BikeParts.com website. Designed for mountain bike racing, and with 1200 lumens you can expect to get about 1 hour and 30 minutes of run time. At 700 lumens you should get 3 hours, 400 lumens yields 4 hours, 200 lumens 12 hours, and 80 lumens 25 hours. It takes about five hours to fully charge the four cell Lithium Ion battery. Apparently a battery this powerful requires a real charger, thus it’s not USB rechargeable.
It’s hard to know what to wear what to wear when it’s 50 degrees and sunny outside versus 30 – 35 degrees and cloudy. Winter riding can be a challenge! But, with clothing that is versatile, lightweight, and easy to pack down, you can find a winter cycling wardrobe that works for you. A couple of options to help you get the best gear: option 1, check out winter cycling apparel on our website or watch our BikeParts.com video, How to Dress for Winter Cycling.
Riding in the dark makes the riding of any technical section immediately harder than in the day. It takes a good while (most of the winter in fact!) to overcome this, so don’t set yourself a task to ride the most demanding trails you have. Ease yourself in as the nights start earlier and downgrade your expectations. Remember, you will inevitably ride and travel more slowly than in daylight. With that being said, be mindful that your route doesn’t exceed your lights battery capacities.
Riding at night may seem a little scary at first, yet it can be every bit as safe and fun as riding in the day when you follow a few basic guidelines.