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March 7, 2018
Although spring is around the corner which means longer days, cycling during the nighttime still means riding in the dark. Mountain bike night riding at night can be awesome if your daylight hours are limited for adventure, but it can also be dangerous. If you plan on hitting the trails and mountain biking at night. Here are 10 mountain bike riding tips to keep you safe and sound:
A good light is critical if you want to enjoy lit paths instead of scrambling in the pitch black. Consider at least a 400-Lumen light to keep things nicely lit up.
You can either fix your new bulb to your bars or to your helmet. Whichever one you choose to go with, ensure that it is properly connected so that it won’t fall off.
If you’ve never ridden in the dark before, pick a route that you’re familiar with before venturing out into the wild. You’ll be surprised at how alien the trails feel and look if you’re not completely familiar with them.
Remember, night riding is not a race. There are tons of hidden bumps, stumps, and rocks that are hidden in the dark, so take it easy. Night trails are a great place to hone your cycling skills, not your endurance.
Riding with a pal can seriously boost your comfort level. Bike shops and cycling clubs are a great way to meet new people and make lifelong riding friends. Ask your pal if they know a route that they are totally comfortable with if you want to explore new terrain.
Never ride too close to the cyclist in front of you while riding the trails at night. If your light is more powerful than theirs, then this will cause a huge shadow in front of them and greatly obstruct their view.
This is a given, even during the day. Wear a properly fitted riding helmet, eye protection, and layers in case it gets cold. If it’s raining, don water resistant attire and a moisture wicking undercoat to keep comfy.
Riding in the dark can be dangerous and the odds of crashing is increased. So, don’t try to impress your friends by being a total daredevil.
Getting stranded in the middle of the forest at night (or worse, during a thunderstorm at night) is not appealing. So be sure to know your trails and bring a map, compass, and other essentials to stay safe and comfortable.
Spend a lot of time focusing on the trail ahead instead of your inner monologue.
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