Night Riding 101
If you haven't tried riding your mountain bike at night you are missing out my friend. It's a guaranteed adrenaline rush!!
Riding at night is a whole different experience. your field of vision gets ultra narrow and focused on just the 15-20 yards of trail in front of you. You don't dare ride out in the boonies without a beefy light system. Please don't try it with one of those cheesy little safety lights that takes batteries. Get yourself a nice rechargeable system.
You need a real night riding light system that puts out a minimum of 750 lumens. The super pro models with multiple beam patterns put out 1400 lumens. We actually suggest you use two rechargeable light systems. One for the handlebars and one mounted to your helmet. Make the handlebar mount at least 750 lumens and the helmet amount at least 350 lumens. Although 750 on both is better. Avoid the rookie mistake of looking at someone when wearing a helmet light that is turned on. Whoever you look at will be blinded for a moment if you do.
Even your old favorite trail will be a new adventure that you don't even recognize. Trails also see a lot less traffic at night. At night you'll also have the place to yourself except for all the critters who come out to play after hours.
If you haven't ridden a trail before you may want to tag along with friends or take it easy your first lap. Lights can make it hard to judge the height of drops and the size of rocks. Start out with an easy ride and/or pace. Once you get more practice under your belt you can let it rip.
A decent light is a MUST for night riding. New LED and battery technology is so incredibly far ahead of the old stuff. These new lights are way brighter, more powerful and longer lasting. At the very least you're going to want 750 lumens on your handlebar and a decent tail light so you can be seen. A huge upgrade is a helmet mounted light to extend your range of vision.
The Lumina line of lights by our pals at NiteRider (a great San Diego company) is versatile enough for your handlebars or attaching your your helmet. Check them all out here (Lights)
San Diego may be the land of never ending Summer, but once the sun goes down it can get downright chilly. Pack some full finger gloves and a lightweight jacket you can stow away in your CamelBak or bag once you get warmed up on the ride.
If you don't have a bell, get one. Announcing your presence to other riders and critters is super important with reduced visibility. If you're in coyote central it'll help you avoid surprising them.
Riding at night is a blast. It's like discovering mtn biking all over again. Be safe and have fun. Oh yeah, one more thing. Make sure you fully charge you batteries the day of or before a night ride. There's nothing more disappointing then running out of light half way through a ride.
"It's your world, Night ride it"
Check our calendar and join us on a night ride