Did a fun night ride last night with some local folk I’ve been wanting to ride with for ages. For a night-time ride in late October, there was actually quite a crowd — ten riders, including myself, 9Toes, commuterDude, Noah, so other fellows I’d met but never ridden with before, and even a couple on a tandem.
The weather was great. The temperature was in the uppers 50s at the start of the ride (about 9:30pm), the wind was light, and the sky was crystal clear with millions of stars. The ride set a pretty good pace, and it wasn’t that far — about 30 miles — but the tandem was plagued with flat-itis, and the group stopped several times to help them try to fix the problem. In the end, it was too dark to find the culprit, so they ended up sagging in the last few miles.
It was after midnight by the time I got back home, and it was getting to be pretty nippy. I wore two layers of socks, but still ended up with cold toes.
I’ve realized that there’s a big difference between riding the recumbent and the upright in terms of the feet getting cold. On the ‘bent, you’re reclined, with your feet leading the way, and the wind is blocked by the soles of the shoes. On the upright, the wind just cuts right on through. Thicker socks are in order, I suspect.
My lighting, including the Coleman headlamp plus a nice little LED flashlight I picked up, worked out well. This was the first time I’d ridden with them more than just around the block. With the group or riders, we were throwing down quite a bit of light, so I was able to run both the flashlight and headlamp at low brightness most of the time. It’s nice being able to have both the fixed light and the light that follows your gaze (though I had to be careful to to blind folk as I looked into their faces).
Read Noah’s blog for a write-up and some great pics: Welcome… to the Dark Side.
I’m already looking forward to next summer and the return of warm nights for more dark side riding opportunities.
Randy – I’m going to try to build one of these this year. Thought you might be intrigued as you try different lights.
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