Apr 24, 2008

Night Riding - Forget What You Think You Know

I had planned to do a test night-ride with Rod tonight in preparation for Saturday but events conspired against us and I can't ride tomorrow night so decided to go on my own to Jonkershoek to ride for an hour or so just to get used to night riding and using my lights.

I have a Cateye Opticube and a Princeton Tec Eos, both very bright single led lights. The Opticube is mounted on the handlebars and the Eos is on my helmet, the idea being that one can see where you're going but also where you want to go. This is a good theory which works well but does appear to have some limitations, mainly that of the beam of light being quite narrow so you don't get much idea of what is immediately either side of where you're going.

The main thing I really noticed compared to day riding is that the surface is far less visible and so you get punished for the smallest mistakes! Consequently riding at night has to be much slower and you really have to concentrate on what you're doing. It's a bit like having to learn all over again how to ride a bike.

I now have an understanding of why Saturday's race is in teams of two and only 20k's long as it will definitely take a good 90 to 120 minutes.

Bring it on!

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