Nightriders

Twilkes

Guru
How do you deal with riding at night, especially in winter when daylight hours are obviously much reduced?

Is it just good lights and take care?

Traffic density in the middle of the night will also reduce, but can that be a problem in that drivers aren't expecting to see anything on the road, much less a bicycle?
 

DCLane

Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
Good lights, warmer clothing plus extras just in case, probably an extra tube / tools, take quieter roads.
 

Spiderweb

Not So Special One
Location
North Yorkshire
Good lights for sure, I have a back up set just in case which are not brilliant but are good enough to be seen with (I’ve never had to use them). Warm clothing with some reflective bits is good too.
 
I find it's important to have a light to see where your going and another (flashing) light to be seen by others.

High visibility jacket

Reflectors (legal requirement)

Angle my light down to not blind people

Choose street lamp routes and routes with better surfaces even if they are slightly longer
 

Slick

Guru
I enjoy riding at night but as well as the usual lights and reflectors, I think you have to be careful with your chosen route as well. My brother and I have a 150 mile ride planned for early next year but he wants to complete it at night, as there will be less traffic and I want to do it earlier in the morning as it will be daylight by the time we hit the main traffic. Obviously we just want to be safe and we have different interpretations on how best to do it.
 

Ming the Merciless

Formerly YukonBoy
Location
Inside my skull
Head torch for mechanicals. As above good lights and redundancy so if any fail you're still good to ride, even if a bit slower. My main front light is Dynamo, backup is battery. Rear is two battery lights, one on each seat stay, plus a fibre flare. Warm layers for the colder weather than during the day. Emergency rations to keep you going between stops. Make extra care to avoid hitting potholes in the dark at night. Other than that riding at night is a delight and usually in deserted lanes for an Audax.
 
OP
Twilkes

Twilkes

Guru
I enjoy riding at night but as well as the usual lights and reflectors, I think you have to be careful with your chosen route as well. My brother and I have a 150 mile ride planned for early next year but he wants to complete it at night, as there will be less traffic and I want to do it earlier in the morning as it will be daylight by the time we hit the main traffic. Obviously we just want to be safe and we have different interpretations on how best to do it.
I've wondered about this - first thoughts are to stay off the A roads, but visibility tends to be better on A roads as they're straighter and with shallower curves, and fairly regularly you'll go through civilisation lit by street lamps. Side roads/lanes may be quieter but then no-one will be expecting to see a bike and might be on top of you much more quickly. Guess it depends on the roads, but often you won't know until you get there. My scariest experience on a bike was bendy country roads shrouded by trees, very dark and visibility around corners was often very short, I dreaded the sound of an engine coming up behind me.

If a driver is paying attention, you're arguably more visible lit up at night than in the daytime, but they never seem to be able to pass you as sensibly though.
 

Heltor Chasca

Out-riding the Black Dog
I like to be on the road after last orders. Drink driving is still endemically an issue in rural England. West London is still (always) alive during the small hours in Summer. Islamic food shops, grandmothers and infants are still about doing their thing. And of course Heathrow and the armies of shift workers don’t sleep

I take spare lights and a head torch. Extra clothing (jacket, overshoes, beanie, inner gloves and long fingered gloves and a buff) I have emergency food too.

I love it when the Sun appears and warms you on many levels. I put my backlight on my Wahoo. The warm glow seems to keep me awake.

I revel in the hallucinations I occasionally have. I once stopped to photograph a wheel sized spider only to realise it was in fact a dock plant.

If you are interested in ‘the night’ take a listen to the ‘Nocturne’ podcasts. Brilliant.
 
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Slick

Guru
I've wondered about this - first thoughts are to stay off the A roads, but visibility tends to be better on A roads as they're straighter and with shallower curves, and fairly regularly you'll go through civilisation lit by street lamps. Side roads/lanes may be quieter but then no-one will be expecting to see a bike and might be on top of you much more quickly. Guess it depends on the roads, but often you won't know until you get there. My scariest experience on a bike was bendy country roads shrouded by trees, very dark and visibility around corners was often very short, I dreaded the sound of an engine coming up behind me.

If a driver is paying attention, you're arguably more visible lit up at night than in the daytime, but they never seem to be able to pass you as sensibly though.
I agree with some of what you say but not all. Our ride will mostly be on an A class road with zero street lights, this is the dictionary definition of twisting country roads with some really heavy traffic, by which I mean busy and lgv's. My feeling is, through the day you are almost expected to be there more than you ever would be at 3 in the morning. Whilst I know it's nowhere near the same, I also have what happened to Mike Hall in mind as well. Still not completely sure how we will deal with it.
 
OP
Twilkes

Twilkes

Guru
Maybe plan for a get-out route if the first choice ends up being uncomfortable, I've done that before. Which A roads, out of interest?

I've also wondered about a flashing amber light on the back, that always gets my attention when driving as they're usually on large/slow moving vehicles.
 

Slick

Guru
Maybe plan for a get-out route if the first choice ends up being uncomfortable, I've done that before. Which A roads, out of interest?

I've also wondered about a flashing amber light on the back, that always gets my attention when driving as they're usually on large/slow moving vehicles.
A82 and 83. Not as bad as they once were and you do see the odd brave soul like @Pat "5mph" and chums who fear nothing. :notworthy:
 
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