What to Bring on A Night Bike Ride
Busy summer days have left us here at Fezzari itching to get out and hit some long-lost, treasured trails. Thursday night we left work only to find that the days have been shortening and nights are creeping up on us faster than we had thought. Lucky for us, we had all we needed to still make it a great ride–one of the most fun we’ve had in a long time.
So whether you like it or not, fall is coming on hard and you might find yourself on some night bike rides sooner than you had anticipated as well. Night rides can be just as fun and fulfilling as any other, but you’ll need to take along a few extra items to make it a successful ride. Here are some helpful tips on needed accessories before heading out to ride in a chilly, fall night.
1. Handlebar Light
This is probably the most important accessory for night rides, and for obvious reasons–you need to see where you’re going. For road riders, we recommend getting a light that is at least 800 lumens, more if you are riding in areas that are dark or have no street lights. Mountain bikers who are doing any fast descents should consider a handlebar light of at least 1200 lumens. The brighter the lights, the better you will be able to see far enough ahead of you to spot oncoming obstacles. (If you are in the market, here at Fezzari, we’ve had a lot of success with Lezyne lights)
2. Helmet light (for mountain)
For mountain bikers, a helmet light can be the difference between a fun and exhilarating night ride.. and a miserable one. Helmet lights enable you to illuminate areas of the trail where you’ll be going–be it around a switchback, over a drop, or into the bushes. Without it, you’re left seeing whatever is strictly ahead of your bike.
3. Rear light (for road)
A rear light is absolutely essential for road riders biking in any areas with cars at night. While a driver might be able to spot the glow of your headlight on the pavement, it pales in comparison to the visibility of a rear red light. Don’t ride without one. The brighter, the better.
4. Warm clothes
Temperatures can drop quickly once the sun sets, and add wind chill on top of that, it can feel tens of degrees colder in only a few minutes. Road bikers can keep warm with items such as insulated wind-proof tights, a hooded jersey or cap to keep your head and ears warm, shoe covers, “lobster” gloves, and base layers. Mountain bikers often stuff an extra jacket (or two) in their packs and call it good. But anything to keep you warm is never a bad idea to pack along.
5. Night lenses
Gray, brown, or yellow sunglasses are great for day or evening riding, but once night hits, you’ll need to have some lenses that will allow you to see as much as possible. Clear lenses are your best option, as they allow the most light through the lens. You can bring some interchangeable lenses to swap out, or–if you’re feeling fancy–some lenses are capable of switching from gray to clear as the light changes around you.
6. Bear spray
Animals, especially bears and big cats, are more active at night and often begin their hunting in the evening hours. Stay prepared and carry protective gear. You can never be too cautious. We want everyone to live to ride another day.
Well there you have it. Night rides just got a lot more fun. If you have any questions on what might be the best accessories for your rides, just give us a call. Keep pedaling on!