Night Riding

One of my bicycling goals for October is to ride every single day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes or so on a day I’m not commuting. I actually haven’t come close to doing that level of daily riding since my personal bicycling renaissance began back in May. Last month was my best riding month by far and yet I only rode 24 out of 30 possible days. In the four months prior to that I was closer to 50% which makes sense considering I was starting from a minimal fitness level and giving myself plenty of recovery time to avoid injury.

    This weekend was pretty booked up with some home improvement projects that I had promised Mary I would work on and I wanted to take it easy anyway.  I probably could have squeezed in an hour daylight ride, but I just didn't want to ride that long and I really didn't feel like taking a shorter ride during the day.  Instead I ended up getting in a couple 5k night rides around the neighborhood Saturday and Sunday evening around 8:30 or so and that was a pretty fun change of pace.

    I really enjoy riding at night.  Traffic in my neighborhood is pretty much nonexistent once you get off the arterials and it makes for some pretty peaceful riding.  Both nights this weekend were slightly windy and in the mid 50s and I didn't bother with my usual cycling gear, just hopped on my bike and rode in what I was wearing plus jacket, gloves and helmet.  It felt great.

    For lighting during the rides I used my Princeton Tec Yukon 3 LED/1 Xenon headlight and was impressed with how well it works in the 3 LED mode (it's even brighter in the single Xenon mode just less efficient).   I picked that light up for around $10 on close out from REI Outlet a few months ago and I'm still kicking myself for now getting two at that price (retail is typically $40 for that model).   I have a different dinkier single LED model that came with my tail light and there's simply no comparison (it's a good backup headlight and portable flashlight though).

    Based on this weekend's experiences getting in a ride every day this month shouldn't be a problem.  I really have no excuse not to grab a quick ride in the evening if I can't fit one in during the day.  And considering I like riding in darkness, the shorter daylight hours should actually make the coming winter commuting months that much more interesting.