With the increased rate of traffic congestion in many cities around the country, many cyclists are taking to riding on the roads when most of the city is turning in for the day. Given the fact that we have rising temperatures (in many places) and increased traffic, this doesn’t seem like a bad idea at all. Here are a few reasons why a nocturnal ride can be so much fun.
CALMING AND MEDITATIVE
There is something about riding under the stars, moon and street lights. It can be calming and meditative. Having cooler temperatures and no glare or heat from the sun is sure to keep your spirits high and your performance unaffected by loss of energy. Night rides will certainly help you tune into yourself, making you cycle more and being able to focus more on them than on the surroundings.
BYE BYE TRAFFIC
Since most people are back home from work, and are getting ready to turn in for the day, the roads will be a lot more free and you will certainly get more space on the road to focus on your performance.
You will be more at ease without having the constant noise of blaring horns from commuters eager to get to or back from work. This will allow you to concentrate on your ride better. Also, another added advantage is that you will be able to see traffic coming from behind you better as their headlights will announce them closing in on you.
TRAIN YOUR REFLEXES
Riding at night with less traffic and a good pair of headlights will definitely give you the ability to improve your speed. You are very likely to be able to ride a lot faster on your nocturnal rides. This in turn will also improve your attentiveness and responsiveness and give you catlike reflexes.
EXPLORE YOUR CITY BETTER
There is something about riding around your city and seeing it when you are one of the only few people around. You are sure to see things and places you may not have seen during the day due to crowds and traffic, or simply not having had the time to visit a particular area.
On another note, while riding at night does have countless plus points, it also involves a certain risk. To ensure your safety, you must make sure to protect yourself against all possible risks that come with nocturnal riding. Such as:
- Make sure you have a bright set of headlights and tail lights on your cycle. Always keep a spare set of lights with you.
- If you are riding a far from home, carry sufficient water and food. Places may not be open to buy them should the need arise.
- Always carry a tool kit and spare tubes with you, and know how to use them. No puncture shop or mechanic is going be open to come to your aid at night, should you have a flat.
- Always wear a helmet. Would be great if it has reflective strips on it.
- Make sure you wear bright clothes and/or a reflective vest at all times. Avoid wearing dark coloured pants or shorts.
- If you are wearing dark colored bottoms, use reflective ankle strips that can be strapped onto your legs.
- Reflective gloves wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. In case you need to use your hands to indicate.
- Make sure that you have had enough rest before your night ride, and if you do feel tired on the ride - stop for a bit and get some rest before pedalling on.
- Keep an eye out for vehicles driving on the wrong side of the road, especially if you are riding on service roads and highways.
It is suggested that if you are riding at night ride with a partner if not a group, avoid making solo ride nights! Now that you have all that you need to know about night rides, kit up and get on your bicycle and pedal on into the night.