Sunday, August 31, 2014

Of Light and Darkness - Night Riding Experience

"I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars" -
Og Mandino

I do night rides, most of the time alone. I time my night rides so that when I go home, it is still early evening and the road I take is relatively busy with traffic. When Bike Laguna Ph sent out an invite to a night ride, I joined to experience riding in familiar routes, but blanketed in darkness. Add to that the endless stories of ghost encounters especially for tail end charlies like me.

Here are some tips to get the most out of your night ride experience:

  1. Bring bar mounted or helmet mounted LED lamps. The importance of lamps cannot be downplayed when going on night rides. It will let you see the road you're going through. Invest on quality LED lamps while you are at it. Look for balance of light intensity and battery life (minimum 3 hours operating time). I bring two sets of lights: a Lezyne Zecto Pro and a flashlight with two spares of lithium rechargeable batteries.
  2. Bring tools like spare tubes, pocket tool, tire lever, air pump, patchkit. You'll never know when they will come handy.
  3. Bring a saddle bag or backpack to store your tools
  4. Bring a hydration bag or water bottles. Depending on your route, bring enough water to last through the ride. I bring 2 water bottles (1liter each) for a 50km loop around Tagaytay.
  5. A phone with load credits and fully charged is handy during night rides as it can be useful if you get separated from the group and want to contact your buddies.
  6. Cloud 9 candy bar or Snickers. Needed if your blood sugar drops and you need a quick picker-upper.
  7. Medicine kit that includes band aid, alcohol and betadine are a minumum.
  8. Optional: Camera with low light capability. Twilight can give you lots of photo opportunities to shoot nature. 
  9. Slow down. Be wary of pedestrians and motorists while riding. Darkness hides things from you and you don't want to be surprised with people suddenly appearing from nowhere.
  10. Speak in a low voice. Dogs are very testy during night time. A little noise will alarm them and could attack you.
  11. Enjoy and cherish the cooler air at night. That is the essence of night riding.

Nuvali, while waiting for the ride to start
Thunderstorm clouds in the west

Top of Cardiac Hill

Frozen ice crystals high above the atmosphere
I have been to this place countless times but it is never the same every time I pass by.
Photo opportunity
To Bukohan
Getting darker, you need lights to pierce through the darkness
Orbs orbs orbs, some say that orbs are wandering souls
Lights pierce the darkness like swords piercing thin armor

Group riding is fun

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