Riding into the Night: Hot Tips and Tricks

Riding into the Night: Hot Tips and Tricks

Here’s our top reasons, in no particular order, why you should give riding into the dark a go. 

1. The world looks completely different after dark. 

2. You’re (mostly) alone. 

3. Your body and your brain will appreciate the fact you are burning calories in the great out-of-doors.

4. You’ll hone your skills on two-wheels.

5. The shopping. 

Mary Ann Beall

Riding with people you know will always keep you smiling no matter what the conditions,” said Mary Ann Beall, who loves a group night ride. Beall also recommend a great set of lights and suggests you start out riding trails you already know. 

JRA Bikes & Brew

We also reached out to our dear friend Vincent Gest, owner and chief stoke master at JRA Bikes & Brew in Thousand Oaks, Ca. Gest is an avid rider and an enthusiastic advocate of all things after-dark and he brings the expert list for those looking to dive into the dark.

1. Mount your handlebar light so that the beam is far enough ahead to cast shadows on the ground. This will help identify the difference between a bump and a dip in the trail and provide better depth perception. A light with an evenly dispersed beam pattern is better than one with a bright center, also known as a hot spot. More lumens means the ability to safely ride faster and I prefer 2500-4000 lumens.
2. Helmet lights are a great secondary light for seeing around switchbacks, performing trailside repairs, and blinding your riding buddies at rest stops. They don't have to be exceptionally bright (the light, not your buddies). I prefer 750-1200 lumens.
3. Always ride with other people or give someone your route in case you don't come home on time. Most of the current GPS computers, as well as Strava, allow the rider to send a beacon to a friend or family member so they can see where you're at during the ride. 
4. Don't take unnecessary risks when riding alone at night. It might be a while before someone comes along and finds you on the side of the trail. 
5. It takes time to adjust to riding at night. The local trails are suddenly unfamiliar since we can't see the usual landmarks. But that's what makes it so fun. Your favorite trails become a new adventure. 

Night Ride

We have to admit we get a little nervous before our first night ride of the season. We struggled to figure out the proper tire pressure for the trail we chose and the conditions. We were stressing about so many things, including getting a flat deep into the park.

As we were gearing up, we remembered the biggest and most common mistake everyone sees among new night riders... not nearly enough light. All the experts are correct as far as we are concerned.. the more lumens, the better.

It's definitely true the more you see the better you will ride. Everything at night is just a little ... darker and it's the unknown obstacles which ultimately slow us down and freak us out. The quality of your lights and the ability to adjust those settings goes hand-in-hand with the progression you make on your bike at night.

Our local park closes at dark, but this wasn't going to stop us from getting in a little ride with our new lights. We set our lights on low and climbed into the park like a ninja. Apparently a ninja with absolutely no skills. It wasn't more than a couple of minute when we heard the Sheriff shouting over the loud speaker "the park is closed." Our night ride was over before it started. But at least the lights pointed the way back home. 

And we almost forgot to remind you Kali makes an accessory mounting kit that will work with the Maya 3.0, Interceptor, Invader 1.0 and 2.0 as well as the Grit. Get it here


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