Search
Sign In

Night cycle routes: cycling in low light

Many who experience it become addicted to nighttime bike rides.

Cycling under a blanket of bright stars, with the moon in the background and with deep silence around you, you create a special connection with the cosmos.

We may have encouraged cyclists that biking at night is a lot of fun, but it’s definitely worth experiencing at least once in a lifetime.

This practice takes place mainly in the MTB modality, although having a night cycling experience to know a city is also gaining more and more followers.

Since the factors for cycling are different, there are a few things to consider to be successful on your bike ride and not get lost waiting for someone to pick you up.

 What we recommend for a night out by bike…

  1. If possible, don’t cycle alone
  2. Plan your route well and don’t improvise
  3. Invest in good lighting
  4. Bring two lights and extra batteries
  5. Light on the helmet: not bad
  6. Manage lighting well at all times
  7. Beware of animals … and beware of fright
  8. Go at noon, come back at night
  9. At night it refreshes
  10. Charge your mobile battery
  11. Tell a family member or friend about your route
  12. When riding in a group, let the best be the leader
  13. Even with good light, our eyes are not the same during the day as at night
  14. Bring supplies
  15. Use GPS
  16. Put on glasses
  17. Reduce the intensity of the LED in the city
  18. Don’t forget to check the weather
  19. Maybe a very technical route is not necessary

1. If possible, don’t cycle alone

Salidas nocturnas en bici: a ser posible, no vayas solo

Regardless of whether you cycle day or night, there is one word to keep in mind when preparing: safety. And to cycle safely at night, do so under the guidance of someone else who can help you with unforeseen events so we can add the extra security we need.

2. Plan your route well and don’t improvise

Salidas nocturnas en bici: Planifica bien tu ruta y no improvises

Take the bike and go without thinking about the trail you are going to take, which can be good if you are cycling during the day, but as a night plan it has its risks: it is not the same to get lost in mountain at night than during the day, with more orientation worries if you get lost. That is why it is important to plan the route in advance and better a known route that you have already done during the day. If you want to do an overnight route during your cycling holiday, you can choose to do it with a bike guide to pedal in the right conditions.

3. Invest in good lighting

Salidas nocturnas en bici: Planifica bien tu ruta y no improvises

I already told you about bike safety at night, right? Well, let’s be clear: Excessive digging with the lights we have to carry can end up costing too much. Regarding the front light, luz frontal, it is recommended that it has at least 1000 lumens.

In Spain, there is currently an obligation to have a white light at the front and a red position light at the rear. Also, you have to wear some kind of reflective device on your clothes. Likewise, it never hurts to include retro-reflectors on pedals or radios, as it’s not just about seeing but being seen. Fines for non-compliance with regulations can reach 200 euros.

4. Bring two lights and extra batteries

Salidas nocturnas en bici: Lleva dos luces y baterías de repuesto

Bringing spare batteries and additional lights in case the ones we use fail is a mandatory requirement. You will not appreciate them until the moment you need them, because running out of enough lighting is equivalent to being lost. It is important to anticipate this risk, even with a lower quality of light, but sufficient to return home more slowly.

5. Light on the helmet: not bad

Salidas nocturnas en bici: luz en el casco no viene mal

Using headlamps during the ride can help us to see better in which sections, because if the gaze of the bike remains fixed, ours moves in different directions: forward, to the sides, to the back …

In addition, having a front frontal will be useful if at some point we get off the bike or need to review a technical problem that the bike may have.

6. Manage lighting well at all times 

Salidas nocturnas en bici: gestiona bien la iluminación en cada momento

You will not need to use the full power of the headlight at all times. Take advantage of the points where you have the best light to lower the intensity as long as it is adjustable.

7. Beware of animals ….. and beware of fright 

Salidas nocturnas en bici: cuidado con los animales...y con los sustos

Then a small anecdote. Who wrote this walked so calmly on his nighttime MTB ride along the busy Carretera de les Aigües, a route of a few kilometers that allows us to see the whole city of la ciudad de Barcelona, from Collserola, when suddenly a family of wild boars appeared in the middle of the path. The impact was such that when braking, he was not far from hurtling down the slope while the wild boars remained insensitive to the spectacle.

Either way, we must keep in mind that when the human animal hides to rest in its abode, animals appear on the mountain trails that we would never find otherwise. Think about it and keep in mind that depending on where you go, you may find wildlife along the way.

8. Go at noon, come back at night 

Salidas nocturnas en bici: sal por la tarde, vuelve por la noche

Being out on a bike at night doesn’t mean you have to leave the house at full dusk. Best in the late afternoon, before sunset, to experience the last glimmer of light and gradually get our eyes used to the night.

And when we have a problem with lighting controls, it’s easier to adjust it according to our needs.

9. At night it refreshes

Salidas nocturnas en bici: de noche refresca

We are actually a little embarrassed to insist on this point because it is in fact quite obvious, but more than one, by omitting this detail, caught a bad cold after having finished his route. While it depends a lot on where we are doing the trail, the drop in temperature that occurs at night means that we need a slightly different wardrobe than during the day. A raincoat in your backpack never hurts.

10. Charge your mobile battery

Salidas nocturnas en bici: carga la batería de tu móvil

In the unlikely to have some bad luck, but it is always useful that your smartphone is charged enough to transmit your location. If you are mountain biking, make sure your mobile carrier has adequate coverage, as you may find sections with very weak signal or even no signal.

11. Tell a family member or friend about your route

Salidas nocturnas en bici: avisa a un familiar o amigo de la ruta que harás

It doesn’t cost a thing to send someone a message about your intentions. Having someone knowledgeable can help if something unexpected happens along the way.

We give you a recommendation: don’t just send a message. WhatsApp and some brands of heart rate monitors have the option to share location. It is very helpful for your family members to know where you are at all times.

12. When cycling in a group, let the best be the leader

Salidas nocturnas en bici: si sales en grupo, que lidere el mejor

To avoid risks when cycling in a group, the option is that the one who marks the route is the most experienced or the one who knows the terrain the best. In this way, the group leader is prevented from blocking at certain times, causing the risk of a collective fall.

13. Even with good light, our eyes are not the same during the day as at night

Salidas nocturnas en bici: Incluso con buenas luces, nuestra mirada no es la misma de día que de noche

Even though we carry all the best quality lights possible, the visibility will never be exactly the same as during the day. In fact, this is precisely why going out at night is so special: on one route you will find different shades, you will perceive other tones, and even your ears will work harder than usual.

It is also likely that your concentration level increases, or climbs that involve a procedure at another time, at night they become a little more ascending due to the difficulty of calculating the end of each climb.

That said, keep in mind that driving and mental preparation will have to adapt to the new conditions. This is precisely what will make the route so attractive.

14. Bring supplies

Salidas nocturnas en bici: Lleva víveres contigo

Especially on the first occasions when you go cycling at night, it is possible that the route ends up being longer than you expect. At the end of the day it is quite unlikely that you will be as fast on the road as you would be if you were in the daytime.

For that reason, it is not a bad thing to bring some food and a thermos with coffee or something hot in case you cycle in a place that is rather cold. During a stop and rest of the route you will appreciate it.

15. Use GPS

Salidas nocturnas en bici: utiliza el GPS

It is true that the GPS has made us less developing our sense of direction. But it is also true that the GPS is a tool that has completely changed the ability to access certain routes that were previously impossible for average people.

At night do not hesitate to resort to it.

16. Put on glasses

Salidas nocturnas en bici: ponte gafas

Just as most nocturnal animals appear as new entities on your route, so do a large number of insects, especially when it comes to a MTB route. We want to avoid the unpleasant incident of a small bug in your eyes and preventing you from seeing, so clear glasses will avoid this risk, as well as the fact that dirt can get into your eyes.

17. Reduce the intensity of the LED in the city

Salidas nocturnas en bici: En urbano, baja la intensidad del LED

Visitar una localidad de noche. Visiting a city at night, whether it’s your own or while traveling, is always special. However, keep in mind that the lighting required in an urban environment will generally be of a lower intensity. It is important that you reduce the intensity of the LED so as not to dazzle other vehicles or passers-by as this can be quite annoying and make it difficult to see, especially for those who are driving.

18. Don’t forget to check the weather 

Salidas nocturnas en bici: No te olvides de consultar el tiempo

It never hurts to call in the meteorologist we have in us and check the weather forecast for our evening, to avoid the added difficulty of cycling at night from heavy rainfall in the middle of our route.

19. Maybe a very technical route is not necessary

Salidas nocturnas en bici: Lo mismo no hace falta una ruta muy técnica

Always think about your safety. If there is one thing that bothers an MTB enthusiast, it is to focus on that, especially on the fact that a fall can lead to a broken collarbone, wrist or ribs. It is certainly not a trivial subject.

So if you’re going to cycle at night, under all the conditions we’ve mentioned, it’s best to go along well-known roads, not very technical, and enjoy the feeling of cycling with the moon as a jacket. We leave the trialeras and the complicated roads for Sunday morning.

Remember that on our website you have tons of MTB routes to explore, so now is the time to pick one up, explore it and finally find out what a night out on the bike means.

Prev Post
6 types of cyclists you’ll meet on the road
Next Post
Costa Blanca, why do cycling teams choose it?

Add Comment

Your email is safe with us.