New And Improved Night Ride

I'd been wanting to go for a night ride (especially since Rick mentioned he's been night riding) and finally made it out tonight.

I had ordered some more night riding supplies a few weeks ago and one item arrived yesterday - a handlebar mount. So I put it on the mountain bike and loaded it with my other super bright LED flashlight.

I also put the red light Frog on the seatpost since I'd be riding a few blocks on city streets to get to the trail head.

Finally I mounted the original super bright LED flashlight to my helmet and set off at 10 PM.

I used only the handlebar light for the streets. I switched on the helmet light when I reached the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) trail head above the Orem Cemetery. The helmet light is enough to ride by, but I was impressed that adding the handlebar light was even better. The recent modification to the helmet light to widen the beam helped, as did the spring for the positive contact - the light was always solid with no flickering.

It was warm and I didn't need to wear anything more than jersey and shorts. But rain sprinkled for 5 minutes at the start of the single-track.

It still feels a bit odd riding at night - a little unnerving but also exciting. After only 5-10 minutes on the trail I realized I was smiling big and really enjoying the ride. Maybe just because I'm new to night riding, but riding at night has a different vibe and I usually find myself pushing harder at night.

No animal sightings, but I did see a deer hunter in the Dry Canyon parking lot - I think he was dressing his kill.

I only had one technical issue. I hadn't yet added a spring to the positive contact of the handlebar flashlight so the bumps of the trail caused it to flicker. Worse, this flashlight has several modes that are activated by flicking the switch. It was OK when it switched between hi, medium and low light, but the fast and slow flashing modes were annoying - like a disco strobe. (When I got home I added the spring which should solve the problem.)

The "edgy", exposed sections of the trail are both easier and more uncomfortable at night. Easier because the lights focus your eyes on the trail so you aren't distracted by the steep drop off to the left. But harder because the lights make the trail look flat and depth perception can be tricky. But I know this trail very well and that made it easier. However, heading down toward Battlecreek I had one surprise: I had forgotten about a sharp left turn behind a bush that I didn't see and had to slam on the breaks to avoid crashing into the hillside.

I thought about going back on the trail once I reached Battlecreek, but the wind had kicked up and I needed to get home so I just took the streets. I could tell by the way some drivers drove that they couldn't figure out what I was from the fairly stationary light on the bars and the moving light on my helmet. Kinda funny.

Overall it was a 10 mile ride lasting 1 hour ride. I had a blast. I'll be doing more night rides for sure. And maybe Jolene will go with me when the third light arrives today.

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