Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Night ride

Thursday, January 4th, 2007

I had a terrible day at work yesterday, although I’m not going to go into that. Dave and Chris were planning to go ride at Brown County last night, and invited me to come. I wasn’t sure I’d be up for it. With the kind of day I had, I couldn’t decide whether I was too exhausted to ride, or if I needed to take out some of that negative energy on the trails. Ultimately, I decided it was the latter. This would also afford me the opportunity to try the light my mom got me for Christmas, a Cygolite Hi-Flux 100.

One thing I’ve noticed about night rides: I often don’t do them, or go reluctantly, because I feel like I won’t have very much fun or that I don’t really want to ride because it’s cold and dark, etc. But I always end up having fun — not once have I wished I didn’t go. Last night’s ride was no exception.

We started by the shelter up the hill from where we normally park, since the very bottom part is so muddy. Things were a bit muddy around where we started, but quickly improved. However, the trail conditions were the most uneven I’ve seen them. Usually, the trails at Brown County are almost completely in good shape or almost completely in bad shape. Last night, it was about a 60/40 good/bad ratio. No part was unrideable, although a few were close. I don’t mind riding in mud, but we probably did a bit more damage to the trails than I would’ve liked.

All in all, it really was a great ride, we were all struggling more than usual due to our lack of recent riding and the muddy conditions, but temperatures were good, in the lower 40s I’d guess, and if anything, we were a bit too warmly dressed. Nobody wiped out, despite the slick conditions, although we took our time.

My light worked great, it’s a bit brighter than the the LED mini-maglites. I mounted it on my handlebars, since it only comes with the handlebar mount. Sadly, between my bike computer and GPS mount, I’m running out of room on my handlebars, but I managed to get the light’s mount on there anyway. The battery pack is supposed to hang from the top tube, but I didn’t do that since it would’ve interfered with my brake/derailleur cables. Instead, I strapped it in my water bottle holder, which worked really well. I’m debating whether to continue using it in this manner, or order the helmet mount kit.

The light has a spotlight beam, but it comes with a lens to spread the light more, which I used. If anything, the beam could have been a little wider. It’s nice to have this flexibility. It also has high/low settings; I used the high setting, of course. Low would be fine if you were riding on the road and just wanted to be seen, but it’s not really enough light to see where you’re going.

The only real downside that I can see so far with this light is that it uses four C batteries. I don’t normally keep C batteries on hand, and they are pretty bulky/heavy. And of course, in order to carry an extra set of batteries, I’d be lugging 8 Cs around with me. That’s kind of a lot of weight. However, supposedly the 4 Cs last 25 hours, so if I had two sets of rechargeable batteries, I could probably get away with not carrying an extra set.

There was a full moon last night, and it was somewhat cloudy — but the clouds were dispersed enough that you could see the moon through them most of the time. We probably could have ridden by the light of the moon alone if we had to.

After the ride, we hung out for a few minutes. Chris brought some beer, so we each had one and we just chilled for a few minutes, successfully avoiding talking about work.

I’m more sore than I should be today, given that we only rode about 6 miles. But the mud meant using more power than usual, and I’m pretty out of shape now, so I guess that’s to be expected. I actually think being a little sore is a good feeling, a reminder of the ride that caused it.

One Response to “Night ride”

  1. furiousball Says:

    There’s a YMCA camp that my buddy Larry from Medford Lakes wants me to do a night ride with him. Like you, I’m reluctant, because well, I’m working so much and don’t have any time to do anything fun like that.

Ear to the Breeze is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).