Author Topic: Nocturnal DIY's  (Read 1310 times)

Nocturnal DIY's
« on: September 30, 2020, 10:12:41 am »
One of my most favorite rides of all time has to be a 200k DIY from Aberystwyth back home to near Birmingham.  The first time I did it was during the daytime but the roads were very busy in places so the following year I decided to do it during the night leaving Aberystwyth at midnight.  It was mid-summer and one of those really warm nights where I was able to wear shorts and s/s jersey all night.  The difference was that the (main) roads were all very quiet and I made good time.  I am now looking at other suitable 'nocturnal' routes for next summer. 

my question is, does riding through the night on a DIY (any distance) appeal to anyone else as opposed to riding during the daytime?

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2020, 10:21:17 am »
I've done one - which was an extended FNTTS (Friday Night to the Smoke) from Oxford. I cycled from home and met the FRNTTSers at Oxford station at midnight, and carried on. It required quite good timing on my part, to get the the station neither early nor late. Despite having a visitation from the fairy I got there on time.

It was warm and I stopped at a pub on the way begging water...

I think I used half of my home to Oxford DIY by GPS, the RTS was c 100km. I'd previously had it passed as a DIY GPS, naturally. I enjoyed the lack of traffic...
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2020, 10:40:19 am »
My 300 last Saturday started at 2300 on the Friday. My 200 on 1st August started at midnight. Last year I did a 8pm start 200 to beat the heat wave. Year before that I did a 400 starting 4pm and through the night. The green and yellow fields 300 starts midnight.

They are often a way of not losing an entire day or weekend. On 200s you are back for breakfast. A few hours sleep then you are good for the afternoon / evening. A 300 you are back mid to late afternoon, but of a sleep and good for evening. A 400 doesn’t make much difference other than riding through the night when relatively fresh.

I like night riding, though with the current curfew it’s harder than normal.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2020, 10:56:09 am »
"Needed" to get to Arran one day last year.
Left home for Crieff early evening as the light was fading, A85 overnight was deserted but for 5 lorries, passed the hotel near Ford at 3am with a wedding party clearly still in full swing before reaching Kilmartin for some Meerkats at 4am, the bogs were handily open and this was the 200km mark, but I had set the DIY to 250 to make me carry on to Claoniag, which I got to with loads of time for the ferry.
There's not much there... so it wasn't the most comfortable of waits, spent most of the day asleep either in the waiting room at Lochranza or in the hostel.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2020, 11:25:02 am »
One of my most favorite rides of all time has to be a 200k DIY from Aberystwyth back home to near Birmingham.  The first time I did it was during the daytime but the roads were very busy in places so the following year I decided to do it during the night leaving Aberystwyth at midnight.  It was mid-summer and one of those really warm nights where I was able to wear shorts and s/s jersey all night.  The difference was that the (main) roads were all very quiet and I made good time.  I am now looking at other suitable 'nocturnal' routes for next summer. 

my question is, does riding through the night on a DIY (any distance) appeal to anyone else as opposed to riding during the daytime?

Something I struggle to understand is that there are a significant number within cycling that really dislike, in some cases to the point of hating, riding at night. I wonder if for many this is the result of having poor quality lights. I've done some fantastic rides that have happened either through the night, completely, or had a significant portion at night.

in 2018 on the night of a Lunar eclipse I rode from Amsterdam to Geraadsbergen. I left Ams at 2000, and arrived at Geraadsbergen just before 1200 the next day. Finishing a top the Murr. It wasn't a DIY as I didn't want the time constraints, and wanted to enjoy the moon. Sitting at Kinderdijk with the moon over the windmills was amazing.

The last 2 years, and I doubt this year will be any different, I have started my festive 500 in the middle of the night earl on xmas even, ridden through the remains of the night, through the day, and still finished in the dark.

On RatN I was often the only dot moving on the tracker when the sun went down. On what I had thought was my last night, I had ridden from Vlissengen to Stein through the night. It was lovely, noone about, just me and the trees and the stars. Limburg meant I ended up with a second night, I left Heerlen at about 1am, and rode through the night, then watched the sun rise over the Maas valley. It was awesome. Knowing I was almost done and would be 2nd probably helped.

Yeah I really like night riding...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2020, 11:29:42 am »
I love riding at night. I’m not sure about riding all night. The older I get, the less riding in a sleep deprived state appeals on any level. It’s the main reason that I don’t fancy going above 300k.

Evenings and early mornings though, they rock, as long as I can get my beauty sleep.

Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2020, 11:35:48 am »
I think the aversion people to have from riding at night comes from an association with tiredness.  The majority first experience night riding at the end of a long ride which stretched into the night,  as opposed to staying fresh in the evening,  the two experiences are very different.

Eddington  96miles

Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2020, 11:59:44 am »
I suppose everyone's sleep patterns are different of course but personally speaking, I can go through a night without sleep quite easily providing I have had plenty of sleep the night before and then have some good quality sleep afterwards.

The popularity of the Dunwich Dynamo (I have never done it yet) is also a good indication to night riding.

Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2020, 12:08:16 pm »
I like riding at night with others. I find it a little dull on my own when you only have your beam patten to watch but I'll add when I was doing lots (for me) or miles last year training for an event I did do a few rides where I was bored dpin5thr same roads on my own so I'm probably just a social rider

Diesel

  • or Richard
Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2020, 01:25:46 pm »
I enjoy night riding for a few reasons, including enjoying the nighttime, dusk and dawn scenery, but a big one now is that I feel safer

Rightly or wrongly, the biggest threat I see is motorists. Night time is when the roads have least other vehicles so I feel safest.

I don't know if that is statistically the case but it feels that way.

Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2020, 01:57:04 pm »
Funnily enough, I've just adapted a decent 5 year old endurance style bike to serve as a winter commuter. Fitted dyno disc wheel from another bike, guards etc. Took it out for a shakedown spin at about 9pm, and realised how much I've missed riding in the dark.


Dont get me wrong, I'll never do a night start 200k. I cant think of anything worse, but I love those Spring/ late Autumn 200k rides where you ride into the dark...not so late that you are tired, but you still get the mystery of dark monochrome roads where sound becomes more acute and familiar roads look different.

Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2020, 06:07:03 pm »
I usually find the wind dies down at night (unless one of those hurricanes is visiting). I enjoy seeing the wildlife (not the road kill ones), and then the dawn chorus. I don't like puncturing at night though (even with a head torch).
Bikes are for riding, not cleaning!

Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2020, 06:16:59 pm »
There are also A and B roads you would not ride during the day. But overnight they are a joy as your wheels whoosh over that nice tarmac, you have a nice white line and cat eyes to follow, with no one else using them.

Those dark lanes and hills you climb to reveal a vista of lit up towns in the distance on the plains below. A bench found and quiet moment or two looking at the stars as you have your hot chocolate. Places you can get a really good view of the Milky Way mostly denied elsewhere due to light pollution.

Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2020, 06:20:54 pm »
There are also A and B roads you would not ride during the day. But overnight they are a joy as your wheels whoosh over that nice tarmac, you have a nice white line and cat eyes to follow, with no one else using them.
I've enjoyed riding down the A507 to Essex at night (not so much riding home with all the extra km's in the legs).
Bikes are for riding, not cleaning!

Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2020, 06:25:08 pm »
There are also A and B roads you would not ride during the day. But overnight they are a joy as your wheels whoosh over that nice tarmac, you have a nice white line and cat eyes to follow, with no one else using them.
I've enjoyed riding down the A507 to Essex at night (not so much riding home with all the extra km's in the legs).

I rode the length of it during early lockdown during the day.  Not a single motorised vehicle. It was a joy. I wouldn’t normally touch the A507 west of Baldock.

Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2020, 06:35:12 pm »
There are also A and B roads you would not ride during the day. But overnight they are a joy as your wheels whoosh over that nice tarmac, you have a nice white line and cat eyes to follow, with no one else using them.
I've enjoyed riding down the A507 to Essex at night (not so much riding home with all the extra km's in the legs).

I rode the length of it during early lockdown during the day.  Not a single motorised vehicle. It was a joy. I wouldn’t normally touch the A507 west of Baldock.
Wish I'd been there!
Bikes are for riding, not cleaning!

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2020, 06:49:28 pm »
I think the aversion people to have from riding at night comes from an association with tiredness.  The majority first experience night riding at the end of a long ride which stretched into the night,  as opposed to staying fresh in the evening,  the two experiences are very different.

I've come to road night riding from MTB night riding, in that normally you set off after work and (up here anyway) it's dark already.
The riding in daylight into the dark was a side effect of extending that riding into trying out 24hr "racing"

I've had no problem heading out for a blast at night the last few weeks as the nichts fair draw in.

It's worth noting that I am an owl (possibly an extreme owl)


Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2020, 09:49:38 pm »
I love night riding, but I have become more cautious with the roads I choose due to two incidents, both in autumn.

In the first incident I was stopped by a forest ranger after dark. He was checking for poachers. Although he was convinced that I wasn't poaching, he warned me that if I collided with a dear or a boar in the dark (it happens, apparently) , then I would be seriously injured and probably wouldn't be found until dawn...

In the second incident, the road was covered by so much leaves that I couldn't distinguish between tarmac and not-tarmac. At some point, I drove from the road into the verge and crashed. Luckily without much damage (except to my pride). But it could've ended badly.

So, choose bigger roads and night riding is great. Especially during heat waves to escape the heat of day time.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2020, 09:53:15 pm »
I love night riding, but I have become more cautious with the roads I choose due to two incidents, both in autumn.

In the first incident I was stopped by a forest ranger after dark. He was checking for poachers. Although he was convinced that I wasn't poaching, he warned me that if I collided with a dear or a boar in the dark (it happens, apparently) , then I would be seriously injured and probably wouldn't be found until dawn...

I missed a Boar by about 1.5m on the descent in the middle of the Posbank on Gert's 300 in 2018.

Quote

In the second incident, the road was covered by so much leaves that I couldn't distinguish between tarmac and not-tarmac. At some point, I drove from the road into the verge and crashed. Luckily without much damage (except to my pride). But it could've ended badly.

So, choose bigger roads and night riding is great. Especially during heat waves to escape the heat of day time.

On the same 300 it seems Gert had also ordered a plague of frogs. Trying to work out at 20kph+ what was leaf, what was frog and what was road, in the rain was a fun challenge.

I'm curious what lighting you're using. With my Edelux I've not had the same issue differentiating fietspadden

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2020, 10:02:51 pm »
A few of us rode through a plague of mice around midnight during a 600 BRM in country Queensland. Crunches under wheels was unavoidable.

Jamming the brakes on in a narrow lane to avoid a badger in the early hours of a freezing Essex 300 BRM in 2003 caught my attention too.

For my perm routes, I tend to pick big roads that are quiet overnight for easier navigation, flatter gradients, better surfaces and helpful line-marking.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2020, 10:28:13 pm »
Riding at night has an appeal over daytime in quite a range of circumstances - if its very warm by day (not that often in Alba!) a night ride can be cool and magical.  Also if riding midweek then nights can offer quieter conditions.  Some roads that are a no-no by day are a treat (Im not local but I get the impression that some roads heading North on the G&Y 300 are such).  Ive also ridden a day/night 200km midweek starting at 1700 on a Thursday finishing maybe 0400 Friday if Ive got stuff to do at the weekend and have still managed a full days work after a few hours kip.

I find that there is also something quite special about riding at night, as Im getting an experience that most others wont know.  The people I see people out during the night or at dawn - aside from those doing the walk of shame - are also often enjoying that same rare experience whether cycling, walking or just enjoying the stars.  Near the finish of a 200km a couple of years ago I saw somebody out with a folding chair an easel painting Edinburgh Castle from Princes St at 0230! 
 
Id tend to stick to A or B roads at night for better visibility.  I also use an Edelux and would also take a tiny headtorch just in case.  Less windy too normally. 

 :thumbsup: :thumbsup:



 

Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2020, 08:00:36 am »


I'm curious what lighting you're using. With my Edelux I've not had the same issue differentiating fietspadden



The incident with the forest ranger: a B+M Lumotec IQ-X in combination with a Shimano XT hub dynamo (no troubles with visibility at all). The crash: an unbranded light from aliexpress, which is very bright but spends most of its energy illuminating the stars instead of the ground.

Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2020, 05:32:53 pm »
A few of us rode through a plague of mice around midnight during a 600 BRM in country Queensland. Crunches under wheels was unavoidable.

 :o :sick: :o :sick:

I love night riding & will happily set off any time between 23:00-02:00 for a DIY 200.  I've also completed a fair few 'after work on a Friday night 200's' which were also fun, getting home by 03:30 means with a bit of sleep I'm good for the weekend too.

I admit the 'after work Friday night 300 or 400's' I've tried were much harder, mainly due to being tired form work and not planning (or achieving) suitable rest when really needed in the early hours....  :facepalm:


Why do I like it?
- The views on a clear moon-lit night can be wonderful
- It feels safer (fewer cars, you can tell where they are, they are usually not in a hurry, they usually give you a nice wide berth) 
- Wildlife
- Just feels peaceful, if out in the wilds, I'll stop and look up at the stars for a bit - it's good for the soul.
- The cold, then warmth as the sun rises always feels great.  Except that I always get 'here comes the sun da da daa da' going round in my head  ::-)


I think I've just established that I need to get out & do a (night) 200, it's been far too long...

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2020, 06:01:31 pm »
Not completely overnight, but I like starting a 300 at dawn and then having a few hours of darkness for the final third.
2019 🏅 R1000 and B1000

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
  • Mrs Pingu's domestique
    • the Igloo
Re: Nocturnal DIY's
« Reply #24 on: October 01, 2020, 06:43:01 pm »
The sunrises can be pretty cool. And there are the encounters with wildlife (human and animal).