Just because the days are getting shorter doesn’t mean the end of your evening rides. With the right gear (and good conditions) you can get in an after-work ride year round.
Lights are key for night riding. There’s no hard and fast rule, but in general one light of at least 800 lumens on your handle bar and one on your helmet will do the trick. Your running headlamp or the one you use for camping is not going to be bright enough, folks. And did you know BMA members get a 40% discount on all CatEye lights? See details.
Where to Ride
Not all areas or trails are open after sunset or before sunrise, and riding closed trails can result in a hefty fine. Check out our Where to Ride Guide: Where can I ride at night? section for route suggestions.
What seems like a warm daytime temperature will feel much colder without the sun. Bring more layers that you would for a day ride but be careful of overheating and sweating too much and ending up chilled. If your ride includes a big climb before a long descent, consider bringing two pairs of gloves. You’ll sweat in your gloves on the uphill and having a dry, warm pair for the downhill will keep your fingers toasty warm. You won’t want sunglasses, but clear lenses for protection against dust, rocks and bugs are a good idea.
It’s always a good idea to ride with a buddy and let someone know where you went and when to expect you back, but for night rides it’s even more important. You may be the only one out there if something goes south and it can be a long, cold night if you are stranded or injured. Wildlife is more active in the evenings but mountain lions and bears still don’t want to interact with people. Make sure you are making enough noise with bike sounds or bells to not startle anything bigger than you.