The days down under are growing shorter and colder, and while we may lament the loss of summer, the winter months hold a certain allure of their own. Most especially, there is something a bit magical about riding at night. Cities take on a different hue and timbre and once the peak hour has passed, a certain quiet descends. The feel of the riding changes, and enjoyment takes on a different character. Perhaps it's the shadows, the changed perception of speed and the veiling of blemishes. Perhaps it's the way people's tempo can change as work for most is replaced with play or quiet time.
Whatever the reason, we have always enjoyed a ride in the wee hours. A ride can take on a meditative flavour and the quiet seeps in and helps us find stillness even when in motion. Our breath becomes more apparent and the lack of distraction brings our focus close.
So, sure it’s easy to become unmotivated without the summer sun, but the rewards of the night are great. Of course we understand that safety is factor, with the trade off of less cars being less visibility if care is not taken. The good news is there are lots of great options for visibility these days, and there’s no need to lock yourself in the spare room with your wind trainer.
Of course lights are a mandatory, and the latest in lights are affordable, rechargeable and very bright. Front and back, flashing red and solid, there are some great options to really make us easy to see. And remember rear lights must be red. Bike paths and country roads need extra light and some front lights now are as bright as car lights if you need them.
We have also seen some great developments in jackets and other cycling garments that come alight almost literally at night, offering a whole new dimension of visibility whilst not dragging your style down in daylight or off the bike. A huge improvement, and incredibly effective. Research also shows that drivers notice the motion of the foot on the pedal so shoes, ankle bands, socks or the like are another great safety option to consider.
You may choose to alter your route for night riding if the roads are rough or you know particular roads well. And as always, road rules apply! We share the same rights and the same responsibilities as other users. Take an extra level of care in the dark as you cannot make eye contact or see so far ahead.
So, don’t see shorter days as a downer but an opportunity! Get out and channel your inner Nosferatu instead! We recommend it.
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