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My First Night ride

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by Jo Anne, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Hey All

    Had my first night ride to and from Training today - I was nervous at first but as soon as I took off everything started to fall into place. There are still so much to do and to learn but I am getting there slowly every time I hop on my bike. :D
  2. Wonderful - that's great to hear.

    There are some added risks to riding at night. The two that immediately come to mind are 1/ other drivers are more likely to not see you - or more accurately, see you but incorrectly interpret how far away you are and how quickly you're approaching. 2/ You're more likely to run into / over stuff on the road which is slippery, because you didn't see it, or you saw it but too late to do anything about it.

    White paint you can see. Be aware that in the cold, with a bit of dew on it, it can be very slippery. Man-hole covers and other bare steel is even more so, and harder to see. Be wary about dark patches on the road. They could be wet patches, they could be oil - they could be gravel - you don't know.

    Watch out for bloody tram tracks. Try not to ride in a lane with them. Try to cross them while not leaned over at all. Try to cross them quickly, not gradually. Don't fixate on them, and ride into something because you were looking at them to the exclusion of everything else, but also don't forget about them and end up riding along on one. They're at their most dangerous when it's cold and dark and there's rain or dew on them, and you have to brake or turn or both, and you ride onto the beast at a small or shallow angle. They are like ice.

    On the up - side, you can often 'see' cars about to come out a driveway or around a corner, or over the crest of the hill - before you'd be able to see them in daylight. Headlights can be very helpful like that. Later in the night, there's much less traffic, and that's both safer and more fun.

    Make sure you have a clear visor and make sure it's clean.

    And I'll stop there before this becomes another knee-deep ten page lecture.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Great to hear you are having so much fun Jo Anne. I only started night riding about 3 months ago (although I've actually been riding for about 3 and a half years), now I find that I really do enjoy it (absolutely the best part about going to work). Just remember that you are less visible to cars at night so always be vigilant!
    • Like Like x 1
  4. amazing kneedragon isn't it....

    you see riders taking progressive steps and we instantly think of what we've experienced in our own riding to our current level what ever it is, then want to hand it over to protect/help as much as we can...
    netrider at it's best....
  5. Congrats Jo anne, I wear a dickie safety vest thru the day, dunno if you'd wear one or not, but at night a hi vis vest can work for you and there are that will say they work against you too.. Congrats on the move to night riding, keep your eyes peeled.
  6. Thank you all so much -- your constant support is priceless :D
  7. Well done Jo Anne !
    Some of the best rides are at night (y)
    No need to add any further suggestions as the guys above have already done so magnificently.
    Stay safe & enjoy logging night hours ;)
  8. If you don't already have, get yourself a clear visor for night riding as it makes things a bit easier to see :) I should really heed my own advice.

  9. Especially when you accidentally find yourself in the dark and in a torrential downpour, with dark visor on.... recently experienced this.
    Riding at anything above ~40km/hr with visor up (to see where you're going !) in the rain is like an unplanned/unwanted facial acupuncture !!!

    +1 to Clear Visor
  10. Helmet with an internal tinted visor is an option next time you're in the mark for you next helmet...
    I bought this HJC one as a spare as it was on special and find it so handy that I only use it now..
    Easy to flick tinted visor as you need it while you're riding and it also stays clean as it's internal..
  11. safety_glasess_bird_flu_protection_tn.

    Buy something like this for under the seat.

    Much easier then carrying two helmet visors.

    Reject Shop - $2.00
    • Like Like x 1
  12. ^^^ The problem with this is that I wear glasses already.

  13. that's a pain
  14. Yes I wear glasses too and it is a pain :(

    Thanks guys for your advice :)
  15. Good luck on your progression. Hope to see you at Saturday practice in the near future
  16. The things we do for fun... :)

    Was a bit of a rough night wasn't it?
  17. I find riding at night has a lot of similarities to riding in the rain:

    1. Vision is reduced/changed - more importantly other drivers' vision of you is significantly diminished - i.e. I never assume anyone has actually seen me

    2. Road surface is far more unknown. Try to see everything on the road surface I can, but in reality the odd small thing is missed. Could be something slippery so I always find it worth riding as if I haven't seen a hazard on the road and give myself that extra leeway

    3. Depth perception is completely different - the way light falls on objects from artificial light etc completely changes the way we perceive depth. Makes it far harder to judge distances. Once again, affects other vehicles with respect to us. Also having the light cast by your own vehicle affects this as well.

    If on a windy twisty road at all - I find the mix of them changes the way you need to take them. Night riding I have found can be completely different.

    Other times to be particularly aware of IMO because of their own pitfalls is sunrise and sunset. These periods are different from night, day and rain in their own rights and have unique hazards (i.e. sun blinding drivers, or making you appear rather invisible).

    At night, rain etc I find simply riding within your own limits helps and being aware, but not afraid of the surroundings. Use common sense mainly.

    kneedragon's advice about tram tracks is true at any time.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. When I get a little more confident riding, especially in traffic - I will ask if anyone would like to chaperone me to and from the Saturday morning riding class.

    Until then - Thanks guys for your continual support, knowledge and encouragement. :)
  19. Most of my 'driving' is done at night, for the last..well 15 yrs, at least.
    It's when I find true peace & serenity, where all senses comes alive and where 'alert' mode is triggered.
    Okay, I'll bring myself back to earth now..

    Jo Anne,
    If you ever wish to venture out for an evening run, at a slow controlled pace, feel free to let me know. I often find myself riding alone and the company itself would be rewarding. I prefer well lit roads when riding at night - twisties are much more enjoyed during hours of daylight :)

    Best of luck with your riding progress.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. The kind of roads I used to enjoy at night are a dying breed. They're major roads and well travelled, so well signed and reflectored, but deserted in the hours before dawn. My Nanna lived in Kempsey and I had people in Sydney, and the trip down the coast used to be 461 km of challenge. Now it's mostly like a freeway.

    The Old Road was the first to be superseded, but other bits went one by one. Some sections are still there is you know where to look, others were simply torn up or fenced off. Finding them today and riding them is not quite the same experience, because they're not maintained the same, and there's no purpose - it isn't part of the journey any more.

    This is one example.

    Another little section.

    This one obviously, is going the other way, toward Brisbane, but it's the same principle. All this used to be part of the Pacific Highway.
    • Like Like x 1