Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cycling or Running at Night

Wouldn't miss me in with this outfit!  Photo:
I also am happy that the East Bay Regional Park district has finally repaved a lot of the Contra Costa Canal Trail.  It used to be when I road in the morning that I would find myself riding into the ruts and divots.  So now I can focus on pine cones and unlit walkers.
So now that the time has changed, I am now riding my bike home in the dark.  Riding in the dark is nothing new, over the past few years I would ride in the morning to work.  However, I am amazed on how many runners and bicyclists I see on the road.

I don’t know if it is because of the influx of new lighting technologies or if people have always exercised in the evening.  But, it sure is nice to know there are other folks on the trail with you.

I am also finding it is pretty peaceful.  Your senses are heightened while you are focused on the lit pavement ahead.  I have to slow down a bit, of course, so my cycling has become a less about beating my last ride home and more about how the ride feels.  I have found I have added four minutes to the ride in the dark.
I have a halogen light that beams a couple hundred yards in front of me.  I also find that I have enough warning if I am coming up on someone or thing.  It also strobes for when I am actually on the street instead of the road. I would have to say though, I really hate having it on or when another cyclist is flashing there headlights toward me. As a courtesy, I typically have the light pointing straight and to my right.  That way I am not blinding any runner or cyclist heading my way.
I also use two red flashing rear lights as well as a reflector.  I put one under my seat as well as one on my backpack.

I take safety seriously.  You have to realize that, whether you are running or if you are cycling, drivers are definitely not looking for you.  It doesn’t matter if you are lit up like a Christmas Tree. So you always have to be looking out for drivers.

So, I am definitely finding my ride in the dark enjoyable.  I also now can see why so many runners us this time to run. If you take the proper safety precautions, and are aware of your suroundings, it can be pretty fun.

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