Cycling and (lack of) Daylight

Question for all the cyclists out there...

I saw the December cycling challenge, and kept thinking to myself "but when do they bike?" I have a lovely headlight, but have been off the cycling wagon for a while and biking in the dark on streets is intimidating enough that I won't do it. So I've been a bit of a weekend warrior, using my bike as cross training for my running.

With the daylight hours so short, and the workday so long, is everybody biking at lunch? Or is everybody just fine with the dark? Some of the trails I like are clear enough to bike at night, but are technically "closed"... I often ignore that but wonder if that's wise (it's also not very practical - there are few destinations at the ends of these trails so they're not great for erranding). The scariest things I've encountered on a trail is deer, which will definitely end my ride quickly and badly, but we (the deer and I) have so far been nimble and smart enough to avoid each other.

I hate the idea of "hanging up the spokes" for the season, yet am finding that's virtually what I do every year. The cold I can manage, the ice and snow (if we ever see it again) I'm also ok with. The dark is what gets me.

Anybody else overcome a fear of the dark?


    MDLNH Posts: 587 Member
    The dark of night or early morning never bothered me too much - Not much traffic on the roads and I have both front & rear lights (bright). I also wear VERY reflective gear, so in hopes of not being missed (*or should I say, not being hit - LOL).

    This issue that forces me off the road/trails is 'Old Man Winter' and the snow and ice he brings to NH. To keep me cycling during the winter months, I attend spin classes at my local gym 3 mornings a week before going work. Each class is about 50 minutes and while it's not the same as being outdoors for a long ride, it keeps me on a bike . . .

    Good Luck !!!!

    *I'm part of the December Cycling Challenge and just use the mileage from spin class*
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,811 Member
    I'm a sporadic road rider but find the dark and wet just take out all the enjoyment. Still cycle to the train station (when it's not wet). Using a Spinning bike in the gym to stay "cycle fit" until the spring.

    Not afraid of the dark but am afraid of the moronic car drivers who seem incapable of giving any space to cyclists despite the bright lights & reflective clothing. Trail riding in the dark seems very brave to me!
  • ejwme
    ejwme Posts: 318
    Ah, thanks MDLNH, I somehow never think of the indoor machines when people talk cycling and miles. (I also have trouble with treadmills - "stationary movement" idea just doesn't work in my brain). I was looking at all those posts thinking that people were fanangling some serious lunch time rides (plus showers?!). What's weird is I have no trouble running - on sidewalk-free streets - in the dark. Somehow biking is worse.

    Around where I live, if I want quiet streets, that's 4AM or 10PM. 5AM was pushing it when I was commuting by bike, but not terrible - I can't bike at that time now and still make it to work.

    I'm thinking I need to drive to work early and bike around before hand. I can run at lunch, but biking always feels like it takes longer than running (even for just a 1 hour workout) - I think it's the gear prep time, or maybe because I'm so much farther away when I realize I'll be late for my 1PM meetings :P

    sijomial - I started off almost always intending on only trail riding in the daylight, but I always seem to run out of light before I run out of having fun biking on the trail :D And we're talking rails-to-trails easiness, not single-track scariness. I'm crazy, not suicidal.
  • Cyclink
    Cyclink Posts: 517 Member
    Anybody else overcome a fear of the dark?

    I ride my trainer when it's dark out all the time :-)
  • Lala20112
    Lala20112 Posts: 71 Member
    I bike mostly for fun ,no pro but if I get exerise in at the same time good for me! But When the time changes and I dont make it to bike before dark Not happening for me,Iam a big chicken iof the dark! :))