“With work, responsibilities, and as a dad I don’t always get out for a ride during the day but I know all along that I can usually get out for a quick rip at night.”
By Brett Tippie
As a self professed mtb addict and night owl I have been in love with night riding for a long time. NiteRider lights were one of my first sponsors back in the day and we still work together today. I love them for the fact that they have a super long beam light AND have a wide flood beam at the same time. With work, responsibilities, and as a dad I don’t always get out for a ride during the day but I know all along that I can usually get out for a quick rip at night.
Tonight was one of those nights. I knew I could get out for a night ride because the last time I came in from a night ride I put my batteries on the charger immediately after returning…just for moments like this!! I always do this right away just for this reason. Grab them and go!! Bwah ha haaaa!!
I always use two lights…one on my helmet and one on my handlebars. I do this just in case you’re out there longer than you expected and you deplete a battery, you’re not left in the dark ripping along at speed in a gnarly place. I use 1800 lumens if it’s an XC ride and use 3600 lumens lights if it’s a fast DH or a nasty, steep technical descent. I always carry a spare battery too. It’s important to mount your light in the right spot on your helmet so that it aims exactly where you want it and make sure to use the little velcro strip to secure it to the back of your helmet so it doesn’t flop around or catch any low branches etc. I mount my bar light to the left side of my stem so the mount places it in the center of my bars. I strap the battery to the bottom of the top tube and wrap the cable once around the tube to keep things tight, but not too tight.
“This is as far as I’m climbing tonight and where I will now capitalize on my efforts with a fun descent back down to sea level. I usually drink a bit of water and turn my light off and listen to the forest…and my pounding heart! ha ha”
I was out for a rip in my backyard on the north shore of Vancouver, BC at the base of Mt. Seymour. I climb up out of the houses and hit the Old Buck walking trail putting just one bar light on low to save battery. As I climb higher up the wide flat trail I pick a climbing singletrack and switch my one light that I use to my helmet light to help negotiate the tighter more technical features of the trail. I still keep it on low to save juice. I find I can look around corners and over and around features with my helmet light easier than the bar light.
After some time of listening to my laboured breathing (I’ve been mtn biking since 1983 but I’m still no gazelle ha ha), the wind in the trees and the odd owl hooting in the woods I finally arrive at the Mushroom parking lot about 500m above sea level. This is as far as I’m climbing tonight and where I will now capitalize on my efforts with a fun descent back down to sea level. I usually drink a bit of water and turn my light off and listen to the forest…and my pounding heart! ha ha
After some time to rest and reflect on life I turn both lights on full power, check the battery levels, put on my clear glasses and take a few pedal strokes into one of the many trails that weave down the mtn. Tonight I’m riding Incline into Pingu. This is mostly a blue square trail with many optional black diamond options and stunts. After a few minutes of awesomeness riding through the woods you hit another black diamond trail, Pangor, which is littered with cool, fun moves as well for about 10 minutes. I know this trail well and like to do all the features. It really makes you feel cool when you nail everything…at night too for extra badass points! ha ha This will drop you out on the Bridle Path that leads you to Old Buck and back to civilization.
There was a bit of fog tonight so part way down I switched my lights to half power so I didn’t power up the mist as much and got better visibility (just like driving a car in fog with your low beams on). As I hit the city streets and pedalled home I turned my lights onto low so I didn’t blind any passing cars and saved battery just in case I wanted to spin up for some more offroad trail action!
When I got home I put my batteries right into the chargers immediately to be ready for the next night session!! Yep, I love night riding and love my Niterider lights!!