10 Reasons why you should strap a light to your bike and go riding in the dark!

When the long days of summer give way to the dark side of winter it seems tough to find the motivation to get the bike out of the shed and go for a spin. But just because the darkness has crept in doesn't mean the time of day has gone too. The night time opens up doors to whole other realm of riding waiting for you to dive in to.

We hooked up with UK based company Exposure Lights, put some of their great lights on our bikes, hit up the trails and went on an adventure!

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1) Think you’re pretty fast… in the day time!

Riding in the dark is a totally different kettle of fish, even when you think you know the trail. The light and shadows that the good old ball of fire provides us with actually gives you a pretty good sense of depth perception. Stick a single light pointing away from you on the top of your lid and all that goes, that big rock in the trail actually looks like smooth flat trail. Try going day time speed on your favourite trail!

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2) Be one with the owls and night crawlers

Humans aren't meant to go out at night really, but there is a bunch of amazing wildlife that thrive on the darkness. Nothing beats pinning down a piece of singletrack whilst an owl darts in and out of your headlight.

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3) It’s not a real night ride unless you watch the sun rise

Nothing beats getting up in the early hours of the morning, strapping your lights on, making for the summit of a big hill and watching the sunrise. Night riding isn't only about your local loops but accessing those places and moments that you can’t make in a day. Up at dark, summit at sunrise, ride down at first light, dressed and in work for 9am!

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4) “I hit that big jump in the dark" is what you will be telling all your friends the next day

Bragging to your friends about how amazing your night ride was and in detail explaining to them how you hit that big set of jumps in the dark…now thats #nightriding

5) Riding with friends is great, but also beating all the crowds and going solo rocks too!

Rolling up to the trail centre and being the only one in car park is a good feeling, no one to slow you up or ask you how you find the suspension platform of your bike over small bumps, just you and the trails. That solitary night ride feeling is a good way to wind down after a day in the office.

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6) I got a light that fits on my helmet… and it didn't run out half way through my ride!

Modern day bike lights like these Exposure Lights from USE have more than enough power to light up the trails, but are teamed with incredible battery life too, and all in a package that fits on the top of your helmet or strapped to your bars. No more worrying about if your light will last the ride or if there are enough ‘Lumens’ packed inside.

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7) Slippery wooden features and sketchy cliff lines are even more ‘fun’ in the dark

Seeing that cliff edge in the daytime is enough to make your legs shaky, try riding it in the dark, knowing it’s there but not being able to see the bottom. The fear of ‘impending doom’ is the base for any good night ride.

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8) Finish the ride at the pub for ‘Steak and Ale pie’ and not at the trail centre cafe

Nothing beats a coffee after a ride at the local cafe or does it… a post-ride pie down at the pub with your friends might tip the scale of anyone deciding whether or not to get into night riding. Don't like pubs and pies… then maybe night riding isn't for you!

9) Enjoy a full moon or spot your favourite constellation…

Clear, crisp evening nights are few and far between in the UK but when you do get one don't forget to stop, turn off the lights and enjoy the scenes the night sky has to offer. Being in the hills to watch the stars beats any orange street light filled view.

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10a) No one will see you riding that 29er

Because it’s dark it is the perfect time to try and beat all your personal best times on the 29er!

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10b) It means you never have to stop riding for winter… the rain is never an excuse

The long warm days of summer feel like a long distance away as you layer up the thermals and waterproofs for an evening of splashing around the muddy woods, but at least you are out on the bike. Night riding is no friend of fair weather fannys… embrace the dark side and strap a light to your bike.

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Photos: Laurence Crossman-Emms

Locations: Antur Stiniog, Oneplanet Adventure, Marin Trail

Riders: Joe Thorburn, Emyr Davies, Ryan Dutton, Kirsty Edwards and James Hughes

Lights used: Exposure Diablo, 6pack, Equinox and MaXx D MK8

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