Monday, June 11, 2012

Wyatt's First Night Ride

Friday night we decided to go for a night ride.  When summer time temperatures climb going for a ride after sundown is a great way to beat the heat.  This was a special trip because it was my son's first ride out after dark.  I can't remember my first night ride but I can recall the heightened sense of adventure that night riding brings. In the rush of cool night air it feels like you're going faster and familiar surroundings seem strange and different.  I also remember the dynamo generator running off my back wheel powering a bicycle light.  Around and around the block I would go and the faster I rode the brighter the light would shine.

We left before the sun set and while passing behind Wyatt's school we spotted a whitetail deer on the school grounds.  I managed to get a quick snapshot before we spooked it off into the woods.  Just before darkness fell we stopped for fresh batteries for our Cat Eye LED lights.  I always use the blink setting on both the front and rear lights.  The white LED light mounted on the front of the bike works great on blink mode.  I often see motorists slowing way down as they approach.  They probably think a UFO has landed in the street. 

It is interesting to experience the way the cement and pavement covered urban areas hold the heat from the day and quiet tree lined residential streets and neighborhoods cool down quicker.  When I ride at night I seem to hear more sounds and smell more odors.  The glow and sound from televisions blaring through open windows, the flicker of a backyard campfire or charcoal grill and the fragrant floral scents from blooming gardens provide an unending succession of subject matter for the senses. 

I enjoyed sharing this new experience with my son.  Night riding is a blast and a great way to add some variety to the normal routine.  Because it was still light out before we left I didn't notice that Wyatt had a dark shirt on. Next time I'll have him wear a white shirt for optimum visibility.


  1. Great post Mike. I haven't done this in a long time. With the hot weather, this is a good idea.

  2. We've biked at night, but always for some reason...trip to restaurant or a visit or whatever. I'm going to try the night ride for a night ride with the girls now that they are older.

    On the temp change - I notice especially how when I pedal by water the air turns suddenly cooler.

    Anyways, best wishes and happy riding to you.

  3. Nice photos, especially the deer. In the summer the greenway is @10 degrees cooler than the surrounding neighborhoods. The combination of a creek, much shade and lower elevation collects cooler air along the greenway.