Me and my son-in-law went for a quick ride tonight. He doesn’t get as much chance to ride as I do due to work demands and also the demands of a young family, so, anytime he calls me up and asks if I want to go riding, I always try to say yes.
Anyway, tonight illustrated just how out of form I am when it comes to night riding. Nowadays the only time I ride at night at all is during the speedway season when I’m coming back from the track at Nowra late on Saturday night and the road is usually deserted and I can play to my heart’s content.
But tonight, even on a road that I know really well, I was all over the place; braking too early, apexing at the wrong time, you name it.
Guess I’d better get out at night more, eh?
Of course there are a whole lot of different factors associated with night riding that aren’t present during the day. Distance perception is much more difficult; judging the speed of other vehicles likewise; the possibility of native animals wandering unannounced into the scene; and many, many, more. My suggestion is that, if you DO have to ride at night, ride slower and be even more aware than you would be if you are riding in the day time.
Having said that, riding at night does have its rewards. The roads are less crowded being the main one. But the smells and sensations of the open road at night are a heady mixture and well worth sampling from time to time. Looking back on my early riding days, I well remember thinking nothing of hopping on the bike after tea in Wollongong and riding up the Putty Road to Denman in the Hunter Valley to visit my brother. Just how mad was I? And just how lucky was I to survive these night-time escapades?