Author Topic: Evening rides...  (Read 1976 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ronnie421

Evening rides...
« on: March 29, 2011, 10:20:45 pm »
I believe that most cyclists take on the day at the very beginning. Sunrise maybe? But has anyone ever tried doing their ride in the evening? Instead of cycling in the morning, ride your 70ish miles in the evening as the day gets cooler and arrive at your destination just before sunset? I know there are the obvious (having time to fix problems while it is still early) but aside from needing time to fix problems with the day coming  to a close, is there any reason NOT to do your miles after lunch? 

Offline Tourista829

Re: Evening rides...
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2011, 10:46:07 pm »
Living in Florida, it gets hot by April. I like to leave early, say 5am and get most of my riding in by 11am. Anything after that is a plus. Riding at night can be dangerous even if well lit. I would not feel safe riding all night. Besides, it is nice to see things during the day. In the summer, even with repellent, bugs can be a nuisance especially early evening.

Offline whittierider

Re: Evening rides...
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2011, 10:53:12 pm »
Wind may be an issue and may be much stronger in the afternoon.  If it's going the direction you want to go, there's no point in hurrying to get out on the road early unless you know you really need the whole day to reach your intended destination.  If it's contrary, then get out there as early as you can and try to get your miles in before that enemy mounts its attack.  I personally am anything but a morning person though.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Evening rides...
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2011, 09:15:19 am »
Most of the local bike club's (non-weekend) rides are in the evening, after work.  Most days it works pretty well, except for weather (wind, temperatures, occasional afternoon thunderstorms).  July and August are often brutally hot, but cools down around dusk.  Plan for water stop(s)!

The other downside is that you may need to dig up those lights you put away at the beginning of daylight "savings" time.

Offline rvklassen

Re: Evening rides...
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2011, 09:41:06 am »
I believe that most cyclists take on the day at the very beginning. Sunrise maybe? But has anyone ever tried doing their ride in the evening? Instead of cycling in the morning, ride your 70ish miles in the evening as the day gets cooler and arrive at your destination just before sunset? I know there are the obvious (having time to fix problems while it is still early) but aside from needing time to fix problems with the day coming  to a close, is there any reason NOT to do your miles after lunch? 

If you don't have overnight reservations, you can't count on finding a place - unreserved places are generally more available earlier in the day.

Fully loaded, I find it takes us 7 hours of riding to do 70 miles, including minimal breaks.  Unless we have a tailwind.

Add to that any reasonable break time, and you're looking at 8-9 hours.  If you're far enough north and it's close to the summer solstice, this could mean starting out as late as 2 PM: the HOTTEST part of the day.   If the heat is unusually bad, we'll normally do part of the distance in the morning, and then take a break, to possibly include a nap, through the mid-afternoon portion, when the heat is worst.

On a recent trip we did start one short day around 2 and by 5:30 it felt like we'd been going since at least 10.  It was uphill, upwind, and hot, which explains part of it.  But those morning hours that we weren't riding we were using up some of our day's energy.  When on tour, the base metabolic rate goes up, so we were burning way more calories in the morning than seemed normal.  It's just easier to ride when you're relatively fresh.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Evening rides...
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2011, 10:59:57 am »
Wind, heat, ability to find places to stay, and ability to intersperse other activities like short hikes would all be impacted.

Since I am a morning person any way it wouldn't appeal to me.  That said we have split our day and done some riding early and some late where wind or heat dictated.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Evening rides...
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2011, 12:09:09 pm »
Some of my favorite rides on tour have been at dusk. The animals are out, the quality of light is magical, the traffic low, the air cool. In all of these rides, however, it's not because I started late--I just rode long.

Offline rvklassen

Re: Evening rides...
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2011, 01:01:51 pm »
The animals are out...
Ah yes.  That reminds me: bugs.   Around here I practically need a ventilator to avoid inhaling bugs when riding at dusk in the summer.  Stoker's fine (on the tandem), though.

Offline leicrao1

Re: Evening rides...
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2011, 01:48:05 pm »
Depends what you consider the main danger to be. We rode extensively in pitch black night on our transam last year (me and brother-in-law). The heat in the day during July and August made this essential.

It is essential to have front lights that are strong enough to illuminate the road surface in front of you and not just bright enough for other road users to see you. Holes in the road are not fun in the dark. Have enough flashing LED type lights dangling from your back and your bike so that you are immediately apparent to cars approaching. These are extremely light and cheap and we had dozens of them all over our backs.

Riding at night is paradoxically safe in one key respect. You can see cars coming for miles on end, and this gives you a lot of time to pull over out of the way.

We rode I-15 from Baker CA to the Nevada border overnight. Absolutely unforgettable experience.

I can see how riding in the dark increases your sense of isolation and you lack the safety in numbers that you get riding in the day time with lots of other road users. However, the overwhelming danger as a cyclist remains getting hit by a car, and not being targetted by a psychopath, and therefore night riding, with the necessary measures taken, felt fine.

Offline jamawani

Re: Evening rides...
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2011, 03:16:13 pm »
Yes.

I have 100,000 miles touring and the evening can be quite nice.
That said, the day is not evenly heated between morning and evening.
On hot days the best time to ride remains the morning - maybe until 11:00a.
It doesn't cool down to the 11:00a temperature often until AFTER sunset.

I did a fundraiser X-USA ride in 1988 - when it was 100+ through Missouri and Nebraska.
I would start before sunrise and quit by 11:00a. 
Sometimes, I would ride an hour or so at twilight.
That gave me about 6 + 1 hours.

Also, in certain places, evening riding is magical.
I love to ride in the evening at national parks that have hiker/biker campsites.
I really don't have to worry about a place to camp.
Traffic is low - and it's the best time to see wildlife.

But the very best  to ride - always - is early morning.

Offline bogiesan

Re: Evening rides...
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2011, 09:05:59 am »
Several months or maybe years go there was a thread about early morning riding, starting at, like 0300-0400, and stopping at 1200-1400. Benefits are all the same as mentioned, adequate lighting absolutely necessary. Requires resetting your internal clocks, for sure, but the discussion seemed reasonable.

David boise Id
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline staehpj1

Re: Evening rides...
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2011, 10:47:25 am »
Several months or maybe years go there was a thread about early morning riding, starting at, like 0300-0400, and stopping at 1200-1400. Benefits are all the same as mentioned, adequate lighting absolutely necessary. Requires resetting your internal clocks, for sure, but the discussion seemed reasonable.
I have done that quite a few times and love those early morning miles in the dark and also watching the sun come up.  Lighting will be more or less of an issue depending on where you are.

I found that on some of the roads in flat country, I knew when traffic approached at least a mile before they got there and the traffic is less than one truck or car per hour, just pulling off when they approached was adequate.  I would have felt pretty safe doing that with no lights.  I did have a rear blinkie and the trucks on the road had a mile or so to spot me so I figured that was plenty adequate.  Also intersections were miles apart and you could see a mile to either side.  In those conditions I didn't bother with my headlamp, but I did wear a very visible vest.  In places where the sight lines were shorter, the traffic heavier, or the intersections more frequent I felt OK with my little Petzl Tikka headlamp and a blinkie.  Truth be told though a high visibility vest works pretty well even without lights out on rural roads and if I had to pick between the vest and the lights I'd pick the vest.