Ahhh… living in a northern town – this means super long days in the summer and shockingly short days in the fall and winter. And of course, temps can turn a wee bit cool. Except that is, maybe in an El nino year like this. It’s already November 9, and although we’ve seen some snow, it hasn’t bothered to stick around. Thankfully, the temps have also been surprisingly mild, excluding some recent freak days where we hit highs of 17, it’s still managed to stay steadily up somewhere around 5-10 degrees, which is truly pleasant riding weather. When it’s cool, you don’t over heat and you feel like you can ride forever. So I guess the only other complication might be the darkness.
Riding at night was always something I liked the idea of. Up till this year though, I’d only ever done it 2-3 three times, and only once was I equipped with a decent light. Which reminds me, the first night ride I ever went on was the very first times I ever rode with Mr. Ken Hurd (1998?). I crashed within 5 mins of hitting the trailhead and smashed my knee into a half-embedded rock so badly, shock set in and I threw up. Wooo Hooo… Good times. And of course, when Ken, whose light had disappeared far into the dark distance, finally came back to look for me, I hid the pain and embarrassment and told him “I’m good” so we rode on for a few hours. As long as I didn’t stop moving my knee (peddling) then it didn’t hurt that bad. I wasn’t able to ride for a week after… Ah the wisdom of youth…
This year though, armed with much better lights, (Light and Motion ARC 675 lumens), and hopefully somewhat of a better rider than I was 10 years ago, I’ve been getting in some of the best riding of the whole year. There is a solid group of us that go out a couple times a week and singletrack nav in the dark when you’re in a group is a total blast! If you’re bored with your local trails, get a good light , dress for the cooler temps and get out there! The darkness changes everything. For those of you reading this from Edmonton – 6:30pm Wednesday at Da Capo is a completely non-team/shop affiliated group ride so hope to see ya there!
For some cold weather riding gear tips, check out Ken’s post “Gearing up for the White“