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Thread: night riding

  1. #31
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    In my 39 years of riding I have done a lot of night riding. Last significant trip was over upper Michigan to Mackinaw on a Sunday night leaving Green Bay at 10pm. Sure enough, around Gladstone, 12pm, a deer standing in the left lane freaks and runs across my lane. But I saw it plenty early, got on the brakes hard in a straight line. I have extra lights on the bike, I expct deer all the time, say a prayer before I ride.

    But, I think its time for me to rethink night riding in general. Larry Grodsky, well known author of many cycle safety articles and a book was quoted (two weeks before he died) that he worried more about animals that other road users. He was killed in a deer/bike crash in Texas at night.
    I'm with you, Andy. Ride at night if you think you have to, but realize your safety is further compromised by the darkness, and those who lurk in it (can't remember - reference Time Machine, were the Eloy the good guys, or those underground creeps?!).

    Have done many a trip to the Mackinaw City area - often admired the Mighty Mac all lit up at night from wherever I was on the Island at the time - awesome sight.

    Can only imagine what it must have been like to cross those 5 miles after dark - cool!
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  2. #32
    Registered User ALIENHITCHHIKER's Avatar
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    A friend of mine was seriously injured when a deer jumped in front of his Electra Glide last summer - in the middle of the day.

    Another friend tells a story of a deer leaping from an overhead ledge and landing across the rider's arms, breaking them both. And - you got it - it was during daytime.

    Come to think of it, my closest deer encounter occurred in full daylight - a near miss. I was close enough to see the cute critter's tick scars.

    You do what you can to mitigate your risk; you hone your skills, you wear protective clothing , you keep your bike well maintained, maybe you even avoid night riding. But in the end riding is no different than the rest of life; safety and security is an illusion.
    Steve
    Current Hottie: '00 R1100RT
    Old Flames: FY K100RT, '80 XS850 with Vetter Quicksilver, '67 Bonnie, '66 Honda 90

  3. #33
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Used to, don't much anymore. I'm getting older and know I won't live forever, but want it to be a long way off.

    I started the Redmond 1000 last summer in Gillette at 4 AM. It wasn't "dark" dark as the eastern horizon had a tinge of light to it. Very, very anxious the whole time. But didn't want to end the ride in OR during the dark with critters on the road.

    Cheated death one more time.

    YMMV
    I used to post here, but now I don't.

  4. #34
    Nickname: Droid
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    The last time I crossed the Mackinaw bridge was at 9pm, on a wet VERY windy (40 mph crosswinds from the west) September night. Going north, I stayed on the paved lave and off the steel grating. I was getting blown around a lot, so I stayed at a steady 35 mph, and kept looking well ahead. Got across just fine, but it was the most nervy riding I had done in decades.

  5. #35
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    Ride at night all the time. Working night shift and depart for home between 2-3 am. Burros, horses, deer, etc are all around. A good set of HID driving lights and a HID low beam work fine. You can never have too much light.

    It is just like anything else you do, measure the risk you are willing to take and be guided accordingly. No two people are alike, so go with what you are comfortable with and enjoy the ride.

    bob still

  6. #36
    100,000+ miler 32232's Avatar
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    I generally try to avoid night riding if it's not necessary.

    In rural areas my biggest concern is an animal strike, in urban areas it's inattentive drivers. Conspicuity helps with the latter.

    This:


    Turns into this at night:



    The reflective tape on the back of the bags is black during daylight and is hardly noticeable.
    Dave

    '06 Triumph Scrambler (Trans-Labrador veteran)

  7. #37
    RK Ryder
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    I used to push hard on the last day of a trip to beat paying for a motel "close" to home. On the way home from West Bend Rally in '07, it was 1:30 a.m. and within 30 miles from home, when a what seemed like a torrential rain, fell on me. I've learned that I can handle rain during the day and can see at night, but my night vision is pitiful if it is raining, especially when also scanning for deer. My new rule of riding is to skip the night riding, even if I am close to home. Besides, critters are hard enough to dodge in the daytime, and almost impossible to avoid in the dark.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
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  8. #38
    Rpbump USN RET CPO Rpbump's Avatar
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    I stay away from 2 lane country roads at night but have logged many miles on the super slab after dark. Wearing perscription yellow tinted glasses really helps with my night vision. PIAA's or Moto lights are a real plus and well worth the money. To avoid tunnel vision I constantly monitor both sides of the road for those glowing "lights" described by another poster. Last year when returning home from TX I decided to sidetrack and ride the Natchez Trace Parkway. I started seeing deer by the side of the road about 4:30PM and decided to find a motel/hotel ASAP. The Natchez Trace is beautiful but tangling with a large wood rat is not my idea of fun two wheels or four.
    Ride Safe

  9. #39
    R1200RT Artiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rpbump View Post
    I stay away from 2 lane country roads at night but have logged many miles on the super slab after dark. Wearing perscription yellow tinted glasses really helps with my night vision. PIAA's or Moto lights are a real plus and well worth the money. To avoid tunnel vision I constantly monitor both sides of the road for those glowing "lights" described by another poster. Last year when returning home from TX I decided to sidetrack and ride the Natchez Trace Parkway. I started seeing deer by the side of the road about 4:30PM and decided to find a motel/hotel ASAP. The Natchez Trace is beautiful but tangling with a large wood rat is not my idea of fun two wheels or four.
    Ride Safe
    +1

    My daily commute will often include times either before/after sunrise/sundown. During those times I keep either to the interstate or lighted side streets. There are a few sections of road without lights but the speed limits there are 30 mph or less (they total about 5 miles of the entire 45 mile commute).

    The way I view the bottom line on this issue is to know and evaluate the risks and determine if the risk level is acceptable to you and your circumstances.

  10. #40
    Bruce_H
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    night rider

    I don't like evening night riding but O-dark-thirty, early morning, I do. I have a set of Fuego HID lights mounted on the front of my GSA. with almost no traffic in the early morning I can leave them on most of the time. I do have to watch for critters, here we have Elk so hitting one is not a good idea. I might only see one or two cars in fifty miles.

  11. #41
    On the Road
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    I prefer day riding, but I am not afraid of the dark. Have done many trips (Iron Butt rides are the first things to pop into my mind) that have had a lot of night involved. I live in the mountains these days so I ride in the dark a lot. And baby, I mean DARK. I see deer, coyote, raccoons, you just have to be alert. Slow down and not only do not out ride your lights, ride well under their reach (thank god for HID). I have enough forward facing light to set a fire ... both long range and auxiliary lights aimed at the road edges. If your eye sight is bad at night, don't ride. The key is your own comfort level. You can do things to make it better, but you are the ultimate control.

    I have been on rides both day and night where deer have caused an accident or near miss. Honestly, percentage wise, it happens in the day more often than in the evening. My Native American Name is "Rides With Deer" since on several occasions I have been surrounded by the critters trotting down the road. But I am so much more afraid of day light commute time, idiots on cell phones, soccer moms with Starbucks and yelling at their kids, people trying to find a different CD to listen too, people still half asleep in the morning or angry at their boss at the end of the day. Give me a long night of riding over 1 hour in Rush Hour any day.

  12. #42
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    anyone think those deer whistle things work?

  13. #43
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DamonS View Post
    anyone think those deer whistle things work?
    Nope, but I do have a line on a little-used bridge...
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  14. #44
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DamonS View Post
    anyone think those deer whistle things work?


    Read somewhere once that somebody's state patrol tested them at a zoo using compressed air.

    Did they work? Yup - targeted animals (deer, elk) reacted to the hyper-sonic (above the level of human hearing) frequency.

    They appeared alerted, but then ran in each and every direction they wanted to anyways.

    My advice?: Invest in the bridge.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
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  15. #45
    R1200RT Artiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DamonS View Post
    anyone think those deer whistle things work?
    Of course they work! They also work on elephants, giraffes, lions, tigers and bears because I've not hit any of them either.

    (...just in case the sarcasm was missed.... don't waste your money on them.)

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