Solitary roads under a star crossed sky, cool temperature and the vastness of the mountain ranges during the night. Riding at night is a challenge, but also one of the best rides one can take.
I have always ridden motorcycles at night, since I started riding, specially in summer, when it’s too hot for riding during the day in summer months in Southern Europe. But riding at night involves some risks some are not willing to take.
Tip 1. Vision
Unless you have some bad eyesight, vision at night is more than necessary as long as your bike’s lights are fine. Many mountain roads don’t have lights and the pitch black of the night can get confusing. One must slow down a bit according to the conditions.
Road paint reflects light and so the roads shine in the dark, but things can get blurry sometimes so take it easy at nights.
Tip 2. Animals
Lonely roads feel like an extent of the forest for many animals, most specially in mountain or rural roads. I have found bunnies, goats, deer, cows and last Sunday I even found a ferret eating peacefully in the middle of the road.
We must make as much as we can in order to respect animals and in order not to fall. Speed is an issue, so always slow down at night. If the speed is adequate, you will have plenty of time to stop the bike if an animal crosses the road.
In the event of collision, try not to push the brakes or you’ll definitely fall, sometimes a bit of gas is better.
No dot disturb the wildlife.
Tip 3. Alone, but not lonely
If you are riding solo, like I mostly do, an accident during the night can be fatal if you’re disconnected. Bring a charged mobile smartphone, and even download some apps for locating people in need. Can you imagine being left alone and injured in the middle of a lonely road?
It is also a good idea to let your beloved ones where you’re going, just in case…
Tip 4. Fear not
Darkness brings some of our most intimate and archaic fears as a species. Nothing to worry. The night will help you get in a mindful state and meditate, get rid of daily obligations and worries and fly like a creature of the night.
Too newage? well, just be a rascal looking for trouble at night then.
Tip 5. The Bike
Mechanical problems can be challenging during the night, as you won’t get as much help as you would during the day, so keep your bike well maintained. Extra lamps would also help just in case, and a torch can be helpful just in case you need to check anything.
But the best is to do it beforehand so you don’t have to stop and worry about any of that.