Author Topic: Riding at dusk and after dark  (Read 5314 times)

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Offline hotshoetom

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Riding at dusk and after dark
« on: November 09, 2014, 02:24:16 pm »
The older I get the less inclined I am to be on the road on 2 wheels at dusk or after dark. Im curious if others in the group here are similarly inclined and if not, why not?
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Offline mr t

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2014, 03:33:25 pm »
I avoid riding in the dark mostly because I just can't see as well as I used to. Even driving the car at night is something I try to avoid. I must say the reflectors on many roads in Florida are a big help though.

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Offline works4me

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2014, 07:50:32 pm »
From Nov 15th to Feb 22nd I commute to AND from
work in the dark.
I simply find no joy in riding my motorcycle in the dark.
Deer are a real and ever present danger.
Any enjoyment from riding is overwhelmed by reasonable
concerns for self-preservation.
The cage has its place.

Offline danodemotoman

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2014, 07:52:48 pm »
 I get great enjoymnet in night riding.
 I have good night vision.
 However with the abundance of deer and reported deer strikes I have cut way back.

Offline Dave Scott

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2014, 09:28:31 pm »
Other than the fact that I'm riding home from work in the dark these days, I try to limit my dark-riding to "have to" situations.  Just don't see as well and in the summer the bugs are just begging to kill themselves!   :truce:

Offline MizzouMike

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2014, 11:39:34 pm »
I don't enjoy it at all, but in the commute it is sometimes required.  I installed driving lamps and aim the right one twoard the ditch to look out for bambi.  It helped a lot, but I still don't like it.
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Offline ConcoursKZ

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2014, 11:53:16 pm »
Too many DEER this time of year. I never get comfortable at dusk riding this time of year.
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Offline ChipDoc

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2014, 11:58:19 pm »
I commute to the overnight shift and I ride at least one of those in the dark every day; these days I'm doing it in both directions.  No deer (or at least very few deer) on my route; instead I have to deal with texters and drunks and thick traffic crawling along multi-lane roads.  I've got lights and reflective stuff and light-colored gear, but mostly I keep my head in the game, which is what keeps me alive in the daytime too.

It's actually a lot less stressful at 4am than it is at 4pm.

Offline Bergmen

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2014, 03:42:45 pm »
I simply ride with extra vigilance. My cruise speed is lower and I ride in the left lane of a four lane so I can see the right lane/shoulder much better. Two scenarios that require extra caution - full moon nights and the fall during the rut. Recently we had both and the deer get crazy chasing each other, lots of carcasses on the roads the next day.

If I ride to work I leave around 4:30am. The first hour is remote, no traffic and deer country. I'm at full alert and have not had any incidents although I have taken some evasive action a couple of times.

At this time of the year it is just getting too darned cold and I'm much more inclined to slide into a warm pickup with a hot cup of coffee to keep me company.

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Offline H2

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2014, 09:11:50 pm »
I personally find that riding in the dark is ok, if one sticks to more of the major roads that are lit to some degree. But on the back roads where there is nothing but farms and forest, it can be a little risky even with reduced speed mainly due to deers and baby deers. You'd swear they were trying to time it to hit you sometimes !!   >:( >:(What I have personally found that helps a TON is the extra lighting I have put on. I recently installed PIAA 1100X lights for additional lighting (kit available for the C14)...makes a HUGE difference and increases/enhances vision tremendously. Just be aware of oncoming cars, because you may blind them and then your biggest problem may be to avoid an oncoming car and not a deer !!

Ride safe !
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Offline KellyfromVA

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2014, 12:02:05 am »
The older I get the less inclined I am to be on the road on 2 wheels at dusk or after dark. Im curious if others in the group here are similarly inclined and if not, why not?

I ride year round with a 84 mile round trip commute.  This time of the year I leave in the dark and come home in the dark.  That being said, everyone has their personal limits that they should listen to and heed.  If you don't feel comfortable riding after dark, then don't let someone like me who is more comfortable, convince you otherwise.   

Offline KevinRLI

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2014, 01:00:38 am »
The older I get the less inclined I am to be on the road on 2 wheels at dusk or after dark. Im curious if others in the group here are similarly inclined and if not, why not?

I ride year round with a 84 mile round trip commute.  This time of the year I leave in the dark and come home in the dark.  That being said, everyone has their personal limits that they should listen to and heed.  If you don't feel comfortable riding after dark, then don't let someone like me who is more comfortable, convince you otherwise.   

+1. I commute 50 miles round trip. I leave when it's dark but come home while it's still light out. I don't have any issue riding at night but if your night vision is going you shouldn't be riding / driving anything at night.

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Offline JB

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2015, 12:24:06 am »
There are very few instances I ride at night, but for the most part I follow the night riding chapter in Pat Hahn's Ride Hard Ride Smart.  It's the shortest chapter in the book and simply states "never ride at night".

With that being said I've made a few exceptions, but there is just too much to worry about.

Street lights are a big help.  I would never tour at night one back country or desolate mountain roads.  forget that.  Would like to, but motorcycle headlights aren't that good, and turning can be disorienting.

Drunk Drivers are always something to worry about, and probably even more so at night and worse in the late evening/early morning.

With the exception of coming home after an occasional movie in the earlier evening, or low speed stuff in the city I avoid it.

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Offline TLR

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2015, 02:52:16 am »
Don't like to ride at night, but would like to.  64-year-old eyes might be a small part of it, but I figure the greatest threat to us is cage drivers who don't see motorcycles.  They pull out in front of us or turn in front of us.  And, then drunks, texters, soccer moms with a van full of screaming kids who is also on her cell phone, etc.   So, during the day, I ride with a headlight modulator, and that makes a huge difference;  really catches their eye.  But modulator doesn't work in the dark, so I lose that protection riding at night.  It's just me riding along with the low beam.   I know the headlights on the C14 are really good for our visibility, but I'm not convinced that cagers notice me with the low beam headlights as well as they notice another car.

Am waiting for delivery of the Danali D2 dual intensity LED light kit, which I hope will give me, at night, that extra bit of visibility to distracted cagers that I get with the modulator during the day.  We'll see.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 02:55:36 am by TLR »
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Offline gottaride

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2015, 03:14:32 am »
Without good I mean good aux lighting it's a big gamble.

Offline Paulie

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2015, 11:11:59 am »
I never did it much, and am cutting back even more.  Since I'm a tourist, I like to ackshully see the schit that's there!  :motonoises:

Offline Flat-spot

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2015, 11:35:18 am »
I don't like it anymore.   2 main reasons.

     1.  Eyes are aging.

     2.  Oncoming idiots with MALadjusted latest tech retina fryers.....aaand see reason #1.  :(
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Offline LessPaul

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2015, 12:49:41 pm »
Though I'd never try to cover any real out-of-town miles after dark, I don't have any problem riding in urban areas at night. Yeah, the eyes don't adjust as well anymore, but I'd have no problem cruising after dark as long as I'm not out in the sticks.
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Offline Larry_Buck_FL

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2015, 12:04:38 am »
As we age, particularly over 40, our night vision and depth perception decline. All of my long distance, certificate rides and rallies took place in my 50's & 60's. The only solution for me was more light. as much as I could run on my C-10. I've ridden next to bikes with high dollar LED lights and my Hella FF-200's blow them away.

I have 6K, LED's for daytime conspicuity, but for serious, long range night riding, I've not seen LED lights that are superior to quality, halogen driving lights. If you cannot stop in the distance you can see, you are over riding your headlight. For C-10 riders, your alternator will handle 55 watt (x2) halogen lights. C-14 riders have watts to burn.  LED technology is changing rapidly, and is getting better. But if you look at new autos, the manufacturers are still on the fence, LED vs halogens.
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Offline Canadian Steve

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2015, 03:31:13 am »
I try not to ride at night if possible or a deer time. Riding in the country without traffic at night is reasonable if proper lighting and reduced speed but if there is oncoming traffic you are blind until the car passes. Just because you did not see the deer does not mean it wasn't there is often true.

I have had two very near misses in the cage this past fall and a too close for comfort on the bike this March in FL.
I always play this one over in my mind.......Once in FL riding at night because the light ran out ??? passed a BIG BLACK hog (not HD ::) that was standing on the edge of the right hand lane as I went by. I did not see it until I was right beside it and at 50mph hate to think of just how differently it could have been.
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Offline stevewfl

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2015, 09:30:57 pm »
I ride at night a lot.

And suspense of animals/dodging deer is almost as much fun as a track day
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Offline dcman98

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2015, 08:16:18 pm »
I ride at night on a regular basis, on the streets and freeways in Los Angeles. I have class in the evening, so I'm on the road no earlier than 10 pm, and if I go to the library, its more like midnight. I just ride as though nobody can see me at all. If I see a car that may turn in front of me, I assume they will, and position myself close to a vehicle going my direction, such that they would crash into them before me. If I'm alone, I'll quickly jump back and forth across my lane, even into other lanes, to be more noticeable. I cover the brake, the clutch, the horn, and get ready to go any which way. The only time I went down, it was a car who stopped across both of my lanes to go straight across the road, but I was only going about 5 mph when the bike slid out from under me.

Ultimately, I treat everything as a threat, just like in the daytime.

Offline SteveJ.

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2015, 09:46:14 pm »
I ride to work at about 4am so it is before day break, not after dark.  ;)

The commute is  mostly a two lane rural affair. Deer aren't that prevalent here, but the occasional wild hog, bear, and gator are hazards to watch for. I have hit a couple of racoons in the last couple of years. One of 'em got my left foot peg. I'm thinkin' that one had a h3ll of a headache iffn it survived. Gators are easy, there white bellies show up very well. I use the Hella FF200 lights that Larry referred to.
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Offline TLR

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2015, 04:10:37 am »
How in the heck do you get a gator to move out of the way?
« Last Edit: April 26, 2015, 05:11:01 pm by TLR »
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Offline ChipDoc

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Re: Riding at dusk and after dark
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2015, 07:12:37 am »
How in the heck do you get a gator to move out of the way?

You don't.  The whole reason they're in the road in the first place is to soak up the warmth from the tarmac and they ain't goin' anywhere.  You need to hope that it's a small gator that you can go around without startling the thing into lashing at you as you go by.

Though they'll usually just lie there, heavy boots provide a measure of real security if you encounter these guys often.  They usually stay down by the river though, rather than hanging out in the roadway.