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  1. #1
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    I have gone to dark side - Night riding sure is a unique feeling - burn-out recovery

    Its been a while since i have posted. The reason being is burn out set in. I made some poor choices lately, some lifestyle, some professional, and some cycling related.

    One of the biggest cycling mistakes i made was i forgot why and what I enjoied about it. I got focused on a goal, a goal i don't think i am capable of in this year or the next year of cycling.

    The goal was to try to make it to "fast" group of riders.

    I bought the kickr and subscribed to all the apps as tools to "boost" my performance. The performance "crash" i suppose started months ago, but i didn't want to see it, so i tried to press on. About 2 weeks ago was the absolute worse of it. Full blown blow out physically and emotionally.

    The last week i decided to break out of the rut, and ease back into the original why and what about cycling was great.

    Last week i put on my winter kit, and lights and did a solid 30 miles in pitch black. While i recorded the ride, i didn't pay attention to my garmin because i couldn't see the screen, when riding. All i could see was the road and night line.

    I took my cx bike because of the wider tires, so i didn't focus on the speed aspect, i just focused on keeping the cranks turning and not going off the road.

    Side note: the lumos helmet has been a decent investment.

  2. #2
    Neophyte
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    I have a friend that does a ton of his rides at night and loves it. Be safe, though.

    And I would invest in a Varia radar if you don't have one already. Yes, it won't save your life from every idiot driver but it really does give you a little more awareness.

    After using it for a while, what would you say the real life charging time and battery life is for the helmet?

  3. #3
    Forever a Student
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    Welcome back to the bike.

    Don't forget to stop and take pictures. Every ride if you can.

    As for riding at night, reflective vinyl cannot be promoted enough.



    DOT certified C2 tape is great. Also the "white" reflective vinyl you can buy is great as well.

    If you have fenders, I'd suggest covering the back of them with the red stuff. If you have exposed seatpost, I'd suggest the red stuff on the back of it. You get the idea. The sides and back of the pedals I use the "white" stuff on, same with the back of my seat stays and anywhere I can get away with it on the frame.

    GP4000SII Reflex 28mm tires are also wonderful.

    Another tip: Don't just illuminate the road ahead and behind, illuminate yourself too. Stick one of those strap on lights on the bars facing back and up towards your body, illuminating your upper body at all times. Works really well.

    As you probably know, fluorescent stuff is completely worthless at night so don't bother at all, focus 100% on reflectivity, you cannot have too much.

    If you take your time and think about it and plan it, you can add a ton of reflective vinyl to your bike in a very tasteful way. You can overlay anything that's white or silver on the bike with carefully cut out vinyl shapes, you can do a lot. Make templates by drawing on blue painters tape and then transfer to the vinyl so you have perfect shapes cut out for intricate areas.

    Stay safe out there at night, lots of people get hurt by not being properly seen. A couple small lights is not even close to enough.
    use a torque wrench

  4. #4
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    Also, look into a rear helmet light, if not already using, if night rides will become more frequent. Helps to be seen by the car, which is behind the car directly behind you. I invested in an Exposure Strada 1200 headlight, Orfos rear light, and have the new Orfos model on order for next month's release. My reflective "LIT" tires seem to be slowing the traffic around me as well (Continental also has a line). As stated, be safe.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I have gone to dark side - Night riding sure is a unique feeling - burn-out recovery-img_20170227_200818477%5B1%5D.jpg

    Lumos has one built in, turn signals and brake lights.

  6. #6
    Cooper1960
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    A lot of times this time of year I'll ride to the start of our group rides, I'm in the dark to day break for the first hour and a half. I like it a lot, it's certainly a different experience.

    I can't get myself to every go out in the evening and ride after dark though, I would bet a nice summer night would be a lot of fun riding!

    Have fun and be safe.
    Miles of agony for moments of ahhh!

  7. #7
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    To me it sounds like a great help would be to ditch all the biking related gadgets, apps and electronics that you've played around with the last couple of years. This is what the night ride did for you- liberated you from all that distracting crap that's really not needed.

    Be safe and good luck finding your path back!

  8. #8
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    Stay strong. Everyone goes through similar times. It sounds like you have found the right solution. Ride these next few weeks in a lower tempo, not dependent on the numbers. You will ultimately get a little stronger because of it. Enjoy the ride...

    I love early morning rides, like mentioned above, starting your ride in the dark and continuing through the sunrise. I'd prefer 5:30 am over 7pm at night. But it's all good. Stay safe.

  9. #9
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by pittcanna View Post
    I bought the kickr and subscribed to all the apps as tools to "boost" my performance. The performance "crash" i suppose started months ago, but i didn't want to see it, so i tried to press on. About 2 weeks ago was the absolute worse of it. Full blown blow out physically and emotionally.

    The last week i decided to break out of the rut, and ease back into the original why and what about cycling was great.
    Congrats on recognizing and breaking the rut.
    All the time you spent on the trainer, I would've went nuts long ago.

    I took my cx bike because of the wider tires, so i didn't focus on the speed aspect, i just focused on keeping the cranks turning and not going off the road.
    Smart idea. Also nice about wide cx tires is you don't have to worry so much about hitting potholes in the dark.


    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    As for riding at night, reflective vinyl cannot be promoted enough.
    Absolutely. Reflective tape can be every bit or more effective than a rear blinky.
    I take reflective tape and cut out "pin-striping" and shapes to fit the contours of the back of my helmet.
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  10. #10
    a real member's member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    focus 100% on reflectivity, you cannot have too much.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  11. #11
    Fecal indicator
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    fwiw, just purchased some Giro ACC Empire shoes that are reflective...

    they positively GLOW when lights shine on them.

    when your feet are in motion, they're pretty hard to miss.
    the 45th POTUS is inept, corrupt, and a pathological liar. and those may be his better qualities...

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I got this for added visibility.
    BESKYDDA Visibility harness - IKEA


  13. #13
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    ~80% of my riding is in the dark.

    I can vouch for this inexpensive but great light, very bright, nice warm beam, good beam pattern and Samsung batteries for $60 with Prime. I've had mine for a year with no issues, it's very reliable:
    https://www.amazon.com/Revtronic-160...evtronic+light

    I use two 2 watt tail lights, one on the seatpost and one on the helmet.

    I make sure clothing I buy has reflective elements. Shoes are particularly important.

    I ride in groups in the dark, always. Riding alone on the road in the dark is a bit risky. I have a massive MUP network in my area for riding alone in the dark.

    Mountain biking in the dark is terrific fun, you need bright lights though and lots of them.

  14. #14
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    Riding at night can be an excellent experience - and Just Riding Along (JRA) is highly underrated these days - Last summer i would take the bike with no garmin, no Strava, etc... just some regular shorts and some sandals in the backpack ride down to the park or the beach and people watch (pets can be fun to watch too). No speed goals, no intervals, no miles - just going for a bike ride.

    This summer I'm going to be doing more purposeful things with my gravel bike. I dusted off the old DSLR and plan to do some back country bike camping and re-acquaint myself with my camera. It will be fun to see some places I've not been in a long time, and I can use the bike as a fun way to get there. There are so many cool places to see that are just a days bike ride away, and off the main roads.

    And the comments about reflectivity are good ones - lights are good too, but the reflectivity is definitely important when riding around cars.


    The red/white vinyl tape is great - Ive put it on my fenders and helmets.

    Nathan's green reflective vinyl is also extremly visible when lights hit it at night



    Here is my commuter rig with just my phone LED shining on it.




  15. #15
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    everyone who trains hard has burned out at some point! period.

  16. #16
    Bill Dobie
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    I figured with all your training you left us to go pro. Good to see you post again. Always interesting material. I disconnected from on bike data long ago due to similar reasons but pre-burnout. I was focusing too much on average speed as you were. Took the fun out of it. Now I have Strava running on my phone but my phone is in my jersey instead of mounted on stem. I rarely review the data. Just post so my friends can see I'm still rollin'. I don't ride at night with the exception of when I ride my beach bike on Tybee Island. I can vouch for the reflective tape MMsRepBike recommends. I have lots of it and it works great. Glad to see you broke free of your rut but be careful riding at night. We are invisible by day...it can't be any better at night. Kudos!

  17. #17
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    When I was doing a lot of endurance events I would put on reflective tape. It is especially good on pedals and cranks. If you put it on your bike and think you might want to remove it an old trick is to apply electrical tape first and the reflective tape on top.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pittcanna View Post
    While i recorded the ride, i didn't pay attention to my garmin because i couldn't see the screen, when riding. All i could see was the road and night line.
    You took a lot of guff here because of your AR focus on numbers rather than riding. This is your first step. Your next step is to remove all the electronics and just look at the time when you start pedaling and the time when you stop. Only a tiny fraction of people can sustain cycling over many years strictly by focusing on numbers. You have to actually like riding. Get rid of the tracking stuff and just ride. It's the only answer until you break yourself of the obsession of numbers.

  19. #19
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    While I was still working, I rode quite a few rides under the lights. When we lost Daylight Savings Time each year, a lot of my after-work rides started and ended in total darkness.

    I had a MagicShine light on the bar, A Cycgolite Expilion on the helmet, three PlanetBike Superflash on the back plus a Foxfire light, and I wore a highway workers reflective vest and reflective ankle bands. Never had a problem with visibility or vehicles.

    I had to ride at night to try to get to my mileage goal each year. Some years, I made the goal. Some years I didn't, but I didn't get down about it and kept riding. Not only did the night rides add to the total mileage, but they helped me stay fit, and they provided a great deal of catharsis after sometimes frustrating days at work.

    When I rode at night, I would ride through neighborhoods and smell supper cooking. I could just about tell you what they were having that night. I experienced the "fun" of a flat after dark. Once I was riding in the country and from nowhere, a dog was very near and started barking. I had not seen and never did see him, but it scared the wits out of me. On another occasion, I was coming up a hill in total darkness about a mile from my place. I raised my head a little and saw nothing but brown feathers in my entire field of vision from the helmet light. To this day, I'm not sure what it was, maybe an owl or a hawk. It was totally silent and we never made physical contact.

    I set a new low-temperature ride record, 13 degrees F, on a night ride.

    Though I rode mostly familiar roads at night, I never worried about speed. I just wanted the miles and the catharsis. It worked for me.

    I'm retired now, and I can ride at will. It's great.

    Congrats on the new endeavor of night rides. Stay with it.

  20. #20
    pmf
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    I hate to say it, but Kerry has a good point. It can be very refreshing to leave the computer at home. Initially, you'll be surprised how much you want to look at it. After a while, you just ride however fast you feel like riding, not how fast you "should be" riding.

  21. #21
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I keep numbers, I just don't focus on them. They're just a metric of ride data, nothing more. Where I went, how long I was on the bike, how many miles I rode, even have a power meter on a bike; these things just let me know the level of my fitness as I age.

    As I read somewhere, might even have been here, "you ain't training unless you're being paid to ride", so just enjoy the ride. Numbers are fine, but the enjoyment of the ride should come 1st.

    I might have read that here, just haven't reread it to check. It is a good read about riding and enjoying our bikes.

    The Retrogrouch: Riding a Bike: You're Doing It Wrong
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  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    also blinky lights don't have to be daylight-bright. Just well placed.

    Of course I have reflective tape and clothes, shoes and blinky and headlight. But also a small inexpensive two direction blinky on the helmet, which gets a light up high more likely to be seen. $4 on eBay



    for mtn biking I retrofit this Lenser H7 400 lumen light using velcro. The Li-ion battery pack is on the back and has its own blinky red light/dimmer knob. Would be good for road riding too. has projector lens with adjustable beam width. But I usually use a bar mounted light for road riding (also bar mount + helmet light for mtn biking)



  23. #23
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    My daughter and I ride at night all the time. Reflective clothing , lights every where we feel pretty safe. My neighbor commented they could probably see us from the Space station , I must be doing something right.

  24. #24
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    90% of my 250+ rides a year start early in the morning and in the dark. The number of vehicles on the road is 1/4 of afternoon traffic and I honestly think I am easier to see with lights and reflective bits than when the sun is up.

  25. #25
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    Good thread. A number of years ago I learned a similar lesson with running. Planned to take some time off from serious burnout, but a few weeks turned into 6 months turned into a year off with sudden back and ankle issues.

    Now while running and riding, on easy days I completely unplug, leaving the speedo/gps home and just enjoy the outdoors. I let the pace do what it will and let the day choose the distance.

    I do still train long days / interval days but its with a broader context now.
    Last edited by RobotGuy; 03-15-2017 at 10:07 AM.

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