Is it possible to do something on a bike that rivals the thrill and terror of a riding a roller coaster or gives you the feeling of putting yourself right in the middle of a really intense video game? Normally I would answer no but I think I’ve found the one thing bike related that could possibly top both of these feelings.
In the last year I’ve read a couple of blog posts about how fun night mountain biking is so I decided that this was one cycling adventure that I needed to add to my cycling bucket list. In order make this a reality I had to do two things.
1. Make my Costco mountain bike dirt worthy again by putting the knobbies back on. 2. Convince Jenny that this wasn’t a totally insane idea and that she should try it with me.
Changing the tires on my mountain bike turned out to be fairly easy but when I approached Jenny with the idea of night mountain biking I was initially met with some crunched up eye brows. Over time she came around and was willing to give it a try but I could tell she still had some reservations.
A couple of weeks ago we waited for it to get dark, strapped some headlamps on to our helmets and headed across the street to the trail that circles our neighborhood. Based upon Jenny’s general lack of excitement about this outing I was thinking we would make it once around the half mile trail and call it a night. Boy was I wrong. After at least 20 feet of riding I felt a smile come across my face that I just couldn’t get off which was quickly followed by uncontrollable giggling. Jenny was following close behind me and I could hear the same uncontrollable giggling coming from her as well.
When we completed the loop I looked at Jenny and she said “That was a blast, let’s do it again”. That, was the sound of success!!!!
Night Mountain Biking is a really interesting sensation, you can’t ride as fast as you could in daylight but by having a light strapped to your helmet and only being able to see 10 feet in front of you I felt like I was absolutely flying down the twisted single track trail around our neighborhood. At one point I almost rode into a small ditch but at the last second I was able to stay on the trail.
Jenny and I took turns switching bikes as hers was a full suspension bike she borrowed from one of our kids and mine was fully ridged. We rode a bunch of laps around our neighborhood until our brakes were so wet that they were useless.
Since then we had dragged our kids out to try our latest adventure and they loved it too. I still prefer a nice long ride on a deserted road on a road bike but this winter I plan on doing a lot of Night Mountain Biking for cross training and the sheer entertainment of it. I’m hooked.