Took KES for a spin yesterday evening, all the way from Cricklade to Wroughton, to attend an evening class. Then came home again at which time it was darker. Went along the back unlit country roads via Purton and J16 of M4.
Not sure which I enjoyed more, the evening class or the ride to and from. Strange as it may seem, I find riding at night rather therapeutic.
Riding in the dark takes more concentration and effort than riding in the day. The lights on a motorbike are not that good – many bikes are worse than mine that is for sure; some modern bikes have lights that lean into the bend with you. In a car you can see further. On a bike you can see perhaps 20 yards in front of you. So, that’s why you ride slower than in the day time. There are pot holes you can’t see; mud on road you can’t see and the occasional deer!
And on Wharf Road heading into Wroughton, there’s that bloody third bend I’d forgotten about!! Took me by surprise and had to lean further than expected!!!
Top tips for riding at night:
- Wear reflective clothing
- Make sure your lights are working , front and back
- Leave extra time – say 5-10 minutes
- Don’t stare at the rear lights of the vehicle in front; drop back a bit further than you would normally as this vehicle can lead you through the oncoming bends, twists and turns.
- Watch the direction of oncoming traffic; where is it coming from as this gives you a clue as to bends in the road ahead
- Ride slower – especially on unlit country roads. Better to arrive late than not arrive at all
- Relaxed posture, don’t tense – this is good sense anyway, but certainly helps when riding at night
- And make sure your speedo bulbs are working – mine blew en-route so who knows how fast I was going
Make sure you enjoy it!!