Monday, December 19, 2011

Fat-Bike At Night

Night riding adventure!
I've made a little loop out from the house that I can take on the Snow Dog. It takes me through the Green Belt and around that little lake-pond out there, then back on the bike path towards the house.

It isn't a spectacular route. It isn't all that difficult, but it is fun, and at night the trails take on another dimension. Things get a bit tougher, and with the fat-bike it goes a little slower. Just right, really, for the training I need to be getting in right now.

Mostly, I don't have to worry about any obligations at night. My wife is doing her exercise routine anyway, or she is doing household work that I am not invited to partake in, (because I would totally screw up the laundry, as a for instance), and my children are off to bed. I may as well fit a bike ride in then as any time, right?

The big key to unlocking the potential night rides now was getting a "real" light. That Lezyne Super Drive I have been writing about lately really does alright at night in the woods. I ran it at the 300 lumen setting, and it worked really well. Now I need to remember that light I use for the helmet the next time I go out!

Spooky light in the sky
So the other thing I have been doing is messing around with my Panasonic LX-3 out there. It takes in a ton of light, and I have to get myself a tripod at some point, but for now, I have been just trying to use things like my bicycle seat to steady the camera on for these longer exposures.

The last shot here is me holding the camera on top of my head, pointing it straight into the sky. The air was full of frost coming down and that left a spooky image which I thought was kind of cool. (That bright spot is a star) Maybe its just me, but I get a kick out of messing around like this with my camera.

Well, that isn't all that is going on out there. I have a bit of an obstacle to cross. A very steeply cut bank with about a foot of ice cold water running through it at the bottom. Without a bike as heavy as the Mukluk, I could leap across this chasm, but with it I am forced to get across by using the bike as a pick.

It gets kind of sketchy at night, the ground is super slick, and the bank is very steep. Made for a few tense moments there, but I made it across. I didn't realize that I had doused my rotor with water though, and it froze over the surface of the rotor after I got back to riding. Hitting the brake the first time was a bit scary! After a few hard applications though, it went away and I was off bounding through the woods again.

I think the Lezyne light and a torch strapped to my helmet will be a killer combo for doing more of this sort of riding in the coming weeks. Well, at least until it snows! Then I may have to modify my route somewhat.


mw said...

nightrides kids chores work yeah. got to find a balance. i sure like nightrides.

Scott said...

I like the rides that lead from the house too. It just kind of makes sense. The holding the camera on your head shot is great. I think "messing around" is good way to learn.Another enjoyable post. Happy Holidays!