A guest post by Laura Colbert of Loose Nuts Cycles in Atlanta, GA.
Arleigh mentioned in her New Year’s Day post that she wanted to focus on keeping people riding when the weather is crappy. I don’t know what your definition of crappy is but mine involves cold temperatures and darkness. It’s hard to be excited about being on a bicycle when it’s dark and cold outside, but it seems like a winter necessity if you want to ride any time other than the occasional warm weekend.
In an effort to stick to that theme, I was going to write a fabulous post about my first night mountain bike ride in several years, my third night ride ever I think. I had even typed up an introduction and parts of the post already (I’m a planner…). I guess my planning had tempted Karma too much because about half way through the ride I rode over a large stick which stabbed into my derailleur hanger, breaking it completely. The result looked like this :
Luckily, a fellow night mountain biker had come super prepared with a toolkit that included a chain tool, master link, zip ties, and an entertaining story with which to regale us as Chris converted my bike to a single speed in the middle of the Atlanta woods. Thanks C.K. for being super-prepared. I was able to single-speed it home rather than walking several miles across the city with a bike in tow.
So, my original plan was to provide you all with some of my lessons learned or tips for night mountain bike riding. Instead, all I can say is be prepared with tools or be prepared to walk home. I’m going to try the night riding adventure again in the coming weeks, so if you have any questions about it that you’d like me consider as I bumble and stumble through the dark, let me know.