we own the night

October 23, 2008

Whenever I night ride, I feel like I’m getting away with something. Everybody else is home, watching The Biggest Loser, or Dancing With the Stars, or Charles In Charge, and I’m out riding singletrack and feeling like Luke Skywalker as he rides those floating motorcycles through the Ewok jungle.

Seriously, night riding good singletrack is like playing a great video game. Except, you are REALLY playing. And crashing. And bleeding.

Last night we got more than 15 guys out (what, women don’t night ride? I dunno, I just send out the invite and show up, I don’t recruit) to ride Corner Canyon in Draper. Up lower cc, up the stone steps, up new Ghost, over to the saddle, up again to Jacobs, down, and back up to saddle and down Clarks, with some nice twisties at the bottom.

Ya follow? Doesn’t matter, unless you’ve ridden it, doesn’t matter anyway.

Oh, and it was cold. Below 40 degrees at the start. I even wrapped my feet in Saran Wrap, and by the end, I felt like I’d been skiing on a cold day.

Trails were ridden, crashes were, er, crashed, and joy was experienced.

Night riding pics are hard. I took Maddy’s camera, and I don’t know how to turn off the flash, and at night, the flash makes it so a cool snaking group of 15 riders with lights turns into one guy in a lightning strike. Oh well.

Prepping at the car:

rick prepping

Regrouping at the top of Ghost. Mark (in pink) started at a different trailhead, and somehow crossed like 10 crisscrossing trails he’d never been on to catch us on Ghost. I guess he just went toward the light.

rick mark chuck top ghost

I wanted a picture of Bill Friedman in this post. Is it bad that it’s a picture of him peeing? I think he thought he was safe in the dark.

sleepy wilbur top of ghost

Chuck is the next Kenny. He didn’t hit a tree this night, but it’s really inevitable. Beanies provide a lot of warmth, less protection. Does he look scared?

dug chuck bridge

See? Kenny wears a helmet now. And is that Bill in the background, peeing again?

rick kenny brandon bridge

I swear, like 15 guys are coming right at me:

faint lights trees

And there they go:

chuck behind

And I bring up the rear. It’s nice to get a flat at night when you’re riding sweep. When it’s 33 degrees (my water bottle froze). On a trail known to be frequented by the Chupacabra.


Good times. Good times.

21 Responses to “we own the night”

  1. KanyonKris Says:

    I thought I was sweep? Oh, my mistake, I was just “that slow guy with gears”. Can I be sweep next time? The title sounds better.

    Who brings a camera to a night ride? Now Bill knows. The flash makes my butt look big.

    I was hoping to see the legendary Corner Canyon Chupacabra.

  2. cheapie Says:

    love night riding. but when i’m by myself, any noise, moving animal, falling leaves, etc., freaks me out!

  3. KanyonKris Says:

    cheapie – I’ve gone solo a few times and I agree, I’m on heightened alert. But snowshoeing solo at night was even worse. At least with a bike I’m moving pretty fast and kind of believe I could outrun even a Chupacabra. But snowshoeing I felt like an easy meal for a mountain lion. I was blasting my headlamp at every noise and was happy when I turned around and started down because I could jog.

  4. bikemike Says:

    bring on the night…i couldn’t stand another hour of daylight

  5. Eber Says:

    I gotta get a light.

  6. Eber Says:

    …and stronger legs.

  7. Eber Says:

    …and better cardio.

  8. Eber Says:

    …and a better bike.

  9. dug Says:

    and a bigger boat.

  10. bikemike Says:

    we’re definately gonna need a bigger boat…

  11. Jonnie Says:

    Good times Dug. So good I am heading out again tonight. Shoot me a note if you want to go…I am dropping down from the top around 9.

  12. KanyonKris Says:

    Eber, I ran my super-bright LED flashlights last night – they worked fine and the whole system cost less than $65. Check my blog (click on the KanyonKris above) for all the details.

    As for the stronger legs and cardio, I could use some company off the back.

  13. mark Says:

    So is this going to be a regular thing? Wednesday nights at 9? Because I think it should be a regular thing. At least until dawn patrols begin.

  14. nwbikr Says:

    I am planning to do some sub-40 degree rides this weekend (probably in the rain), having not ridden in the cold much before, I was wondering what are some tips to stay warm. I don’t have any cold-weather biking clothes, so I may have to go with jeans and a hoodie.


  15. mark Says:

    nwbikr–if “nw” stands for northwest and you’ll be riding local trails aboard a freeride bike, you should begin and end your quest for warm clothes with jeans and a hoody. that look goes well with a full face helmet but works with a XC helmet, too.

    Even if you’re not riding in the cold, you should still wear your jeans. All the cool riders are doing it (see http://www.thecollectivefilm.com for examples).

  16. KanyonKris Says:

    nwbikr, My legs stay warm, but my toes get cold so 2 pair of socks and something to block the wind (toe warmers, booties or even plastic bags over your socks). Two jerseys, one long-sleeve with arm warmers underneath. Warm gloves – I use XC ski gloves. Beenie or headband that covers the ears. Baggy shorts and leg warmers. For rain you’ll want to add a water-proof layer on top. This should get you started, fine tune from here.

  17. Jo Says:

    Women probably don’t night ride because:
    We generally don’t love cold rides.
    We really don’t love the rustling noises in the bushes and trees at night.
    We have to be the responsible parent.

    If you feel like you’re “getting away with something”–you probably are.

  18. Bill F. Says:

    Awesome post. I made the same exact comment to Kenny and Chuck on the way home. I felt like OB1 riding my bike with the force. It felt like you could close your eyes and let the bike feel its way down the trail. SO FUN! BTW – I thought I saw a flash over my shoulder while I was relieving myself at the top of the ride and I only took one leak. I can’t wait until the next one.

  19. Rick S. Says:

    The Chupacabra is real. It is an angry beast. And it has been seen in Corner Canyon. You’ve been warned.

    I like Bill’s description at the bottom of Clarks. The huge group of lights watching him roll up off the bridge. He something like “this must be what it’s like to pass on to the other side…I think I’m in heaven”.

  20. cheapie Says:

    i did a night ride at pisgah national forest in NC this spring. so. much. fun. a fun climb through the woods and along the reservoir for a while then a screaming descent where you have to really have to concentrate on what’s coming up at the edge of your beam. then mid-way through the ride it started to thunder and lighting. that’s scary and exhilarating all at the same time.

  21. Eber Says:

    Oh good – KanyonKris – that doubles my odds of surviving the Cougar attack. Much appreciated.

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