Another fun night ride was had by all attendees this week. I was even able to get Kristy out for this one. Kristy has done plenty of night riding around town, but this was her first night time mountain trip. We divided up our gear, I got the bar mount light, and she got the head lamp. We stayed pretty close together and shared the illumination.
Earlier in the day, it was quite warm, and we had ridden in shorts. But as the sun went down, the temperature plummeted rather quickly. We bundled up in our winter gear to stay comfortable in the chilly night air.
There wasn’t much of a moon to speak of on Tuesday, so if your lights weren’t on something, you couldn’t see it! About the only thing visible without lights was Carson City in the valley below, and what a sight that was!
It was so dark that it took a bit of concentration to keep track of where you were. There were a few times where I let my mind drift off, and when it returned, I wasn’t exactly sure what part of the trail I was on. You had to keep your eye out for a familiar curve or bush to regain your bearings.
One of the cool things about night riding, is that you can take a trail that you are very familiar with, and make it into a whole new experience. With not much peripheral vision to speak of, your brain is totally focused on the trail in front of you. Many of the visual cues are no longer present, so you must relearn to ride the trail.
The final descent included a trip down the Creek Trail. Dennis let Kristy use his bar mount light, and this helped her out tremendously on the tight twisty trail at the bottom of the canyon. Kristy and I took turns bringing up the rear along the creek. The Creek Trail can be a little spooky at night, and especially when you’re in the back! I peeked over my shoulder a couple times, but could only see pitch black. I started getting the feeling that I was trolling for mountain lions, and I had to push the idea out of my head that a 100 lb cat was pursuing me down the trail.
As we neared the end of the trail, we made a lot of noise, and slowed down the pace. There were to be no animals harmed this night (see the previous night ride report). Thankfully the only creature we saw that night was a mouse, and it was not harmed.