Thursday night marked the Moon before Yule night ride. I was thinking about skipping out on this ride a couple days before, but the nights started warming up recently. I also started thinking that time for night rides in Ash Canyon is running out, and that I should just do it. And rightfully so, as I can see snow up in the canyon out my front window this morning, and the high temperatures are going to be in the 30’s for the next several days.
I had slight technical difficulties with my lights the whole night. I left the only helmet that works with light mounts at work, so I mounted two lights on the bars. Since my hard tail is down right now, I rode the single speed with the On One Mary bars. The M shaped bars make mounting lights difficult, as the only real place to clamp them down are at the top of the “M’s”. The bar is a bit thinner here, so you can’t get the clamp real tight. This made the lights slip down over bumpy train, and was very irritating on the stutter bumps of the creek trail…a time when I wanted the most light available! I also didn’t charge one of my batteries long enough and lost one light near the end of the ride. Minor stuff though, and didn’t ruin my night whatsoever!
We also had the privilege of meeting a new rider on Thursday. Steve from Carson Valley decided to join us, and this would be his first ride in Ash Canyon. I can’t imagine what that would be like, riding these trails for the first time in the dark! Most riders new to the canyon have difficulty with the Creek Trail in the daylight, so I can imagine the challenge Steve was facing. Just as I was thinking it was good that Steve couldn’t see the steep drop off to his left, his back tire washed out, sending him cartwheeling down the hill side! He picked a soft place to land, and he managed to avoid being skewered by his handlebars. Unshaken, he pressed on with good spirits.
Even though it was overcast for most of the ride, the bright moon really lit up the night. With the lights off, you could see all the way across the canyon. This was a big contrast to last week when you couldn’t even see your hand in front of your face!
I’m not sure what the future holds for night riding. The Centennial Trail on the east side of town is pretty fun in light snow, so maybe that will be the next night ride.
Update: Jesse has a few pictures and words to share too over at Nowhere Nevada.