Any muni night riders out there?

As I’ve been night riding my mountain bike for years, it only made sense to give this new hobby of muni a try at night. I must say, what a blast. With a good helmit mount HID style light, you can see more than enough. A interesting thing is you do have to ride a little more by feel which I guess is a good thing. The light shines great at say 10 to 15 feet away and beyond but not necessarily right under wheel. For me it seems I don’t target fixate on whats under the wheel but look more ahead which seemed to translate to smoother riding. If you don’t have a light, I’d highly recommend it. I know it does suck because they can be costly but it is necessary gear. After this weekend, we set the clocks back so it will be even darker after work. But no problem. This could take riding right up to when snow flies. Then get the skiis out.

You betcha… Like you, I was a night riding mountain biker. I like muni at night, but I’m waiting on a new helmet mount right now. I have a 10 watt Nite Rider Headtrip. 10 watts seem like plenty, HID must really put out a lot of light. I ordered a new helmet mount a couple weeks ago, to be shipped “3 Day Select”, but I haven’t received it yet and I haven’t heard back from Nite Rider, despite a couple e-mails I’ve sent them. I can’t wait to get back out on the trails at night. I work evenings too, so my commute home is always in the dark.

The only bad thing about night riding is… I get sort of scared out in the woods at night. But I get a good workout because I ride really fast.


Re: Any muni night riders out there?

u know i’m just fishing here 'cause i dont do this kinda stuff

loafr’s comment (and following threads about night riding in the past) made me wonder if anyone’s ever tried mounting an additional light almost directly underneath the front end of the seat (i realise this has seat-grabbing implications but i’m sure that can be worked out) shining straight down
almost providing a skirt of light around the wheel
the headlamp will still be prime illuminator, with the secondary light ensuring light around the wheel for a quick glance down to the ground


Re: Any muni night riders out there?

It doesn’t have to be costly. I bought one of these for around $30 a couple of years ago. It worked fine for mountain-biking, so I assume it would be great for slower muni’s. The other plus is that they run on ‘aa’ batteries. They last at least 2 hours and you can always carry replacements. I wear mine under a helmet.


I ride with lumicycle lights ( ) with a 10w flood and 12w spot.

The flood lets you see stuff near you whereas the spot is good for fast riding cos you can see up to 30 feet or so ahead.

I did think about HID lights, but they seem to take some of the fun out by being so bright, you get shouted at by drivers when you go on the road, you can’t see anything outside the beam and they also can’t be turned on and off to tune the level of light. Oh and they’re really really expensive too. But they are pretty nice.

I like the lumicycles cos they’re simple and work well and have a long (5 hours on 10w only) burn time. Oh and they recharge pretty quickly.

Best thing about night riding is seeing random animals in the night, like badgers and foxes and owls and things.

A couple of times I’ve done an overnight ride which is totally to be recommended, leave at 10pm, ride till dawn. Last time I ended up riding down to the sea at dawn which was amazing.


I’m using the Nite Hawk helmet mount light with NiMH battery which gives 10 Watts for 2 hours. I use it for my morning commute in the dark at 5:30 am. I’m very pleased with it.

A second light under the seat sounds interesting, but my goal is to keep it simple.

Re: Re: Any muni night riders out there?

It could be interesting. It wouldn’t be able to point straight down because the tire would be in the way. You also might get annoying shadows from the constant movement of your knees in and out of the light’s area.

I don’t know how much you’d need that extra light, as long as you can see what’s a few feet ahead. If you’re looking straight down, you’re not going to be able to deal with the next obstacle. Also, if the light source is close to your line of sight, it’s hard to see the texture of the ground. Poor depth perception. This is what happens when the sun is directly overhead, or behind you, as you ride in the daytime.

Ultimately, you would have a light suspended overhead, off to one side or the other. But then again, I suppose the idea is for it to be dark, and not too light. Or is it just for it to be a little cooler out? :slight_smile:

Had a fabulous experience a few weeks back. I was lucky enough to be on a sailing vacation and anchored in a quiet bay with a huge sandy beach. Took the unicycle to shore in the afternoon and rode 5 miles to a pub featuring live jazz. Had a pretty fine evening and rode back towards the boat.

Is anyone familiar with bioluminescence/phosphourescence or whatever you want to call the effect created by agitated, aquatic, micro organisms, resulting in emission of neon green “sparks”? If not, imagine being able to write your name in neon green by peeing in seawater. Guys only ,sorry. Don’t even think about skinny dipping in this stuff unless you’re prepared for the time of your life. But I digress. Some informed individual please elaborate (on bioluminescence not skinny dipping - thanks).

I hit the beach at about 2 am. The tide is out. The firm, saturated, sand a perfect track for my hookworm shod uni. The sand is wet and, you guessed it, full of those little, neon-emitting, micro buddies. The effect is outrageous. The wheel becomes a pinwheel, a pyrotechnic stand in to rival any powder based display. A ‘puddle’ of the green stuff follows the wheel while escapees, bits of bright green sand, fly from the tire and cut through the night in a fashion reminiscent of Saturn’s rings. Looking behind my path appears like meteor tail fading to the limits of my vision this dark night.

Another memorable ‘spot in time’ thanks to unicycling!

Cheers, Greg

Re: Re: Re: Any muni night riders out there?

Interesting. If anyone actually tries this, please post pictures. :slight_smile:

I have a Petzl zipka as an emergency lamp always in my pocket, it’s good because it’s really tiny and lasts forever. But it’s pretty crappy for muniing, I have a bigger one for that purpose. But I found out a while ago that it fits quite nicely in the handle of my KH saddle, the string, wich is ment to go around the head goes up through the hole in the handle and down around the lamp. Like a miracle it ends up lightning the ground about half a metre front of the wheel. Works pretty good especially in moonlight, when you don’t really need a headlamp. I look straight ahead as usual but my peripheial vision seems to appreciate the light, I ride a fair bit more relaxed. Dunno if all these words makes any sense at all, sounds purty good to me, but hey, I’m Swedish.
Picture might help.


Re: Any muni night riders out there?

How well does the HID setup work for muni riding on trails and Coker riding on bike paths? I’ve been considering a HID setup (either the NiteRider or Light & Motion) but I’ve been concerned that it might actually be too bright for muni use and actually wash out all the details on the trail.

My current setup is a NiteRider digital Headtrip. However the battery is now burnt out due to the charger resetting itself after a power failure. I’ve been thinking of replacing it with a HID setup.

With my Headtrip I use the wide angle bulb. For unicycle use the wide angle bulb is better than the spot bulb. How wide angle is your HID setup?

I’ve looked at a HID light and was impressed by how evenly dispersed the light was. There is no shadow from the filament. With the halogen setups the bulb filament leaves a wavy shadow in the middle of the light pattern. That filament shadow can get annoying because the shadow looks like an obstacle on the trail you need to ride over and generally makes it harder to see the real obstacles on the trail.

Re: Any muni night riders out there?

On Wed, 8 Oct 2003 13:42:44 -0500, gmoore
<> wrote:

>Is anyone familiar with bioluminescence/phosphourescence or whatever you
>want to call the effect created by agitated, aquatic, micro organisms,
>resulting in emission of neon green “sparks”? If not, imagine being
>able to write your name in neon green by peeing in seawater. Guys only
>,sorry. Don’t even think about skinny dipping in this stuff unless
>you’re prepared for the time of your life. But I digress. Some informed
>individual please elaborate (on bioluminescence not skinny dipping -

I can’t biochemically (or whatever) explain the bioluminescence
phenomenon but I have experienced it. And why not skinnydip? We were a
group of some 20 people, it was October, North Sea, and we
skinnydipped naked because we had no prior plans to go swimming.
Everywhere we moved in the water, trails of luminous eddies would
follow our limbs. A most amazing experience!

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

If the crank is moving then it really sounds as if it’s loose. - onewheeldave trying to pinpoint the cause of a clicking crank

I’ve got the Niterider HID Storm model and I can’t say enough good about it. They say the 12 watt bulb is equivalant to a 40 watt halogen bulb. And the burn time is like 3.5 hours. To me, its the way to go. Sure you can get by with a headlamp. Thats what I use for night cross country skiing. But if you want a bright white, flood style light with hardly any shadows than I’d recommend it. To me it’s about safety. I’m out in the woods at night, by myself. I’ll take all the advantage I can. Unfortunately that model is to be discontinued and replaced by one that cost like $50 more. Light and Motion also makes a real nice HID model and they say the helmet mount is better but I’ve never seen it.

Re: Any muni night riders out there?

it just occured to me that to be a ‘proper’ muni night rider, surely u have to have a strip of flashing red lights running side-to-side across the front of the fork?


I went out for 1 1/2 hours last night for some after dark suburban Muni and Trials. Rode surface streets with varying amounts of street lights & lights from passing vehicles and a bunch in the woods adjacent to some well lit sports fields.

It was pretty interesting riding in the shadows, hitting unexpected obtacles, and seeing how far into the dark I could ride.

Lights are for sissies. :stuck_out_tongue:

I used to do a lot of serious scuba diving, often taking a week on a charter boat in then Western Isles of Scotland.

One night, three of us were doing a shallow dive off the end of the slipway at Tobermory (on Mull) when we noticed bioluminescence in the water. We ended up sitting on the bottom of the sea, in pitch darkness, with our torches turned off, waving our hands and watching showers of ‘sparks’ flying from our fingertips. Our bubbles (from breathing out) also caused the flashes.

At the end of the dive, the shore party told us that they had seen the lights that we were making, even though we were some depth under the surface, and the water wasn’t exactly gin clear.

Bioluminescence is light (luminescence) created by life (bio-) just liek the glow from a glow worm. In the sea, it is caused by phosphorescent plankton - tiny animals (or plants) which might only be one cell, or a few cells. When they are subjected to stress (any change in the flow of water which might distort their cell membranes) they produce light by a chemical reaction within the cell. I guess it’s some form of defence mechanism - perhaps the light is meant to startle predators? The plankton have no other way of escaping.

I believe the light is produced chemically in a similar way to those light sticks which you can buy (divers use them as a way of being visible to a buddy or a shore party/boat cover) where two chemicals mix and create a soft glow.

Back to unicycling, I haven’t done a lot of hard off roading at night. However, I have ridden easy trails and roads. I have a conventional bicycle LED front light attached to the seat tube (not post) immediately above the fork crown. That’s to be SEENWITH. Likewise, I have a rear red LED, just beneath the seat.

To SEE WITH, I’ve tried various head torches. Now I like my 3 LED very powerful head torch. It’s light, uses tiny batteries (AAA) and sits easily on my helmet. Tip: buy self adhesive velcro cots (sometimes called Velcro ‘coins’) and put a few of the hooked ones on the helmet. They provide enough grip to stop the elasticated fabric strap of the head torch from slipping. (Might not work for hard MUni and drops!).

So I have a fixed LED to be seen with, a head mounted LED to see with, and I often carry a small hand torch (Mini Maglite) which I can direct to identify particular hazards, scan the road for potholes, or hold at an angle to counteract the strong shadows from the head torch. I only use it when needed.

I think a really powerful torch would spoil the night riding experience. Fine if racing, etc., but otherwise, a bit harsh.

Problem with head torches: they attract insects. Wear eye protection!