Unicycling in the dark

In the southern hemisphere the days are getting shorter.

I went out at 5.30 tonight for my regular forest rough dirt track ride. It got really dark early and I lost the plot getting back home in the dark on a regular track.

At best I had to ride relying on my legs and not sight. I could not see the ruts and bumps and had to jump off a few times and ended up walking home.

Anyone else with similar experiences?

it’s great fun. if you set off before dark, your eyes adapt well, until you realise that you can’t actually see anything and it is just a matter of feeling your way. trails you’re familiar with are better, as you know where you can go fast. I find it really helps improving control too. If you do want lights of course… there’s a few threads about them if you do a search, and I think a NZ manufacturer came very highly praised.

I love riding in the dark. Although I cheat and use lights. It’s totally magic riding trails through the woods at night.

Nightlightning are the NZ company that make very nice lights.


u guys are lucky that it even gets dark. ive been awake all night and the darkest it got was ant 2:30 and it was barely not even close to twighlight. then it got bright again around 3:00 and its 5:30 now and it feels like high noon. cant sleep when its light 24/7. BUT!!! you can ride ANYTIME at all!. been doin trials all night and im worn out. but still sleep comes not. but im goin to work, have fun in the dark

I did a MUni ride at night with maroastedpeanuts back in March. Trailriding with helmet lights is really fun on a Muni :smiley:

JC Glow in the Dark Pedals

See, this is a case where the limited edition Odyssey JC Glow in the Dark pedals would be so handy.

Now if only I could find someplace in Sweden that sells them.

Corbin and I had one or two late Muni rides that ended in darkness. Riding in the forest, the canopy tends to block out all twilight / starlight / moonlight, so we end up riding through pitch black. Luckily the last sections of our ride are all fire road, so we can use audio clues to help us navigate… if we hear the crunching of gravel we know we’re on track, otherwise, we’re riding on (or off) the edge of the road.

Where the gravel runs out one can use echolocation to hear how close they are to the treeline, assuming the treeline along the sides of the road is dense enough. Often the crunching of the wheel on the path provides enough sound to produce the echo. Unfortunately some sections of the road are bordered by wire fence – completely invisible. Good thing we haven’t been snagged yet :slight_smile:

The last stretch before we break out from under the canopy is a few hundred yards of steep downhill. We’ve found there’s nothing quite as exhilarating as charging downhill in the pitch black! Definitely a sweet ending to a long ride.

Our first “dark ride” was by accident – no one brought a lamp as we didn’t expect to be caught past dusk. Now, I don’t see a need for lamps, unless we get caught on the singletrack in the dark… that’ll be a different story :astonished:

Thanks for your replies,

I have a good light which I used in ancient times when I rode two wheeled things. I will charge the batts and set up the helmet for a light. Where is the best place to put a light on a frame (not much choice).

It will only get darker here for about 2 months. I can have a solstice uni. Ride around fires in the forest wearing a witches hat etc

In the dark, I took different lines to usual. There seemed to heaps of caterpaulting rocks etc which I had never hit before.

Even in summer, the latest it gets dark is 11 pm

I eventually velcro’ed the lamps to my helmet (from sewing shops, cheaper by the metre than the stuff from DIY stores). I tried on the frame, but legs give off shadows reducing effectiveness greatly. I even tried on the tops of my shoes which was fun but not practical!

I love night riding. It gives you a real buz. Especially if it is a bit of a challenge, technically.

For fun, no lights and a few beers helps things… doesn’t it Joe? :slight_smile:

If I am really going for it I have 2 lights, one on the frame 4" in front and about 4" below the seat (it misses your hands then). The other on my helmet, narrow angle streight forward.


I ride almost every night some time between 9:30 p.m. and 1:00 a.m.
Certainly is a great stress reducer, and fills me with gratitude. It’s a nice feeling to gently cruise through the streets under a blanket of stars ( although it’s a bit hard to see obstacles in the roadway). Some of the older streets have potholes the size of Connecticut, and have launched me flying through the air more than once… tuck and roll, tuck and roll :smiley:

I didn;t want to open a new thread, since every thing around unis must have been covered in some thread already.
This week I had to come to Denmark for work and since I’ve lived here for 8 years, I know some nice areas to ride. I live in The Netherlands and though only 700km towards the north, it gets dark around 16:00 already in DK. This doesn’t stop me from riding as I have a very strong flashy light on my helmet. It has been covered in other threads that though effective those lamps aren’t very friendly to forest strollers who look straight into it.
Nevertheless it is also around freezing temperature and at 17:00h there is nobody in the forest where I like to ride.
Unfortunately I forgot to charge the battery all the way and the was a chance that the lamp would go out halfway, which it actually did. I only had a wide dirtroad to do uphill back to the car, so decided to get on the uni anyways. I couldn’t see any potholes, only that the area where I rode was a bit lighter than the shoulder of the road and managed to ride in the dark all the way back to the car. Free-mounting in the dark takes some getting used to, but as soon as my other foot hits the pedal, it feels comfortable and I can basically ride with my eyes closed. This was my first dark ride of the year and well succeeded.

I used to ride in the pitch black a lot, it’s great fun! No ‘Muni’ but mostly rough forest trails and the canal paths round here. I’d have a front and rear light, but they weren’t bright enough to light my way, they were just ‘be seen’ lights because loads of people use these trails to commute or for running.

Really good fun, and you definitely learn important ‘ride on feel’ type skills!