Friday, September 4, 2009

The pure joy of cycling at night

Due to a conference I was pretty busy this week and I always arrived home late at night. That made me appreciate cycling at night again. I really enjoy it!


Well, many reasons:
  • it's very calm and peaceful
  • there's not much traffic
  • the cars that are around overtake with a great distance to the side
  • and they see me (during the day, for example, I'm often overlooked when I approach a junction from a one-way street that is open for cyclists in both directions)
  • cycling at night is safe, much safer than using public transport or walking
  • and it's pretty fast too (as most traffic lights are switched off)
Well, it's simply fun. And apparently Anna from BCN thinks so too.

What do you like (or not like) about cycling at night? Any blissful experiences that you want to share?

Bicycle parking at night


Anna said...

Yes, it really is a pleasure! :D

Another blissful experience to share: As I have recently moved now I take the bike to work (before moving I lived so close to my workplace I did not need to cycle). To go to work I cycle for 10-15 min all the way up. Barcelona is not especially known for being a really up and downhill city but it shows a slight but constant and annoying uphill. So I really love to go downhill when it's time to go back home (especially if there's not much people)!

Eliot said...

I've found all those things to be true too! I also enjoy how much cooler it is in Dallas at night. :)

lehommeaulevelo said...

In Dublin it is Great on the Coastal Cycleway at Clontarf. You are away from the Traffic and it is Magical with the Lights from the Lamposts on the Promonade and the Lights from the Nth Wall where the Docks is and the Business Office Park on East Wall Road. You can Smell the Cool Night Air and the Breeze through your Hair as you Fly along. you have a choice of going along the Wooden Bridge to Bull Island Promonade to the Virgin Statue of Dublin Port. Or else Continueing along the Main Road to James Larkin Road and the Cycleway to Sutton and the Bird Sanctuary to your Right. When you get to Sutton you do not want to stop and just have to keep going to the Fishing Village of Howth.All told about 15 k from the City or 9 miles. Then continue to the East Pier to the Lighthouse and look out to Sea and feel the Sea Wind in your Face Marvelous.

John in NH said...

I do enjoy cycling at night, but I live in a rural area and my commute is pretty darn dark for the last mile (out of 5) my main concern is not cars, but animals and specifically large deer or other woodland creatures, that could come out in front of me. thankfully I have good lights. I also find that people tend to give me a wider berth at night then otherwise. I got some pictures I took the other night and am going to make a post on this in a day or so, will certainly link over to this post!

some things I love
the quiet, yet loudness. I have a country commute so its all peepers, crickets and other forms of insects and birds. However the best sound is the sound of my tyres on the pavement, that hum is magical
the smells, wood in a fireplace, the smell of pollen the smell of a day done. its relaxing!

Dottie said...

I agree that cycling at night is more peaceful and, with all my blinking lights, I'm more visible. Definitely safer than walking, although I'm still not totally comfortable cycling by myself at night.

Anonymous said...

Yes, see "Night Ride Home" at

Adrienne Johnson said...

The best thing about cycling at night is being able to see things. When you drive through, you can not focus fast enough to see the details around you.

fidelius said...

Nice short post & picture.

Anna remember the Budapest Workshop

and mail me asap. I did.


Saschi said...

Cycling at night is pure joy. We do it for training also on our racebikes. No sunburn also!
We wnt to Vienna on the Danube Bikepath last year. Great to go and meet ships going up the Danube fully lighted, graet to stop at "Warmer Hans" food stand at 3.30 in the night, great to see the sun rising. This year over Brenner mountain pass to Italy at 12.30. Where there is a jam during the day we met 10 cars on the whole way and could ride 3 of us side by side. Same experience: car drivers much more careful!
For German speakers among us: Fun to read: Geramn Comedian Wiglaf Boning: Bekenntnisse eines Nachtsportlers (Confessions of a Night sportsman). Cycling but also 24h pedal boat riding, Night Ski Climbing and others. Seeing what is going on in villages at 4 in the morning is also quite educating.

Anonymous said...

I like bike. I like night.

Anonymous said...

Biking by night is great! In town it is much easier due to less traffic, closed traffic lights, beautiful city lighting etc mentioned earlier.
The greatest joy in night-riding i find when doing it outside town when the sky is clear and you can enjoy the stars - the beauty always reminds me of those great(!) night watches at the helm during my atlantic crossings. Also, when riding at night your senses for smell, sound and the feel for the road thru your bike get a much bigger role than your eyesight, which you normally mainly depend on for your impressions of things whle riding. -this simply because you see less. Gives riding a whole new dimension and a new kick!

Up here in the nordic countiries where we have snow during the winter I find it very joyful to ride on narrow, unlit, roads/paths by night. The beauty comes from having insufficient lighting on the bike where the banks of snow at the side of the road function as your guides where to ride (the road it self is plowed so you can't see it in the dark). Ok, so it's a bit unsafe in case of obstacles etc. but it keeps you on the edge and gives kind of a adrenaline kick! Great fun!

Jim Ling said...

i'm from Hong Kong, a small place still have some lovely countryside. i like cycling in the midnights when much less traffic would bother me (and vice versa) and i can smell the scent of the flowers, the trees, the grasses... that is so relaxing! and as my mind is clear during cycling at night, i can pray in my heart with better concentrations, i love those precious moments really!

homeboy deluxe said...

Riding on the edge of light and dark in the winter is a liberating experience; more brain stem than cerebellum.
luv it

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