Saturday, 30 June 2012

My Tips For Night Rides

Night rides are SO MUCH FUN. I even hijacked one and made it my Birthday party. Here are some tips I swear by.

1. Get some sleep.
Get up early, go out for breakfast then chill out all day before having a disco nap in the afternoon. If you can't nap stay up late the night before and have the mother of all lie ins. Treat it like NYE. Once you get to the start line the adrenaline will keep you up.

2. Lay off the Coffee.
Coffee will dehydrate you and it's a diuretic which is never good on long rides. Drink lots of water and save the coffee for when you pass the finish line.

3. Eat little and often.
Sometimes rides can cover a few meal times and I find it hard to eat large amounts during a ride. I make easy to pack little mix bags of nuts, seeds and dried fruit to keep my energy levels up. Bananas and cereal bars are also good, I make my own.

4. Protect your eyes.
I hate having to stop because something has flown into my eye. Sunglasses are not really recommended for night riding, although you will need them in the morning so don't forget to pack them. I've never bothered investing in those cycling glasses with the changeable lenses because I'd lose them immediately  I wear novelty hipster glasses and hope I don't get in any official pictures. 

5. Light up.
As well as your usual compulsory bike lights battery pack fairy light are a must. Bring masking tape so you can fix them on safely without damaging your paint work. Glow sticks on spokes look amazing as do these Colour-Changing Bike Wheel Lights from John Lewis:
Colour-Changing Bike Wheel Lights.
Fairy lights & glow sticks (stoker's view).

6. Layer Up.
Temperatures drop considerably during the night and when you are stopping and starting you really feel it. I find light layers easier to carry. I swear by a denim shirt but if anyone asks, say I said 'a hi vis jacket'.

7. Enjoy the sunset.
It's not often I get to see the sunset without leaving a night club carrying a pair of heels.

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