Ride into the night

Fall is closing in fast.  With it comes the crisp cool air, colorful foliage and, of course, earlier sunsets.  Are you packing away your bike, planning to hit up the spinning classes this fall?  Perhaps this is the year to try night riding.  A few hardy souls carry on the after-work riding tradition into the fall and winter, and you're invited to come along for the ride!

A bright light makes crossing the I-90 footbridge much safer. A bright light makes crossing the I-90 footbridge much safer.

What does it take?

Gear:
The most important thing is a good light.  The Light & Motion Urban 550 is a good all-around light, popular with commuters.  Alternately, you might choose a strong light like the Seca 1500 -- the photo to the right was taken using this model.  And once the rain starts, your riding companions will really appreciate a set of long fenders, which protect you and them from nasty road spray.  The SKS Raceblade Long is the preferred choice for road bikes without dedicated fender mounts.

Riding buddies:
This is where the MEETS After Dark riding series can help.  On Tuesday nights, three different pace groups depart from the South Bellevue Park & Ride for some good Eastside night riding.

"Night riding can be a challenge both in motivation and effort. But when you know that there is a group of like-minded riders waiting for you to share in the pain and pleasure of riding hills at night - rain or shine -, motivation is found and the effort reaps great rewards," said Series director Alexa Volwiler. "I hope you will all join us as we continue MEETS After Dark."

On Tuesday, Sept. 24,  join ride leaders Bob Dennis, Alexa Volwiler, Frieder Mack and Sandi Navarro as they lead the groups around a classic Eastside route with one or two challenging hills to keep it interesting.  See the ride posting for more details.  Bring a light!