I like to ride whenever I have the opportunity, and I like to create those opportunities as often as possible. I have always been a bit of a night owl, so from a young age I included night hours in my available riding time. I developed a real affinity for riding at night and have loved it ever since. The recent warm weather has inspired me to indulge my quirky passion for the late-night ride quite a bit lately, and it has lost none of its attraction. There is no better way to cool off after a hot summer day than going for a blast in the cool night air.
One of my earliest motorcycling memories is riding around my local area on the NSW North Coast at night, learning to ride and honing my skills within the limitations of the headlight. The small country towns were totally deserted at this hour but nearly every house had the tell-tale blue flickering light.
I’ve never been a big TV guy and I remember the feeling of empowerment as a young fella when I realised that, while I was out having a real life experience and pushing the boundaries, most of the population was idly watching the magic box!
Riding at night has been a large part of my motorcycling experience over the years. When riding on my own I often either leave in the afternoon and ride deep into the night, or leave early at some ungodly hour and ride for a few hours before it gets light. Certainly every test bike I have ridden has had at least one trip to the dark side.
I just love the solitude of being on the road on my own at night. When there is just you, the bike underneath you, and the road you can see in the headlight, your focus narrows and your senses are heightened. The smells are more pronounced and you feel every change in temperature and humidity. Your reflexes sharpen up because you are riding on your wits and you have less time to react or change your line.
I enjoy the fact that on the roads I travel late at night, my speed is governed solely by me according to my lighting and vision. There is virtually no other traffic to consider and, because of that, no cops. It’s a whole different riding experience out there in the dark and a totally different mindset doing it for fun, and doing it because you have to get home.
The only negatives I can see are the possibility of bad weather and more abundant wildlife, but I’ve always been prepared to take my chances to experience the ride.
Take advantage of the warm weather, use your available riding time, and go out and experience your own night riding adventure. If you get lonely, take a mate and ride a suitable backroad loop.
It sure beats staring at the blue flickering light!