James Durand

Night riding?

Have you ever been driving along Dogwood and wondered about all those lights flickering through the trees?

Well, it’s a bunch of us having the time of our lives ripping through the trails on our mountain bikes, in the pitch black.

Sure, it’s awesome riding all summer long when it’s light out until 10:30 p.m., there’s a nice breeze cooling you down after a hot day and and the trails are in great shape, but to be able to ride all through the fall and into the winter is why we live on the West Coast.

We’re lucky enough to enjoy mild weather year round, so there is no need to hang the bike up after summer. We can dress a little warmer, strap a light to our helmets and hit the trails.

At first I tried night riding years ago because it was the only time I had available and I didn’t want to lose fitness, but I soon realized how fun it can be.

The following summer I was planning night rides on a monthly schedule. Imagine waiting until midnight in July so you can ride technical trails in the dark. Seems silly, but it’s a blast!

In the dark, the trails we ride regularly seem new again, it feels like you’re riding faster than ever (actually going about 3/4 speed) and it’s a great way to avoid that crushing feeling in the spring when you realize sitting on the couch all winter killed your fitness and added 10 pounds.

So if you’ve been dreading the fall and the shorter days that come with it, don’t, just grab some bike lights and get out there for an adventure in the trails.

If you’re worried about riding alone in the dark, that’s understandable as it can be a bit unnerving, so join in on the Swicked group rides every Monday and Thursday night…all year long.

You’ll be surprised how cool it is to watch a group of 10 or 20 riders flow through the forest, lights ablaze.


I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’