How to choose the ideal mountain bike lines at night: Part 2

ML2 4163

The art of night-time line selection

Choosing the best line on a night-time mountain bike trail involves assessing terrain features, surface conditions and your own riding objectives. At night, this process requires heightened awareness and the ability to adapt on your feet/wheels to effectively navigate the darkness.

Things to consider when choosing your lines:

  • Surface texture: identify variations in trail texture, such as rocks, roots, surface water and loose gravel, which can affect traction and stability.
  • Obstacles: anticipate obstacles including fallen branches, rocks, and trail debris, adjusting your line to avoid potential hazards.
  • Cornering techniques: Employ proper cornering techniques, leaning the bike and shifting your weight to maintain control and momentum through turns.
  • Line visibility: choose lines with clear visibility, avoiding obscured paths or areas in complete darkness to minimise the risk of accidents or collisions.
  • Terrain transitions: be mindful of transitions between different types of terrain, such as ascents, descents and flat sections, adjusting your line and riding posture accordingly.

How to enhance your night-riding skills

Becoming an expert at selecting mountain bike lines at night requires practice, patience and a willingness to embrace the challenges of riding in the dark. Incorporate these tips and techniques into your night riding repertoire to enhance your skills and confidence on the trails:

  • Progressive difficulty: start with familiar trails and gradually explore new routes as you become more comfortable riding at night.
  • Safety in numbers: ride with experienced night riders or join organised group rides to get more tips and insights, and watch those more experienced riders as they navigate in the darkness.
  • Technical training: dedicate time to honing your technical skills, such as bike handling, balance and obstacle negotiation through drills and practice sessions.
  • Safety awareness: prioritise safety at all times, wearing appropriate protective gear, maintaining a safe riding distance from other riders and adhering to trail etiquette.

Mountain biking at night offers you a whole new downhill adventure, but introduces a whole lot of new risks and challenges. If you can master the art of choosing the best lines in the dark you’ll unlock a whole new side of your favourite sport. The darkness is no longer a barrier, but a gateway to a brand new two-wheel experience.

filed under: Articles