What You Need to Know About Night Riding

night ridingWhen the days are short and you work full-time, night riding is often the only way to get your full cycle fix for the week. Both Logan and Dan love getting out on their bikes at night. Here are a few handy hints if you fancy doing the same:

Essential Gear
Dan: Lights are an (obvious) essential, but the front light has to be good quality with a long bright beam, something around 500 lumens upwards is ideal. The best places for night riding often have no street lighting so you need something to show the way.

I also recommend (especially for mountain biking) a front light attached to your helmet so you can see around the corners before you get to them (as you naturally would in the daytime). So best case setup would be one light on the handlebars and one on the helmet.

Logan: MTB night riding is generally a winter thing, so dress right for the conditions – warm gear/jacket etc. Clear lens glasses can be a good idea to protect against kamikaze bugs flying at your lights.

Dan: I guess just be more alert than normal when riding on the road, make sure you can be seen by other vehicles and that your lights have enough battery to last the ride.

Logan: Ride with someone else and make sure you tell someone where you are going riding and when you expect to be back.

Best Spots Around Christchurch
Dan: The Port Hills are popular with road riders at night, but even more so with mountain bikers. Tracks like Rapaki and Bowenvale Traverse are very popular. It’s pretty cool looking back down when you reach the top, to see light trails all the way back down to the city! I also hear that McLeans Island and Bottle Lake are busy at night but I haven’t checked them out yet.

Best Spots Around Auckland
Logan: Wednesday night riding at Woodhill is super popular. You can hire lights if you’re trying it for the first time. The Runway MTB Park is a great spot for a quick night ride after work for people near the airport. Totara Park in Manukau is also a good track for night riding.

Want to up your mountain bike skills so you can head out after-dark with confidence? We offer a half-day of mountain bike skills training in either Christchurch and Auckland. For more info, or to book a session, drop us an email

Have a great week,
Andrew Hunt

Image: Phil and Pam Gladwell