- Hey Saps, Need A Light - Twenty-four hour race? How do you ride at night? Is the course lit up? These are a few of the questions any 24-hour racer hears – even when talking to somewhat seasoned mountain bikers. I’ve found that people are a mix of perplexed and petrified by the thought of riding at night.
Night riding is one of my very favorite things about 24-hour racing and mountain biking in general.Â This year was my fourth year racing in the 24-Hours of Moab, and despite frigid temps and having to wake in the wee hours of the morning to ride my bike I found myself happily riding in the dark and thinking that “this is why I do this race.” After more than 20Â times lapping the ‘Behind the Rocks’ trail one could find themselves bored out of their mind, but night riding adds such a cool element that it turns your everyday ride into a whole new trail, ripe with personal challenges to conquer. Night riding seems so daunting for the uninitiated. But,Â it’s not just for crazed 24-hour racers and it really isn’t that different from riding during full daylight hours. Using a bike light makes any of your favorite local trails something fun and exciting to ride again, over and over. It does turn the difficulty factor up a notch, but it’s certainly something that can be accomplished by all levels of riders. This was my first year using Princeton Tec’s Switchback Series 1 and 2 lights andÂ they delivered, big time.Â After using a competitors light system last year at the race and having it fail mid-lap on both of my night stages, it’s an understatement to say that I was overjoyed to make it through to the finish this year with full power. It was a great feeling to be the person lighting the way for the poor saps who’s lights had failed andÂ were still trying to eke out a good lap time in complete darkness. I justÂ toldÂ them they owed me a marg (with rocks and salt) at the finish! Until next year … Racing with her Team Careless Whispers riders, Jackson, WY resident Courtney Gauthier found that it’s all about the lights you have, not how you finish. Next up, night skiingÂ with the Switchback Series? Stay tuned this winter.