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5 reasons to get out and ride in the dark

Why you should still get on your bike despite the dark evenings

Yes, the evenings are dark but that's no reason to neglect your cycling. Here's why.

1. You'll maintain your fitness

If you have a full-time job, the opportunity to ride in the daylight might well be limited to weekends at this time of year. If you want to maintain your fitness, health, mental well-being and all the other benefits that you get from cycling, get out on the bike in the evening.

2. It’s a buzz

Cycling in the dark can be really fun. It feels faster than in daylight and roads you know well look entirely different. Riding a sweeping descent that’s lit only by a light on the front of your bike is an addictive experience and the same goes for hitting a gravel track with a couple of mates. 

winter darkness.jpg

3. The roads are quieter

Head out in the evenings and the roads tend to be quiet. That’s always good news. There’s also something intoxicating about riding roads where you can’t see any lights from traffic or nearby towns or villages.

4. There’s only so much time you can spend on the turbo

Yes, you can ride the rollers or turbo to preserve your fitness and get your cycling fix, and things like Zwift’s 3D virtual world make the experience much more enjoyable, but nothing beats getting out there on the road. 

Here’s our guide to getting started on Zwift. 

5. Lights are really, really good these days

If you grew up enduring dim bike lights that needed new batteries on an almost constant basis, forget them. You can get amazing bike lights these days that provide excellent illumination, they’re simple to recharge, they’re durable, they’re lightweight and compact... Plus, we all like the excuse to buy new kit.

Check out our guide to the best front lights for cycling, complete with a beam comparison engine. 

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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