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Novice rider anxious of riding at night

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by Carranty, 13 Jan 2018.

  1. Carranty

    Carranty Regular

    Hi,

    I'd like to use my bike more for getting about instead of my car, but find I'm often too anxious to use it in the evening, especially with the dark nights. I'm not worried so much about traffic incidents (I have more lights that I need and reflective clothing) but more about muggings/thefts/attacks etc - I feel a lot more vulnerable on the bike than in a locked car! I ride a Brompton because I can take it with me wherever I go, but do worry that it makes me a bit of a prime target....

    Just wondering how many people here cycle at night (after 9pm), and how they feel when they do?

    (I live in south Manchester)
     
  2. si_c

    si_c Über Member

    Location:
    Wirral
    I think it's something a lot of people worry about, but the fear of it is disproportionate to the likelihood of anything happening. That said, if you feel uncomfortable, then there's nothing wrong with taking the car.
     
    gbb, Banjo and Drago like this.
  3. Supersuperleeds

    Supersuperleeds Guru

    Location:
    Leicester
    I presume by your first comment this is for destinations rather than pleasure riding? I'd use well lit popular routes and stick to the roads
     
    raleighnut likes this.
  4. cosmicbike

    cosmicbike Perhaps This One.....

    Location:
    Egham
    I ride at all times of day and night, generally on the commuter, sometimes on the Brompton. As mentioned by @Supersuperleeds I stick to roads and generally those that are reasonably well lit. I'd avoid public footpaths that are tucked away, likewise cutting across parks etc etc. I've not yet felt uncomfortable riding at night, and bear in mind you are travelling relatively quickly compared to those on foot, so unless they block your path it's not so easy to catch you..
     
    raleighnut likes this.
  5. OP
    OP
    Carranty

    Carranty Regular

    Thanks for the responses guys. Yes it's for destinations supersuperleeds (pub/cinema/friends house etc), typically within a 30 minute ride of my place. I do stick to roads, guess I'm more worried about moped gang type attacks than pedestrians. You see a lot of reports on the news about such things, but si_c is right that that kind of thing is very unlikely. Cosmicbike, I guess its just a matter of the more I do it, the less it'll bother me, just those first few rides that are the hardest!
     
  6. DCLane

    DCLane Found in the Yorkshire hills ...

    @Carranty - where you are it is unlikely. I've ridden for 7 years at night in and around West Yorkshire without any difficulties. Confidence helps and sticking to main routes appears to be a sensible approach.
     
  7. YukonBoy

    YukonBoy Veteran

    Location:
    Mars
    Ride on the road, don't ride too close to pavement if you see a gang, ride assertively. Moped gang attacks on bikes will be extremely rare as they are usually after a quick snatch. Such as a handbag or laptop case. I ride all times of day and night and being on the bike get ignored. Even the gangs you do see will pretty much ignore you unless you ride straight at them etc. Main roads are often emptier at night so can make for safe and quick progress compared to a quiet back street.
     
    raleighnut and classic33 like this.
  8. alicat

    alicat Guru

    Location:
    Staffs
    The only time that I worried about being mugged for my bike was during the riots in London about seven years ago. Apart from that I have never given it a moment's thought.

    Manchester isn't the Bronx and your bike is just a possession to be used.
     
    colly and NorthernDave like this.
  9. NorthernDave

    NorthernDave Never used Über Member

    Don't overthink it.

    Just use common sense with your routes and don't worry about it.
     
    HLaB likes this.
  10. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    The risk is v low. Maybe carry a ‘rape’ alarm if concerned. As said stick to busy well lit areas. Obviously have good lights and reflective (no need for high vis) clothing

    I’m a fairly nervous nighttime rider but because of drivers and invisible potholes but not muggers
     
  11. Drago

    Drago Guru

    It's a perception issue. you're more likely to be a victim of violent crime during the day. I've been cycling at night in my crop top and miniskirt for years and I've never had a problem, although I was arrested for public decency offences several times.
     
  12. Banjo

    Banjo Fuelled with Jelly Babies

    Location:
    South Wales
    Give it a go.I think your confidence will grow with every successfull ride.Put your stuff in panniers rather than a rucksac or shoulder bag which could look like easy pickings to a scrote.
     
  13. roadrash

    roadrash cycle chatterer


    eeuugghh, mind bleach now required :eek:xx(
     
  14. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

    brainbleach.png
     
    Drago, RealLeeHimself, alicat and 3 others like this.
  15. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

    Very true - in the Bronx you can shoot back.
     
    Roadhump, Drago and classic33 like this.