Huntington Goldwing Chapter C


Night Rideing
 Reprint from Motorcycle Excellence

There are times when you must continue riding at night, or times when you choose to go for a ride after the sun goes down. You may find yourself miles from home as it gets dark, or you may choose to ride cross the desert and avoid the daytime heat. Whatever the reasons for riding at night, there are some special considerations for motorcyclists.

Vision is one of our most important considerations. If you can’t see where you are going, you can’t stay on the road. If you can’t see the hazards ahead, you can’t take evasive action. The human eye is not well adapted to nighttime vision, and it is sensitive to chemicals such as alcohol and carbon monoxide. Human eyes take several minutes to adjust chemically from very bright surroundings to dim light levels. Consider what happens when your photograph is taken with a flash. You are momentarily blinded until your eyes can adjust. The same thing happens when going from brightly lit restaurant to a dark parking lot, or when you stare at the headlights of an oncoming vehicle. There are several tactics you can use to maximize your nighttime vision:

· Use clear eye protection, and keep it clean and free of scratches.
· Avoid alcohol and smoking before or during a night ride. 
· Wait a few minutes after leaving a bright area before riding away.
 Allow your eyes time to adjust to the low light level.
 · Practice avoiding bright light sources as you ride along.
Look to one side of street lights, signs, or headlights.
For example, as a car approaches, shift your vision from the
 headlights to the white line along the edge of your lane.

Another consideration is protective gear. Since you can’t always see the condition of the road surface, you are more likely to have a spill at night. And, since the air temperature usually drops significantly after dark, you need more insulation. So night riding demands the best riding gear. A full-coverage helmet provides much better insulation and facial protection.

Fatigue is a common problem at night, especially on longer rides. It is easy to get weary while riding but procrastinate in taking a rest break. Yet failing to deal with fatigue can create a situation that leads to an accident. Smart riders take more frequent breaks at night. They get off the machine and do some exercises to get the blood flowing again.

As a minimum, consider walking briskly to the other end of the parking lot and back. Coffee stops are beneficial, not only for the beverage, but also for the change of pace. If you just can’t stay awake find a suitable spot and take a short nap, or even stop at a motel and check in for some sleep. A room for thee night is cheaper than a crash.
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Join us at our monthly gathering, the 2nd Thursday of every month. 

Place: IHOP at the Huntington Mall

Eat at 6:00 -- Meeting 7:00 


Chapter Director

Eddie Heck

3645 Mt. Union Road
Huntington, WV 25701
(H): (304) 525-4074
(C): (304) 634-0406

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