Night Riding in Arizona
Arizona bike shops located near phoenix
Global Bikes
 835 North Gilbert road #111  Gilbert, Arizona 85234  480-892-1315
 1055 S. Arizona Ave #9 Chandler, Arizona 85249  480-782-8342
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Ok, so it's been 105+ during the day and a not so cool 85 at night for the last couple of weeks. You've tried waking up early to attempt riding your favorite local trail or bike path only to get heat stroke as soon as the sun creeps over the horizon.  You've also tried riding just before sunset only to realize that as long as the sun is still shining it's like breathing from a hair dryer.  "That's ok," you tell yourself, "I can drive up to the cool pines around Flagstaff this weekend to get my singletrack fix, right?"  Wrong!  Extreme fire danger caused by drought conditions and bark beetle infestation has resulted in the predictable summer closing of the trails within Coconino National Forest. And for the road bikers?  Lake Mary road, one of the sweetest sections of AZ highway is closed to bikes due to construction (ironically the building of a better bike lane!).  So now what?  Road trip it further to somewhere cooler?  Sign up for spin classes at 24 Hour Fitness?  Buy yourself a trainer and convert your bike into an indoor stationary exercise machine?  Maybe...But there's another solution.  Night riding!  You can beat the relentless AZ summer sun and have the trails and bike lanes practically to yourself. As a bonus, many desert animals are nocturnal so you may see animals that you'd never get to see otherwise. Not only that, but places you’ve ridden a million times suddenly take on a whole new character.

You don’t need to wait for the next full moon to go on your first night ride.  You can get a blindingly bright new lighting system specifically designed for bikes that will shed more than enough light to pick out the perfect line on the trail or avoid that pothole on the road.

Gone are the days when you had to duct tape a flashlight to your handlebars.  Partly due to the growing popularity of 24 hour races, lighting technology has come a long way in the past few years.  A quality light attached to a battery pack that straps to your frame or fits in your water bottle cage or hydration pack can be a little more expensive than the flashing AAA battery powered kits that you need to legally ride at night in the city.  You can find a decent entry level lighting system with a rechargeable battery pack and charger for around $100.  Some of the best and brightest can set you back $400 or more.   

The main things to look for in a light are brightness, battery life, charge time, and overall weight.  As you pay more you get more brightness, longer run time, shorter charge time and less weight.  

Once you’ve decided on a light system, there are a few more things you might want to bring along with you at night, along with the standard items like helmet, spare tube(s), patch kit, pump or CO2 inflator, multi-tool, first aid kit, phone, energy bar, water, etc.  Clear lens glasses, such as plastic safety glasses will keep bugs and rocks out of your eyes, and a smaller keychain light will help you see what you’re doing if you have to make any adjustments or repairs on the trail.  It will also be a nice backup in case the battery of your main light runs low on those long rides. 

Mountain biking can be dangerous enough during the day but even more so at night.  So it’s a good idea to ride with a buddy or two.  Global Bikes is now hosting group night rides.  So be sure and join the free Global Bikes group on meetup.com for the next night ride.

Click here to check out the best deals on lighting systems from a number of different manufactures.

Open 10-7 Mon-Sat  10-5 on Sundays - Four Arizona Bike Shop Locations!

 Gilbert bike shop: 480-892-1315    Chandler bike shop south: 480-782-8342  Chandler Bike shop North: 480-899-3625  Ahwatukee: 480-706-0858 - NEW!
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updated: January 9, 2017
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