ATV riders seem to either love riding at night or hate it. Both are justified views, because of the benefits and disadvantages on either side. If you are on the fence, this pros & cons list may sway you one way or the other. Bad news first:
NIGHT RIDING CONS
- If riding in wooded trails, you may be surprised by the amount of wildlife. Flashing your light on these night critters is inevitable, and hitting them is not out of the question. This may only be a con for the animals, but in the unfortunate case of a deer going over the handlebars, it will most definitely be a con for the rider.
- Speaking of wildlife, do you enjoy a mouthful of bugs during your ride? Most would consider that a con, but if you are into the insect diet, no judgment here (okay, maybe a little).
- When navigating with only the light from the moon and your headlamps, your depth perception may fail and make bumps and drop-offs appear different than they really are. Your headlamp flickering between trees and casting elongating shadows through the forest may create dizziness over time.
- The previous three will be less of a problem when riding in the dunes, however, then you have a new problem: humans. Drunken humans, to be exact. Yes, intoxicated dune riding is not totally uncommon in popular destinations, and it poses an obvious threat for the sober drivers.
NIGHT RIDING PROS
- Riding in the dusty, high-temperatures of the summer can be brutal. Night riding provides a cooler, breezier ride.
- The unpredictability of the experience is a pro for the thrill seekers. When your vision is limited to the light before you, reliance on instincts is a must. Though it may be necessary to go slower at night, you’ll likely feel like you are flying in the third gear.
- Riding at night, using the moon for light is an experience completely unlike that of living in the city. You’ll notice the vibrancy of the moon unlike ever before.
- If you are camping out and riding the dunes for an extended period, the wind whipped dunes will likely be altogether different at night. You can ride a couple of hours during the day, and come back for a night ride to a whole new landscape.