Originally created 11/27/05

Where we live

It seems like a dangerous idea to go mountain biking at night, but some Augusta-area cyclists venture out anyway, lights on their helmets.

"It makes it more interesting," said Banks Munford, of North Augusta. "It makes for a completely different trail than in the daytime. You ride stuff you never thought you could ride before."

Phil DeWitt started his nighttime cycling around 2001 with a group from a local bicycle shop.

"I ride for the excitement of it at night," he said.

Another avid cyclist, Jon Taylor, said: "I started riding at night, like Phil, with the locals. When I first started mountain biking, I was living in New Jersey and heard people there were riding at night and thought they were crazy. But you have to be careful what you say - because now I am one," he said, laughing.

The three riders were gearing up to hit Bartram Trail starting at the Petersburg Campground on Wednesday evening. Their route was about 14 miles round-trip and not too technical compared with others in South Carolina.

Mr. DeWitt took the lead, and the group left at about 7 p.m. They turned on their lights immediately.

The group doesn't ride if it's raining or the trails are already wet and muddy.

One reason for night riding, Mr. Taylor said, is it's the best way to get a ride in if you work days during the week.

So it isn't any cooler riding at night?

"Well, I wish we could come up with a good excuse like that to justify riding at night," Mr. DeWitt said. "It makes a little more sense and would keep people from laughing at us."

"Yeah, right," Mr. Taylor said.

"When we get back, we are just so wet, that is just not really a factor. So part of it is a time thing, and part of it is just having fun."


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