Nocturnal Cycling – 5 Reasons You Should Try It

By Jiri Kaloc

Cycling under a starlit sky allows you to experience familiar terrains with a fresh perspective. The world feels quieter, the streets less crowded, and the atmosphere carries an intoxicating blend of calm and mystique. Are you intrigued? Here are 5 reasons you should try nocturnal cycling.

#1 You can look forward to it all day

So many people dread getting up early to squeeze in exercise before the day starts. The beauty of nocturnal cycling is that you can look forward to this evening ritual all day. It’s not only a way to be physically active, but also to enjoy some valuable “me time”, wind down, and have a relaxing conclusion to a busy day. Feeling the cool evening breeze, moving your body, and listening to your favorite music is the perfect reset before getting to bed.

#2 Less traffic, more safety

Night cycling typically means fewer vehicles on the road and fewer people in general, potentially making your ride safer. Modern cycling equipment also solves the problem of night-time visibility. You can get front lights with up to 1,000 lumens that are sufficient even on trails with difficult-to-read terrain. Complementing that with high-visibility clothing means you’ll be safe whether riding in an urban area or out in the countryside. And if the idea of riding alone at night still seems too daunting, you can always look for group rides organized by local cycling clubs to increase your confidence while surrounded by more experienced nocturnal riders.

Van Gogh path
© The Van Gogh-Roosegaarde Bicycle Path in Brabant, Netherlands. Daan Roosegaarde & Heijmans Infrastructure, Ferrari Press Agency

#3 A peaceful, meditative state of mind

The silence of the night draws your attention to the symphony that nature plays all around us. You will be surprised how well you can hear the rustling leaves, the chirping crickets, gusts of wind, and the ground humming under your wheels. With this tranquil backdrop and your rhythmic pedalling, it’s easy to get into a meditative state. Your inner monologues and worries will fall away, replaced by heightened sensory experiences. You will feel more connected to your surroundings and fall asleep much easier.

#4 Adventure and the thrill of the night

All of the trails and cycling paths you know by heart are instantly transformed under the cover of darkness, offering an entirely new experience of exploration. The night adds a dose of excitement to every ride with its varied sounds and occasional surprising encounters with wildlife. Venturing into moonlit forests brings a rush of adrenaline. This heightened sense of alertness and discovery can make even familiar routes an exhilarating adventure.

#5 Squeeze in more rides over winter

When the days get shorter as winter approaches, maintaining the same level of outdoor cycling gets challenging. Nocturnal rides can help with that. Whether you’re commuting from work after dark or going for night-time cycling adventures, nocturnal cycling reduces time spent on a stationary indoor bike. This can significantly improve your motivation and training consistency during the off-season. And you can use this new skill of cycling at night to enjoy those warm summer evenings in a different way as well.

Nocturnal cycling offers more than just a workout. It’s an experience, a nightly ritual that can bring solitude, adventure, or simply a consistent training schedule. If you’re excited to get into it, check out the next article in this series, focused on essential gear that will allow you to stay safe at night.