Old Pueblo podcast reminded me of this.
I did a 12hr TT earlier this year & the start time was midnight. I’ll have to check the calendar but I think it was a new moon evening. Anyhow, there was no moon. It was dark, dark, dark.
Previous to the race I had actually gone out at 2am for a night ride in 28 degree weather…turned out over 100 miles. So I thought if I can ride for ~5.5 hours at that temp my battery is good for 6 hours. I checked that box and went on to other things.
I WAS WRONG! Ha! The battery was good for 5 hours and 46 minutes. Now, I had a backup light on the bike so I wasn’t stranded but the light went completely out with no warning on a down hill. I went from riding at 20+mph in well lit condition to complete darkness.
It was a dangerous situation. Not on a 100% straight road. Probably the only thing that saved me was a team truck parked on the back of the course on the side of the road in the oncoming lane. The support crew in the truck were looking at their phones so up ahead I could see the glow on their faces. I grabbed a little bit of brake and steered towards them…so that saved me.
But if I ever do another night race I’ll be paying a lot more attention to lights and backup lights and how to make 100% sure that I have at least some sort of forward-facing light on at all times.