Chilcotins by Moonlight

Jun 25, 2014 at 12:24
by Reuben Krabbe  
Venturing into the Chilcotin Range is always exciting, but this time we had a different goal in mind for our images. We were going to shoot all the action once the sun had set on the day and the moon was all that shone in the sky. -

Chilcotins by Moonlight. From behind the scenes of a Coast Mountain Culture shoot in collaboration with Norco Bikes
  Andrew Gunn

They say when you go blind, the other senses are heightened.

Chilcotins by Moonlight. From behind the scenes of a Coast Mountain Culture shoot in collaboration with Norco Bikes
  Nick Geddes

Chilcotins by Moonlight. From behind the scenes of a Coast Mountain Culture shoot in collaboration with Norco Bikes
Chilcotins by Moonlight. From behind the scenes of a Coast Mountain Culture shoot in collaboration with Norco Bikes
Chilcotins by Moonlight. From behind the scenes of a Coast Mountain Culture shoot in collaboration with Norco Bikes
  Andrew Gunn, Nick Geddes and Jonathan Duncan

We aren't blind; our pupils are dilated as wide as the big ring, trying to catch each photon of light bouncing off the moonlit silver landscape. The mind has amplified all sensory inputs: darkness to light, ratcheting free hubs become machine gun fire, shifting breezes are akin to weather change.

Chilcotins by Moonlight. From behind the scenes of a Coast Mountain Culture shoot in collaboration with Norco Bikes
  Jonathan Duncan

Chilcotins by Moonlight. From behind the scenes of a Coast Mountain Culture shoot in collaboration with Norco Bikes

Hours past sunset, our eyes have adjusted and the landscape is fully visible. Nick rides first, followed quickly by Andrew, and Jonathan, the din of their motion rolls down ridge lines like noisy floating ghosts. Alone, I pack my kit and replicate the movements that I've just captured in image.

Chilcotins by Moonlight. From behind the scenes of a Coast Mountain Culture shoot in collaboration with Norco Bikes

I feel like a gymnast finally stepping off the tumbling mat where routine governed a sequence of hops and twists in coordinated sequence. I've been the lab rat in a cage, compulsively pressing the same button for a kick of dopamine, addicted to a sweet but altogether familiar dose of happiness.

Chilcotins by Moonlight. From behind the scenes of a Coast Mountain Culture shoot in collaboration with Norco Bikes
Chilcotins by Moonlight. From behind the scenes of a Coast Mountain Culture shoot in collaboration with Norco Bikes

Muscle memory pushes my brain aside, and my body rides on autopilot. Leaving my mind free to experience the movement. Normal details of riders' shadows, sunny skies, chattering birds, and afternoon breezes have been removed; the library of familiar sensation has been closed. It's all new, as though I've never felt the euphoria of a bike before.

Chilcotins by Moonlight. From behind the scenes of a Coast Mountain Culture shoot in collaboration with Norco Bikes
Chilcotins by Moonlight. From behind the scenes of a Coast Mountain Culture shoot in collaboration with Norco Bikes

The best ride of the season was hidden on the dark side of the clock, overseen by the bright side of the moon.

Chilcotins by Moonlight. From behind the scenes of a Coast Mountain Culture shoot in collaboration with Norco Bikes
Chilcotins by Moonlight. From behind the scenes of a Coast Mountain Culture shoot in collaboration with Norco Bikes

Trust me, the photographer said; come into the dark room, it'll be worth it. They followed me down a rabbit hole with faithful abandon. When we clipped toes into pedals, there were no memorized circuits, the front wheel lead into an unfamiliar realm.

Break the cycle.

Chilcotins by Moonlight. From behind the scenes of a Coast Mountain Culture shoot in collaboration with Norco Bikes

Words and photos from behind 'When Darkness Falls', a feature story by Reuben Krabbe in Coast Mountain Culture Magazine. In collaboration with Norco Bikes. Norco Bicycles is based in the Fraser Valley, born and bred PNW. - Ridden on this trip: Norco Range Carbon, Range Aluminum, and Sight Aluminum
-
Riders: Nick Geddes, Andrew Gunn and Jonathan Duncan

Photos and Words by www.reubenkrabbe.com
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39 Comments

  • + 60
 Night riding is so much more than just going for a ride. If you've not tried it, you're missing out on some of the most magical riding there is..
  • + 9
 Next level.
  • + 38
 All of you who are in the dark about night riding get out and try it, its illuminating.
  • + 8
 What I love about night riding is that the trails you have pretty much memorized become a whole new world, and you get to see wildlife using the trails as well (bears on Sumas Mtn for us and we've chased a coyote along Paper Route on McKee Peak)
  • + 5
 The strangest part about night riding, even though everything looks new, you actually ride at a faster pace than during the day... mysterious...
  • + 4
 at night there is hundreds of little scorpions out on my home trail... and suddenly a mudguard makes sens in SoCal...
  • + 1
 Im soo going to try this, this holiday Big Grin
  • + 1
 How ironic, I just put up a 1300 lumen riding light for sale... Wink
  • + 4
 If your local trails have become boring and there is no time or possibility to go somewhere else, night riding is the answer. If you ride something new at night, it can be risky. You ride familiar trails faster, probably because of fear. You don't need 1300 lumen. Too much light creates disorientating moving shadows. 20 lumen headlamp is enough for me.

The funniest aspect of night riding is that around 3AM human mind is proan to see things that aren't really there. Trees are moving, everything looks like creepy animals. I heard it is the reminescence of times where humans had issues with surviving nights in the distant past. But why exactly 3AM, and not 2AM or 4AM? This way it is only funny mith for me, but fear of the dark and the unknown really boosts immagination. If you like to feel even more fear, take you headphones with you.
  • + 4
 michi- kinda sounds like SLC. Although here you have tarantulas (which are creepy because all you see is something glimmering like a small stone until you're on top of it and notice it's just eyes sitting on top of a massive spider body) and also strangely enough, tiny owls that love to fly into you as you approach them. The night is dark and full of terrors....
  • + 6
 Try racing in the dark... I did an 18 hour race in CO, and it was absolutely unreal. Wildest experience on a mountain bike to date!
  • + 9
 Night riding in the falling snow: It's like you're zooming through a universe of stars at warp speed.
  • + 2
 totally agree about riding the trails faster at night. I think it's because you are confident, but you cannot see the details of the trail as well. As a result you end up braking less.
  • + 1
 You can't be scared of what you can't see; and you daren't stop in case something jumps out of the bushes/grasses around you.
Also, because you can't see the tops of climbs you (I) just tend to motor on - the first climb at Llandegla in Wales anyone?
  • + 15
 sweet pics!
  • + 7
 “Ah you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but blinding!” night rides are so fun
  • + 8
 My back hurts just reading that.
  • + 8
 awesome pics Rueben!
  • + 1
 Here in the Scottsdale desert, night rides are usually your best option in the summer. As it's been said, when your usual trails get boring, buy a light, and go out after dark. Everything changes. Feel good about that techy section you just cleaned a few times on that climb? Try it at night. Get a flat? Best to have a spare flashlight on you so you can spot one light on your injured bike, the other on the surrounding desert to watch for scorpions, spiders, and rattlesnakes. The latter being what you want to keep a constant eye out for, as those bastards are out doing the same thing as you out there...escaping the searing sun.

But yeah, the pics from this article capture it well!! Though, I can't relate to being so bundled up on a ride...ever! LOL
  • + 5
 I was half expecting to see a Knolly with that headline.
  • + 1
 I have done night longboarding, tapped flash lights to the bottom of our long boards, but this sounds rather fun, though technically it is what I during winter commutes.
  • + 2
 Great pictures, love the last image so much
  • + 2
 Done the day trip.... Bring on the night!
  • + 1
 Wow! those are some awesome set of pictures. Riding and view look incredible.
  • + 2
 Not even riding chilcotins? Bummer!
  • + 2
 Great pictures! Especially the first and last.
  • + 2
 Unreal, that is something every rider should do at least once!
  • + 1
 Once a week at least (as far as night riding goes). The Chilcotins are definitely on my list of places to ride before I shoot through.
  • + 1
 Damn I need to go full frame
  • + 1
 3rd pic is a carbon Sight. Check your bikes again
  • + 1
 This guy writes in poetry
  • + 1
 damn so beautiful!!
  • + 1
 Wow. Amazing.
  • + 1
 Great photos!
  • + 1
 Nick geddes is the men
  • + 1
 Awesome shots Big Grin
  • + 1
 beautiful
  • + 1
 Well done. !!
  • - 1
 WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

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