Bicycling & CateEye Night Ride

On October 22nd I received a message from Bicycling I they could receive my mail address for an invite. As I am curious by nature I thought of course and I send them my mail address immediately. Not long after I received a save-the-date mail for November 4th. In the mail they explained that they were going to organise a night MTB ride together with CateEye. An event that because of Covid could not take place since a long time so it was very exciting to be part of that. I did not have to think twice and replied that I was going to participate and couldn’t wait to hear more. 5 days later I received another mail with more details. The program would start at 17:00 PM at Beuker Biker Centre in Petten, North Holland. So I scheduled immediately a day off and got to prepare me mentally, remember my 2 hips fractures 😉

The day has come…..

It is November 4th and the day has come for the night ride, as I am having the whole day off the tension is building up. Riding on my MTB and in the dark isn’t something I have done only once before, during ALS charity ride in Eindhoven, the and also the MTB track in Schoorl has some challenging parts, I know from experience. But at around 15:00 PM I am putting my Trek on the bikerack of the car and heading my way to Petten, a 1,5 hour drive from where I live.

At around 16:50 PM I arrive in Petten and I am welcomed by the friendly personal of Beukers Bike Centre. Also the guys from Bicycling, Thomas and Danny, are there to welcome me. During the next 30 minutes I meet also the other #ridefluencers: Erwin Sikkens, Marten Schuurman, Isabel Tambach, Kirsten Boerrigter (long time no see), Afra de Boer, Jeroen Luning (finally we meet), Michelle de Graaf and Emma Boogaard. Last but not least I also meet with our photograph Merlijn Spenkelink, who took most of the amazing footage in this blog post – huge kudos!

After the meet and greet it was time for drinks and sushi, yes Cateye is a Japanese brand to sushi is a much! With my belly full it was time to take place for the introduction and formal start of the evening.

The introduction…..

Thomas got the introduction start and told us the reason why we were here, to test the new CatEye head and tail lights. Laurens Jeurnink from Juncker Bike Parts would tell us everything we needed to know about Juncker itself, already 125 in the cycling industry, and Cateye, I still remember their first wireless computer which was colossal. Next Thomas introduced us to Ramses Bekkenk, a very well known Beach racer but also a phenomenal MTB endurance racer, read about his 750 km ride! Via a short video Ramses introduced us to night riding during his 361 km race in South Africa, under 14 hours….. Ramses told us the importance of good lightning and some useful tricks and tips for our ride shortly after this.

Then it was time to assemble the Cateye lights on to our bike. I received the AMPP 800 and the ViZ300.

The lights…..

The AMPP800’s compact and durable alloy body features a three level battery indicator that means there is always time to get home:

  • High power rechargeable headlight (800 lm)
  • Powerful wide beam with OptiCube™ lens technology
  • Excellent side visibility
  • Large capacity lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • Built-in fast recharging circuit *Full charge in approx 3 hours (minimum)
  • 3-level battery indicator (Blue: Above 50% Yellow: 30-50% Red: Less than 30%)
  • USB rechargeable (Micro-USB cable included)
  • Mode memory function
  • Five light modes (High / Middle / Low / Daytime HyperConstant / Flashing)
  • Turns on High mode with double-click of power button
  • FlexTight™ bracket
  • Helmet mount and center fork bracket (optional)

Pumping out an attention-grabbing 300 lumens with OptiCube™ lens technology, the versatile ViZ300 stands out with the power of Daytime Hyperflash™ mode and the friendliness of Group Ride mode.

  • 3 LEDs (300 lm)
  • Highly visible during daytime
  • 300 degree visibility
  • Long rear beam projection
  • OptiCube™ lens technology
  • Lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • USB rechargeable (Micro-USB cable included)
  • Low battery indicator
  • 4 modes *Charging time: 3h
  • Mode memory function
  • Battery Auto Save (The mode automatically changes to flashing when the battery power gets low.)
  • New seat post bracket SP-15 which fits contemporary (kammtail) aero seatpost
  • Snap System™

The assembly of the lights was pretty quickly so I was time to head out into the dark and face the elements….

The ride….

With everybody grouped up we first drove from Petten over the cycle lane to Schoorl. Over there it was time to hit the MTB single tracks and let the lights do their work. The riding in the dark needed first some adjustment to the eyes as well as the nerves. As Ramses told us you are at first a bit more jumpy in the dark. But eventfully the riding became more easy, as least for the dark because heaving rain and the uphills was not easy at all. The pace was fast but every now and then the front waited for everybody to group up again.

After about 22 km we left the MTB trails and headed to the beach. This was really amazing! A empty beach, strong headwinds and reasonably good sand made this really EPIC! I did make me think back of my first Beach Race, the Brinta Beach classic, in the 90’s. All in all we returned with around 30 km on the Garmin where more sushi was waiting for us.

The stories…..

After a quick clean-up of the bike and myself everybody gathered around Ramses. He told us amazing “war” stories of his night rides, 361 km in South Africa with wild beasts, getting into a hallucination state and seeing woman with books along the road. Doing a 50 hour ride (1000+ km) with only 3,5 hours of the bike, 1,5 of that was sleep. 3 minutes sleeps are better than 20 min sleeps and more and more….. everybody was hanging on his lips and I think he could have talked for hours…. what an interesting guy!

Then it was finally time to head home, with an additional lamp (what out for the give-away) and a filled goodie bag.

Thanks Thomas, Danny, Laurens, Ramses and all others for this amazing evening, this is one for the books!

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