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Experience Mountain Bike Riding at Night

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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mountain bike, mountain bike riding, riding a bike, trails, south of adelaide, shepherds hill recreation park, blackwood hill reserve
Mountain Bike Riding in Blackwood Hill Reserve


Riding a mountain bike has become one of the most popular ways to stay fit on a weekend, bringing lots of health benefits, comradeship, and the opportunity to enjoy nature at its best. There are many shared use trails both north and south of Adelaide, and some councils actively promote cycling for fun in Adelaide.

The most popular times for mountain biking seems to be Saturday and Sunday afternoons. I often see hordes of kids on mountain bikes near Mitcham railway station then, about to set off by train to the hills - after being fortified with KFC or HJ's.

But there is no reason why you can't ride a mountain bike at night if you have the right equipment. National Parks South Australia are keen to encourage riding a bike at night in their parks and have just launched free Introduction to Night Mountain Biking sessions to help you do it safely.

mountain bike, mountain bike riding, riding a bike, trails, south of adelaide, shepherds hill recreation park, mountain bike riders
Mountain Bike Riders in Shepherds Hill Recreation Park


Each free session is open to anyone 18 and over with a good level of fitness, and is held at Shepherds Hill Recreation Park. You'll need to bring some kit with you on the night to ride safely:
Your mountain bike (in good working order)
Bike helmet and gloves
Bike backpack
Plenty of water
Appropriate footwear
Fully charged Bike lights
A small spare head torch

mountain bike, mountain bike riding, riding a bike, trails, south of adelaide, shepherds hill recreation park, shared use trail
Pick Your Shared Use Trail at Shepherds Hill Recreation Park


There's a choice of dates for the Introduction to Night Mountain Bike Riding session available at this link. Just pick your date and time, and you're done!

As usual, bookings for this free session are essential. Line up a friend and book early if you're keen, because these sessions will fill quickly. Note that the event will be cancelled in extreme weather. For more up to date information, follow National Parks South Australia on Facebook.

After you've been to one of the free training sessions, you will be keen to try out your new skills after dark. There are plenty of places to go riding a mountain bike: here are some of our suggestions.

mountain bike, mountain bike riding, riding a bike, trails, south of adelaide, shepherds hill recreation park, magpie
A Magpie Keeps Watch on Mountain Bike Riders


In the northern suburbs Cobbler Creek Mountain Bike Park is perfect for mountain biking, while I love riding a bike through Dry Creek Linear Park, and the Little Para River Trail is good too.

South of Adelaide Shepherds Hill Recreation Park is an old favourite for walking the dog or riding a bike, while Sleeps Hill Quarries and Craigburn Farm Trails are well used by locals for mountain bike riding in the Mitcham Hills. Craigburn Farm trails border the less used Blackwood Hill Reserve which has its own natural attractions of birds and wildlife.

mountain bike, mountain bike riding, riding a bike, trails, south of adelaide, shepherds hill recreation park, native birds, golden whistler
Look Out for Native Birds Like This Golden Whistler


Of course in the eastern suburbs there are plenty of options too. The Eagle Mountain Bike Park at Eagle on the Hill is one of the most popular, but there are plenty of other options.

Enjoy, Night Rider!
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Why? Riding a bike at night is one of life's fun things to do
When: 5.15
Where: Shepherds Hill Recreation Park
Cost: Free!
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