Dogs, Ghost Stories, and Invisible Pedestrians: How to Ride in Bali at Night?

Many Bali residents love riding bikes after sunset. Night riding indeed has its advantages: empty roads, pleasant coolness - what more could you ask for happiness?
But there are some peculiarities to driving in the dark. Experts at have compiled the most important recommendations for those who love to travel around the island after dark.
Speed Mode. 
When embarking on a trip in Bali at night, it is important to remember the numerous surprises that can await around the corner. And at night, their number only increases.
To avoid encountering them both literally and figuratively, make sure to reduce your typical speed, no matter how tempting it may be to zoom through the empty roads.
The optimal speed for nighttime bike riding is considered to be 40-45 km/h in the city and 60-70 km/h on the highway. Typically, this is the speed of the traffic flow, and moving at the speed of the flow is the safest option.
Be prepared!
The first challenge is the lack of external lighting on the roads in Bali, which requires extra attention. A bike only has one headlight, and it illuminates a smaller area of the road and shoulder compared to a car. Because of this, the presence of a dog lying on the road becomes completely unexpected.
The same goes for pedestrians. In Bali, it is believed that a raised hand of a pedestrian indicates that they have attracted attention and can safely cross the road right in front of you. But at night, it is almost impossible to notice a person between bikes from a distance. You will only see them directly in front of you. And if you are riding fast, you will have very little time to react, turn, or brake. Emergency braking is also fraught with unpleasant consequences, from falls to accidents involving those who cannot stop after you (and it may not just be a bike).
And there are also potholes on the Balinese roads, appearing in the most unexpected places, and they can be large enough for your bike wheel to easily fall into them. It is difficult to see them in poor lighting. The bike in front of you may suddenly swerve to avoid them, but you simply may not have enough time. As a result, you may end up with a punctured tire, a bent fork, or a fall.
Dmitry, expert:
“Remember that in the dark, reactions slow down. And after the bright daytime sun your eyesight adjusts worse to low light. And what during the day you would calmly notice and bypass, at night turns into a surprise. People, dogs, trash on the side of the road. The same sand in the corners - all this at speed can lead to unpleasant consequences”. 
Also at night, the number of insects that get into your eyes at speed increases. Make sure you wear a visor on your helmet so you don't have to suffer. It is important that it is clean and free of scratches that glare from oncoming headlights and impair visibility. You should also avoid using a tinted visor. During the day, sunglasses can help, but at night, clear glass on your helmet is much more comfortable and safer. 
In total darkness.
In areas where there is no lighting at all (and there are plenty of such areas in Bali), do not forget about using your high beam headlights. They significantly improve visibility. But remember to switch to low beam if oncoming traffic is approaching - blinding the driver is dangerous for both you and them. If a motorcyclist or a car driver blinds you with their high beam, try briefly flashing your high beam, and they will most likely switch to low beam.

The Ghost Rider.
A separate category of dangerous surprises includes local bikes without headlights and marker lights. Such bikes are not visible on poorly lit road sections, it is difficult to see when they move away from the shoulder, and they are also not visible in the rearview mirror. Reflectors are usually absent as well. At best, you can hear them from a distance - Balinese 'racers' often equip them with loud exhaust pipes. So, attention, attention, and attention again.

Dmitry, expert:
“Night driving requires many times more attention. It's very tiring to concentrate all the time. And if it's raining, you just want to stop and not go anywhere. And that, by the way, is the safest choice. It's better to postpone long-distance travel until daylight hours. Go to bed early and leave at dawn, especially since it dawns early."
A dangerous tail.
And of course, night time is when you may encounter people with not-so-friendly intentions on the roads. Unfortunately, crime is a reality, especially in the northern regions of Bali. You can protect yourself by traveling in a large group. Avoid showing valuable items such as your phone, bags, and money. It's better to store them under the seat. If you notice that you are being followed, stop at the nearest store and go inside. Alternatively, stop where there is a crowd of people and wait for about 15 minutes. Usually, the robbers realize they have been discovered and stop pursuing you again.
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