Night rider

The clocks went back this weekend which means an extra hour of light in the mornings. For the first time in a couple of weeks I was able to get to work on time. It was also an uneventful ride which was a great relief after Friday’s commute involving a near miss. A dozy driver pulled out of a junction without looking and came far too close to knocking me off. I was braced for contact but the driver saw me and just managed to stop the car a few inches from my leg. This resulted in me shouting my annoyance at the driver and carrying on but then feeling extremely vulnerable for the last mile of my journey.

In hindsight there was nothing I could have done to have changed the event. I had the right of way, was wearing a bright orange reflective top, had four lights turned on and shouted at the driver as soon as she moved off from the junction. From years of working in the construction industry I think I’ve become accustomed to having the odd near-miss as part of physical work in an ever changing environment. So this week I got back on the bike and have carried on, but with a heightened sense of awareness.

This evening’s commute home was a completely dark affair. The benefit of an hour’s extra daylight in the morning has resulted in sunset occurring late afternoon. In preparation for this I have spent the last few weeks learning a quiet route home along country back lanes. It was much slower but I came across very few cars on the road. I’ve accepted that night riding requires a careful approach, especially on narrow lanes so I slow to a practical standstill until getting past cars. For the most part they tend to stop anyway to let me through.

Setting off for home at 5.30pm – it felt like midnight

Finally spotting the lights of my village was a nice feeling

I’ve invested in some decent (and unfortunately some not so decent) lights to illuminate me and my route. It’s certainly less enjoyable then riding in broad daylight, but it’s still more enjoyable than driving a car. Plus at times there is a detached sensation of floating when you look down and can’t actually see your legs.

This is where I assume my legs are

My ride home took nearly an hour and a half to cover 18 miles. Speed is definitely not practical with this type of riding but it feels good to be carrying on cycling as winter approaches.

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