After entering the Cheshire Cat 2012, thus committing myself to a Winter training regime, I thought I’d better get myself a decent front light and become a night rider.
No, not that sort of knight rider!
Riding through the dark has been something new to me and for those of you who haven’t tried it yet, it’s quite an experience!
Clearly there are additional safety concerns to think about, such as making sure you are as visible as possible to other road users, and dressed to deal with the colder night temperatures. But I’ll leave such sensible precautionary advice to other blogs, and your own common sense.
Quite often cycling delivers unique, awe inspiring moments that will stay with you. For me these usually revolve around some aspect of wildlife, the landscape or forces of nature. One is more exposed to these things when cycling after all, and it’s quite common to feel “closer to nature”, to risk sounding like the hippy I probably still am, deep down. The nocturnal experience widens the opportunities for awesomeness even further.
Quite poetic for a facebook update, and why not?
On a more recent nocturnal ramble, I was fortunate to have picked an evening when the Geminid meteor shower was visible (Dec 13 and 14) and happily witnessed many spectacular shooting stars, supervised by a large, low and yellow moon. Quite surreal.
Riding along with my eyes to the skies, I was brought back to earth by a deep pothole, and a snakebite puncture from the rim.
Twenty minutes of muddy fumbling with cold numb hands ensued, and lots of cursing.
How wonderfully insignificant are we – little specks of organic life playing out our lives on a ball of rock in space.
Modern life can easily distract us from who we really are. Consumerism and the media are always pushing us to feel dissatisfied with “now” and aspire to something else. There’s a tendency to live for the future, and there’s always something better to aim for, if only X, Y or Z could be achieved or bought.
Standing on that cold road with the celestial fireworks drizzling across the sky that night helped me realise partly why I’ve come to love my cycling so much. It’s about being in the moment.
Pure and simple. Nothing else matters, just a hyper-awareness of your body and your surroundings. And it’s beautiful.
All sounds very Zen, doesn’t it?
Told you I was still an old hippy at heart.