While Bruce makes dancing in the dark sound like a blast, riding in the dark just isn’t nearly as much fun. Unfortunately, I found that out the hard way…
Monday was a gorgeous March day with temperatures hitting the mid-70s and just a gentle breeze. Perfect riding weather! Not too hot, not too windy. Upon my return home from work I set out for a nice, flat ride with a reasonable goal of 20 miles.
I started at around 6 and got into a solid rhythm as I headed down the straight, flat road, with no real direction in mind. Rides where I have no agenda are my favorite. I just pedal and pedal until I end up wherever I end up!
On this particular ride, I was not factoring in time, nor was I paying attention to the rapidly setting sun. I was just riding away, trying to hit my goal.
At this point in my story I must mention that the other day my dad insisted I order lights for my bike so that cars can see me at night. Agreeing that it was the safe thing to do, I bought some lights. But did I put them on my bike before going out Monday night? Of course not!!! That would have been the smart thing to do.
Here are the lights I got, still sitting on my desk:
Back to my ride, the sun is setting quickly and I’m getting nervous. I know how dangerous it is when I’m driving and see a biker with no lights. Now, I’m that biker. To avoid going through a bad part of town in the dark, I cut through a nicer neighborhood, just to be safe.
For some reason, I remember this road as being about one mile long with just one minor hill to get over, at which point it’ll be smooth sailing.
Boy oh boy, was I wrong! I had gotten myself into an extra four miles of constant rolling hills! The street lamps were basically my only light source. And even those were few and far between. All I kept thinking about were those darn lights sitting on my desk! (And also getting home alive!)
I made the first step of buying the lights, why couldn’t I have just put them on my bike?! I’m sure it wouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes to do so. Stupid beginners mistake!
Now I’m hustling, while feeling the fear of darkness in every stroke of the pedal…wanting nothing more than to be home already. But that fear is what carried me forward at lightning speeds. (lighting speeds, haha!) The hills were no obstacle…all of a sudden I was a genius when it came to changing gears. Each gear change was exactly what I needed. Add a gear here, stop down a notch there, turn left, turn right, and boom, I was home in no time!
So you see, even riding in the dark presents a bright side not that I would suggest it! But, I did manage to get in the 20 miles faster than ever! Less than 1.5 hours!
Now this has set the bar for rides to come. Sun or no sun, I will except nothing less than 20 miles in under 90 minutes! 40 miles is next
Side-note: Remember, even when you feel that you’re in the comfort of your own neighborhood, never put your head down to glance at your odometer…because there’s always that crazy lady that doesn’t know how to drive, with a passion for running down bikers. And you’re better off not knowing how it feels to be a deer in the headlights. True story.
All in all a great ride! And oh yeah, I’ll put the lights on my bike…at some point