Thursday, 31 July 2008

Marlow again, and dark roads



I was a bit late starting out on the ride yesterday evening. Partly because I was engrossed in a good book, and partly to let the day cool off a bit. I followed the route over Winter Hill to Marlow again, but then climbed the hill behind Marlow and pushed on for a bit on the far side, before returning through Bourne End as usual, and covering just over 22 miles altogether.

With a later start and a longer ride I was later than usual getting back. There was quite a buzz of activity in Marlow itself, but away from the streetlamps it was pretty dark. I've ridden in the dusk before, but it's a new experience for me to ride in more-or-less complete darkness. The most obvious effect is that it's difficult to see the potholes (impossible if there's a car coming the other way) so I hit a few hefty bumps. There are more insects than usual as well, and I couldn't read the cycle computer so the only way of judging speed was from the wind and road.

On the other hand there is a lot less traffic. The views along the Thames at Cookham were stunning. It got a lot cooler by the time I was home. And it is a different riding experience. I may not be ready to undertake the 120 miles of the Dunwich Dynamo, but riding dark roads certainly doesn't seem to be something that has to be avoided.

1 comment:

disgruntled said...

I used to have to cycle a couple of miles every evening through pitch-black Derbyshire countryside - and that was in the days before halogen lights so it was with an EverReady bike light that did little more than feebly glow and certainly didn't light up the road ahead. No white lines on the road, ditches on either side, and car drivers who never dipped their headlights when approaching a bike, totally trashing the rider's night vision. I ended up having to cycle with my head averted whenever a car approached, otherwise I'd be completely dazzled and riding blind for five minutes afterwards (fortunately it was rural enough that there would only be two or three cars per journey). They were probably thinking 'look at that idiot cyclist, she's not even looking where she's going!' - assuming, that is, they had seen me at all, while I was muttering under my breath 'dip your lights, you bastard! I don't want to end up in a ditch...'

Something to look forward to in the winter months...