The nights are drawing in. Tomorrow marks the Autumn Equinox, the point at which day and night are equal in duration. After that it’s a dark slippery slope towards winter.
But that’s just fine by me as it means a chance to get out and ride in the dark and I love it!
Even the most familiarly mundane and benign trails in daylight somehow come alive at night, like some nocturnal beast, awaking with an empty belly and a need to snatch the first sight of prey that happens upon its path.
Trails which could be ridden backwards by day take on a whole new dimension, the smallest lumps and bumps seem magnified and trees which you wouldn’t give a second glance by day suddenly become axe murderers.
But you’re well armed with a gazzilion Suns blasting from your head torch and you start to ease into the ride, nipping through switchbacks, ramping it up on the descents until, without warning, the trail beast reaches out and grabs you, ensnaring you with a stealthily placed rock which sends you flying over the bars.
The brain works overtime and in the split second between hitting the Rock and the ground you find yourself running through a series of thoughts – “what the fuck?!”, “this is gonna hurt”, “hope my bike’s not busted” before finally landing in a heap on the ground.
You take a moment to check you’ve not broken any bones and then quickly on to more important matters – how’s the bike? Bones can be reset, muscles repaired but bikes, well they cost money!
The rest of the ride is spent at a slightly more conservative pace, pride and confidence knocked a little. Until tomorrow night… 😉