Thursday, 29 October 2015

Wednesday vroom night ride

This was a rare opportunity for me on two counts. Firstly I can make very few Wednesday evening club rides and secondly because it's very nearly November this was a proper night ride in the dark. Five hardy souls met at the shop for the ride and as usual the banter flowed from the off. the Major led us on one of his 'it's in my head routes,' Frank, Stuart P, Clive and I tried to keep up. After a day of mostly rain it really cleared up and turned into a lovely evening, it seemed a shame to start in the dark because we had a couple of hours of brilliant autumnal sunshine before dusk set in. There was no way I was risking my 'best,' bike on damp, leafy roads in the dark so my choice of bike for the evening was also Clive. Everyone else felt the same as there was a distinct lack of carbon on show and the odd mudguard. Frank was the only rider brave enough for shorts but even that hardy hobbit had the winter jersey on.

It's very different riding at night and I'm impressed that my virb can take pictures and video footage even though the quality isn't what you get in daylight. I like the lights, I love the way our reflective bits of kit move in the dark and it's a real shame I didn't get a shot of some of the shadows we cast with the impressive array of front lights. At one point it looked like cycling giant shadows were following us along the hedgerows.

Despite being on my 'slow' bike I was really quite quick in places, not big Steve quick but more than respectable for a mere mortal like me. Anytime my average is over 16 makes me happy and the hatful of PR's is very satisfying. Speed wasn't always advisable though as you know, it's dark so the dodgy bits of road are harder to see at times.

The video is only 17 seconds long and gives a real impression of the shadows, lights and reflectors.

If you've never really ridden in the dark, it's not something to fear. You just need the right kit. There's been a lot of forum and social media chat recently about cyclists getting into trouble with the police for not having lights or reflectors. Most of our road bikes are illegal because we don't tend to have the white reflector on the front, the red reflector on the back and our clipless pedals don't come with amber reflectors. So are we all just one chance encounter with the old bill away from a fine? Well the common opinion is probably not. My set up with the one23 extreme bright front light and knog blinder rear light means I'm pretty hard to miss. Add to that my shoes have reflective details, if  they're under my overshoes, those also have reflective detail and my winter tights also have reflective detail. If you've ever driven behind a cyclist with quality gear on you'll know those reflective bits can be quite mesmerising so the only risk to the cyclist is that drivers could get hypnotised by moving parts.

I've had this week off to spend half term with the kids, not that they're very interested in me. I did say to SuperSam about a trip to Fineshade. His reply was: "maybe later in the week!" I'll see if he's up for it today. That's what gave me the opportunity to Vroom and also it's given me a chance to catch up with my favourite cycling you tubers GCN. If you've never watched check out the latest version of the GCN show.

In that video they discuss the progress of Kurt Searvogel and yet another person planning an assault on the year world record starting on January 1st. No mention of local(ish) hero Steve Abrahams whose own year record was wrecked by a run in with a scooter. The Milton Keynes based rider has recovered well and is now back on track to tackle the record in a year even if it is not now one calendar year. I still remain amazed that he was doing 100 miles a day with one leg on a modified recumbent during his recovery! Check out more on his website there's also links to follow on social media. I've also mentioned Kasja Tylen who is attempting the same record for Women. Here's her website and as I've previosuly mentioned she will be in Market Harborough on January 15th. Kasja has been encountering some UK style car abuse because she chose not to use a cycle path. I don't blame her, they're not brilliant are they? Checkout the chat at the bottom of the page. You'll notice a handsome lycra loonie with time on his hands is the first to reply!

Happy Pedaling

On this morning's ride in the pouring rain, a driver feels it necessary to wind down the window of his car and shout at...
Posted by A Year in the Saddle - Kajsa's 2016 Cycling WR Attempt on Wednesday, 28 October 2015

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