Night Rider

Of late, I’ve decided I need more exercise, both to counter the beer/curry/bacon consumption and to help my back out, so after replacing the front light that I managed to somehow knock clean off while ascending the now notorious Black Cock Bridge, I’ve been out in the evening on my bike- something that, excepting one visit to The Swan last year, I’ve not done since I was a teenager: what cycling I do is usually on a Sunday morning, but for the last few weeks I’ve persuaded my lazy self out for an evening spin midweek: Rushallish, Pelsall, Brownhills, usually heading out by canal and back by road.

It’s quite a different experience: for a start, you don’t generally encounter a group of lads smoking cannabis under Black Cock Bridge on a Sunday morning (the smell alerted me first), and the solitary angler appeared very suddenly in my smallish LED light on the canal towpath just past here: a bike approaches quietly and quickly :-), though not over Brownhills Common, where lack of familiarity with the track and limited light kept the speed down.

One thing that surprised me: most car drivers seem better at seeing and taking notice of me at night: one exception, but most give enough room and have a bit of patience: more than the Sunday daylight drivers. I’m not a terribly confident or capable road cyclist, but getting better. The key is, as Bob says, is to act like traffic: claim road space, without obstructing other traffic, but it’s noticeable that a run through Clayhanger or the Ryders Hayes estate can easily see even a fat, unfit, over-40 bloke on a hybrid bike outrun the traffic through the traffic calming…

4 Responses to “Night Rider”

  1. Willenhall Lad Says:

    I think you are pretty brave cycling at night. Last year a woman was killed down “the Lane” cycling to work in the dark.

  2. species5618 Says:

    i have not done it this year, but last year i started cycling to work.
    A bit brave, not having riden more the 300 yards for 15 years, i got on an rode 2.7 miles, in 25 mins…
    A few things caught me out,
    Day one having cycled 2.7 miles with relative ease, i got off the bike, to find my legs would not support my weight and collapsed in a heap

    Then my natural pace, seemed quicker than i could actually achieve, by day 4 it was relativly easy though

    I need to start again really, but i will build up to 2.7 miles this time..

  3. stymaster Says:

    I think safety is about being visible. While my lights are a bit limited in spread, they’re very visible, and I tend to set them to flash on the road to attract attention.

    Regarding distance, yes, I’ve found I’m unsteady (or rather more unsteady) after a ride, but I’ve been doing 3-4 miles at least a week for years now, but I do vividly remember being *knackered* riding back from the bike shop (and falling off the fucking thing): the shop was about 3/4 mile away….

  4. I was in a hurry… | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog Says:

    […] to annoy fellow blogging pal @TheStymaster, here’s the section over the Black Cock Bridge, at normal speed. Highest gear. All I can say […]