On the 20th August, in Lincolnshire, twilight ends and night starts in earnest at 21:45. The night ends, and twilight begins, at 4:26. It may still be dark in the twilight but the glimmerings of the sun (and hope) will be visible. It does, of course, mean that for six and a half long hours Martin and I will be riding in the inky black – the route lit only by our lights, the spread out twinkling of other cyclists, glow sticks (we’re told), and the glare of the occasional passing HGV.
I thought it might a good idea to get some practise in at this tired and dark riding malarkey. I stayed up until midnight and then, despite longing for my bed, grabbed my bicycle and set off. All my powers of concentration were needed to watch out for pot holes, wild life, other road users and so forth and there was nothing left to attend to the odd zhwish, zhwish, zhwish noise that my bike was making. I mean, it was going straight and it didn’t feel loose at all – so I didn’t feel that it mattered that much.
I only rode for 17 miles or so – and slowly, which I put down to sleepiness and the dark.
Arriving home a little under an hour later, I fell gratefully into bed and slept soundly until being woken up by two excitable little moppets wishing me a happy Fathers day. I went downstairs grabbed my bike – and discovered that the front brake was rubbing dreadfully. Which explains rather a lot.
Night riding is hard. This will be the most trying aspect of the ride and I suspect that I’ll particularly need Martin’s company for this segment, and that we’ll both breathe a sign of relief when we see the first signs that the sun hasn’t abandoned us altogether and the twilight begins on the morning of the 21st.