I got started a little late on Monday. It was after 6pm before I left the house, but I had my light system mounted, tested and ready to go. So, I figured I was ok. However, anything could be farther from the truth.
My plan was to ride to Brentwood, visit the REI store and then ride back. I guessed it would be a total of about 22 miles. It took me about 15 minutes before my legs felt like they were ready to ride, but all told, the ride to Brentwood went very well. Once in Brentwood, I stopped at the local REI store and browsed their selection of tents, camping and bicycle gear. I’m thinking of doing a 4-day ride down the Natchez Trace and I need some gear.
Anyway it was around 8pm before I got out of the store, so I needed my lights. After getting all my gear on, including a reflective vest, I turned on my light and began riding. 4 pedal strokes later, I realized that the light was out, just like last time. Damn it! This light kit is brand new and there’s no excuse for these bulbs burning out so fast. At this point, I had two options: 1)Call Holly and ask her to pick me up, or 2)Ride without lights. Given the fact that I had a reflective vest as well as a safety taillight, I decided on option 2.
All the roads that I chose to take on my ride back home were all country roads, which meant that there were few, if any, street lamps. Not only that, but the moon wasn’t to be found anywhere in the night sky. My entire ride back consisted of dark roads where the road itself was nothing more than a dark grey swatch weaving between dark patches. I couldn’t see potholes, critters crossing the road, or gravel patches. Every now and then a car might pass to provide me with a little relief, but then I’d have night blindness to deal with until my eyes adjusted once more to the dark. It was a harrowing experience to say the least.
And if I had to be totally frank, it was a bit scarry too. As you’re riding down a deserted road, with no lights and you enter a patch of woods, you can’t help but think that something nasty is lurking in there, just waiting for you. I couldn’t tell how steep the climbs were, or which direction the road was heading on a descent. So, if it wasn’t the bogeyman that was going to get me, I was sure that the road would make me it’s bitch. 🙂
Luckily, I made it back home without incident and was greeted by the loving arms of my wife wondering where I had been. Ahhhh, home sweet home.
Total Miles: 22.58
Total Time: 1:57M
Average Speed: 11.70 mph
Maximum Speed: 29.2 mph