Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Approaching sunsets

It's been a hell of a week, but it was somebody's week, up and down the street all day. The street in question is in fact the A36, and all routes that lead to it. For reasons I'm not going into here, but I have a lot of people around me so thank you to all of you.

So, after the abortive Lionheart sportive, where snow was the better part of valour, and a lot of complicated logistics came to nothing, I had to get out and ride. Jennifer has described the experience of cycling in the snow very well on her blog, the Cycling Mayor. (see right)

So, when a cycling window opened the other night, it didn't matter that the dark of the night was approaching (I  have lights), or that it was very cold (I have roubaix fleece tights, & yes I know what the non-cyclists are thinking), or even that I had school the next day (I have strong coffee available at work). And I didn't, as ever, have a plan. Not really. A few hills maybe? Somewhere quiet preferably. And without dampness or mud. Most conditions satisfied. There was one road that felt more like a field, but at least it was quiet.

I'm not going to describe the route in the dark to you. It was cold, it was steep, there was mud, and it was dark. But the views were stunning. Clarity of the air meant I could see for miles. And miles. Especially when it was totally dark. From the top of the Mendips looking south I could see rows and circles of lights, like sparkly strings of civilisation twisting in the night. While I cycled on alone along the sharp edge of the hills, the very edge of shadows.

At one point I contemplated coming down Westbury Hill in the gathering gloom. I peered over the edge thus:

And turned tail and opted for a main road into Wells. Thoughts of broken collar bones still uppermost in my thinking I'm afraid.

But while I was up there I snapped this lovely ridge line.

Later on as the night drew on, and the freezing cold penetrated my bones, I reflected. Turned for home, stowed the bike and hoped for better days to come.

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