The joy of riding after dark.
Whilst the quantity of evening rides Steve & I have enjoyed this summer have been relatively few, the quality has been top notch.
It can be difficult to summon the energy to head back out on the bike on a Friday night after a week at work, especially if the week has been a long one!
The reward however, is beyond worth it. Like many trips outside it is very much weather dependent, as the whole ride revolves around the idea of soaking up the last of the days warmth, enjoying some Fish & Chips ‘Al fresco’
Then riding into the sunset…
Evening rides are also the perfect excuse to use our dynamo lights, essential on the quiet unlit lanes of Cheshire.
Stopping in a quiet village on a balmy summer evening for a pint (or two) and a pack of peanuts before closing time is a far more agreeable scenario than the one most people opt for on a Friday night. So much better when you’ve been pedalling too, feels like you’ve earned it!
The atmosphere changes dramatically as the sun goes down, and even the most familiar of roads and lanes take on an otherworldly feel. The sense of adventure is heightened as the creatures of the daylight hours bed down for the night and make way for their nocturnal cousins. Bats, owls, hedgehogs and badgers have all been the most delightful sights on our outings this year and we’ve laughed (after the fact) at the memory of both being spooked, quite significantly, at the sound of foxes screeching in the dark!
The air at night is also something that has a definite difference to it. After a certain hour any wind or breeze there may have been calms right down and everything becomes still and quiet. Pockets of warm air make you feel like you’re travelling through a world in stasis and, for me, it comes tantalisingly close to the world I’ve only ever experienced through books or dreams.
I was needed at home yesterday, so was terribly disappointed not to be able to join Steve on another outing. Especially as Adam, Andy and Charlie would all be out to play.
I was cheered massively by being able to see their photos pop up on Instagram however, and by the fact that they clearly had a fantastic time and were treated to a beautiful summer evening.
I’ll be there next time.
Words – Paul Rance
Pictures – Steve Makin & Paul Rance