Cycling at night

Pretty much what I saw while cycling back from South Queensferry this evening, at 19:45.

I had a great cycle over to my brother Eddie’s in South Queensferry this afternoon and spent the afternoon helping him with his DIY ‘snag list’: we fitted a handle to a kitchen unit, fitted part of a corner unit that’s been waiting to be done for months, hung a couple of doors, and watched the lino man (not sure of his name, but we called him Lino Ritchie!) lay vinyl on the kitchen and dining room floors.

The cycle back from South Queensferry was a little more adventurous, not having the benefit of having the sun to help my navigation (see photograph above). Still, my journey back home was only 2 minutes longer than my journey in, so that’s not to be sniffed at.

This evening was the first time I’ve tested out my bike lights in anything darker than street lights and I have to say that they were a bit rubbish really, but I’m still happy with them. They gave me enough light to make out what was up ahead, and I was fine when there was no other traffic on the dark back roads between Dalmeny and Edinburgh, but as soon as any car approached I was momentarily blinded, and the moment it passed I was plunged into darkness, and with my night vision ruined I really couldn’t see anything! I pedalled on regardless, hoping that I wouldn’t crash into anything: a hedge, a badger, another blinded cyclist.

I’ve cycled that route loads of times in the day time. But it was a completely different journey in the darkness: brightly illuminated windows in houses to my left, allowing me to see inside; the loud sound of my crank turning (and gears slipping); the smell of wet leaves. I was very aware that I was dressed in black and had forgotten my reflective safety vest. I felt quite vulnerable.

But no hiccups this evening, and I feel great. I really must do this more often.

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

One thought on “Cycling at night”

  1. Cycling is very fulfilling, somehow. especially when you reach the destination, however many miles it be, knowing that you got there under your own steam entirely 🙂
    take care of yourself!

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