Night

“Take the highway to the end of the night.

Take a journey to the bright midnight.”

                                                                           – The Doors

This weekend marks the end of Daylight Savings Time, which means (barring days off from work) all my weekday cycling will occur during hours of darkness.  Daylight Savings Time returns on March 11, 2012.

For those of you who want to keep track, that’s 128 days away.

It’s time to embrace the darkness and attempt to maintain some level of cycling fitness through the cold weather months.  It’s also time to confront drivers, cyclists, runners, and walkers who have varying levels of preparedness for conducting their activities at night.  It is my earnest hope not to run over any pedestrians who choose to clad themselves in dark, nonreflective clothing.  There are few cyclists out at night in my neck of the woods but the few who are about will hopefully have lights on front and rear (a 50-50 proposition, based on personal experience).  In an attempt to avoid cars whenever possible, I will restrict my movements to multiuse paths and quiet neighborhood streets.  As ice begins to appear, the hybrid will emerge from the garage and the Trek will take extended breaks.  I shall endeavor to find pleasure in the stillness of a winter’s eve and not miss the sounds of crickets and birds.

Wish me luck!

The Trek at rest, at night (there's a small lake on the other side of the guardrail)

Historical Marker Segment!

It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to bring you this long-running blog feature.  I’m afraid I’ve encountered almost all the historical markers within a 30-mile radius of my home, which makes encounters with these new markers on my Chancellorsville ride all the more special.

The first marker can be found at the main road juncture on the Chancellorsville Battlefield.  It’s remarkably brief, yet accurate.  After reading it, the casual visitor probably has no idea that he is standing on the site of an epic victory for the Southern cause.

This marker is about ten miles from the battlefield and was thus a pleasant surprise.  I chuckled at what must have been Jeb Stuart’s reaction to the news he had to abandon his supporting attack.  He just couldn’t let it go after all that work and decided to put three volleys into the Federals before leaving to take over Jackson’s Corps!

This last marker is in Richardsville, just across the county line into Culpeper County.  It chooses an interesting event to commemorate and an even more interesting way of saying it.  It gives you a sense of the sort of community I was riding in out there in the wilderness.

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13 thoughts on “Night

  1. Be safe. I’m trying to eek the last good days of touring out of my season. Leaving the house at 4:30 tomorrow (Friday) to go to Tennessee and ride the Natchez Trace. I’m taking a “flat Stanley” (a third grade class project) to do the blogging on this one;)
    Do wear good reflective wear.

  2. Steve – I bike super early in the morning here in Richmond and someone suggested the Magic Shine Light which I bought on eBay. It works really well so far and is very affordable (as far as bike lights go).

  3. Yes, the darkness approaches and the Bike Ninjas emerge. I have learned to enjoy the dark cycling, but it was not always so.
    The end of daylight savings is one of my personal holidays. I look forward to that extra hour of sleep for months in advance. I have often proposed that we should get at least 5% interest on the hour we put into savings in the spring, but people seem doubtful 😉

    • An extra hour of sleep is one of the few things November has going for it. That and Thanksgiving, although I realize that holiday is a month earlier in Canada.

      • WW2, the RAF had deployed an airborn Radar to help our nightfighters intercept German bombers, the Germans were mystified as to how their aircraft were being lost in large numbers all of a sudden.

        The ministry of information put a story out that carrots were discovered to have properties that help eyesight, especially night vision and even went so far as to publish a news story that said so and included a photo of RAF night fighter pilots eating carrots!

  4. I thought of you when we passed by two historical markers yesterday and didn’t stop.

    Night riding on the road bike is not for me. There’s a big local group that does ‘Urban Assault’ rides on mountain bikes that sound great, but alas, I don’t have a mountain bike. Will stick to weekends and the weight room until Spring.

    Be safe out there!

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