I had a day off from commuting today so I thought I’d take the opportunity to get out and go a bit further than usual on the bike. Ever since I stopped cycling to Battersea I’ve known that I’d have to get out of my comfort zone of just cycling to and from the station every day and try and extend my range, or I’d end up too scared to cycle anywhere at all (I was definitely raised in the ‘get back on the horse after you’ve fallen off’ school as a child). Anyway, it being a sunny day, and with an hour to spare, I headed off and explored the back streets and even the bigger streets around the South Bank. And it was fine. I did a couple of multi-lane roundabouts, and a right turn across two lanes of traffic, and never once felt in danger of anything except getting out of breath.
But even so, I had a nagging feeling that something was wrong. I had my scary yellow jacket on, my gloves, my trusty backpack, now complete with its own flashing hi-visibility vest; I was accompanied by the squeaks and rattles that always accompany me when I’m on my bike; my air horn was poised ready on one side of my handlebars, my bell on the other, and still something seemed to be missing, something not quite right. It was only as I got home that I realised what it was. For months now I’ve been going out in the dark and coming home in the dark whenever I’ve got on my bike. I’m simply not used to cycling in daylight any more.
Summer? It just can’t come soon enough.