Night Riding - when you are not alone out in the woods.

Can you hear banjos? This is normally what you internalise out on the trails at night, when everything is spooky. Packed the garlic? Check. Silver nitride? Check. Made sure all batteries for your lights and tazers are fully charged? Check. Well, everything ready so no excuse not to go out. Bloomin' X-Factor on the television, and I'm buggered if I'm stopping in to catch that. So, out solo, expected quietness, and funny sounds in the deep, dark woods. It's always fine out solo, but always a little titsy bit frightening as well. That's why I do it.

What I didn't expect, up on Reigate Hill and over at Colley Hill, were hoards of families with little children and torches. What the!? Ah, bonfire night. These would be the cheapskates watching all the bonfire parties over on the Weald instead of paying event admission charges. Over on Reigate Hill they did fine, some great views of little explosions, but by heck on Colley near the memorial was it blowing a gale. I'd ridden up in a t-shirt but on the top it got cold pretty quickly so I went to put a small jacket on. Tried and almost failed - took me several minutes of fighting with the wind to get the sod on. Must have been fun for a three year old up there, walking about in 60km/h gusts.

Took my trusty Gemini lights; Xera helmet and Olympia handlebar. Didn't really need two as it was quite bright out and I ran them on low power. Bet you're glad you wasted four seconds of your life reading that sage advice, eh?


And my totems? Since putting trailside found toy Panda bear onto the bike my ten year old daughter has started to call me The Nutter. Fair point, but what do I care what people think? For the moment attaching trail side finds to my bike pleases me in some small minded way. It's silly. It's pointless. It makes me look a twat. So? I'll move on soon, quite probably to buying another bike; a fatty or CX - bikes poles apart but in my mind exactly the same. Slightly silly, but huge fun in small doses.

Out last night, no issues even through 'Phil's Bush' which was a quagmire. Even found a little Mini van toy for my son. No idea how such a thing would get there - really out in the sticks of Surrey. And today, my Sunday spin out? Did the totem's work? Tough one that. No mean spirits with me, but I did bust a spoke and the dryer at home blew the heating element. In compensation I discovered that home made pumpkin pie tastes even better with grated fresh chilli on, and that mashed up fish pie makes a great cheesy fishy sauce for home made chips.