Having bought a Maxx Exposure Joystick a couple of months ago, I had been itching to go out for a night ride, but apart from a solo ride to Devil’s Dyke to test the light I had not managed to go out properly. Commuting to London does not help night riding summer or winter but half term offered an opportunity and with a Thursday ride from Sussex University on offer I grabbed the chance.
Meeting in the car park on what was turning into a chilly evening we were then joined by Mark, his first time with the group. In the end it seemed like a stroll in the park for Mark but it was good to hear some of his stories of the local characters he has come across in Stanmer woods!
The ride itself is a bit of a blur. Leaving the university we headed out on a path followed by a stretch of grass. Ronnie promised this was the only grass section but this was slightly misleading. We were then into the woods and after that I just remember weaving in and out of trees hanging on to anyone’s tail. A long gentle climb allowed some time to take in the night atmosphere, which had been one of the appeals of getting out and then we were off again. Despite changing to winter tyres I found myself slipping all over the place as the afternoon rain and the dropping temperature combined and every root seemed to determined to get me off.
There was a brief interlude as Ronnie’s light lost power and as sweeper was left literally in the dark but Rich gallantly went back while the rest of us chewed the fat on other good rides.
As we came towards the end of the ride, a drop and sudden turn up had me over but one small cut on the leg was all I had to show for my first night ride.
The two hours flew by and it was all over too quickly. I need to work from home on a Thursday more!