If I hadn't been doing 30 days of biking, I wouldn't have gone out tonight.
I wouldn't have dug out the good waterproof, and the big headlight, and the bike with the mudguards, and the winter boots, and headed out after dark into the tempest. But I am doing 30 days if biking, and a washout bank holiday is almost over, so out I go. And once you've made that much effort, you might as well make a ride of it. Say an hour, keep you honest.
20 minutes in and I'm chewing the handlebars into a gale and driving rain and wondering why I bother. But the rain eases and I turn and take the lanes home, all alone save for the tailwind. And suddenly it's great to be out. The rain's woken the wildlife; I pass frogs and toads – even a newt – braving the tarmac and caught in the beam. There's endless rustling in the verges and the odd pair of indeterminate bright eyes winking in the dark. An owl swoops silently across the lane; startled pigeons are roused from the boughs.
I'm on roads I know but in the dark it feels like a different county. The rain has submerged huge sections of the lane making for interesting and damp progress. There's sketchy moments on damp gravelly descents and a lazy climb to finish, and an hour and a half and 30km later I'm home, smiling. It's one to remember. Thank goodness for 30 days of biking.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.