Friday 26 September 2014

Just In Time for Autumn

I injured myself the week before vacation and didn't ride.  On vacation there was some cycling but it was a lot less than I'm used to riding at home.  Then a couple of solidly booked weekends with a mostly rainy week where I only rode twice.  Then I got really sick for over a week.  So I've been looking forward to my regular routine.

Ontario rural county road, limit of 80kph.
My enthusiasm was tempered when I heard about a cyclist who got killed recently.  It happened in rural Ontario, along a county road much like the route I take.  It was a nice smooth road, had a big paved shoulder and generally seemed pretty safe.  At least, I thought they were pretty safe.  It has me watching the road (ahead and behind me) with a renewed vigilance.  I find having a glasses-mounted mirror helps.

Sunsets are beautiful when they aren't trying to blind you.
I feel like autumn always sneaks up on me.  I don't notice the signs until they really stand out and surprise me.

One of the more unpleasant surprises is the sun setting much earlier.  As a cyclist this has multiple impacts.  The weather gets colder, which means you need to dress warmer.  Some of the area is wetland and river, so there are lots of bugs at dusk; which is now a lot sooner.  Heading west at any part of the ride is pretty blinding.  Gotta pack 2 pairs of glasses too; a tinted one for sunset and a clear one for when it gets too dark for the tinted ones.

The local wildlife.
Last but not least, my province's HTA insists on both lights and reflector-covered forks when it's near dark.  Also, it is easier to be seen during daylight.  So I just avoid the 30 mins prior to sunup/sundown.  That has been happening a lot sooner.  Eventually I will have to do my weekday rides in the early morning instead of after work.

As I was peddling down a road, a local runner was smiling and flagging me down.  As I approached he pointed out some deer at the side of the road.  There are three in the picture but the third one is a bit hidden.

It felt really good to get back on the Valence again.  I'm hoping with a bit of luck, a little help from DST and layering, I will be able to extend the Valence right into the end of October.

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