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Riding into the darkness

by on August 19, 2010

This Ride: 20.2 miles
Kona Distance: 2,819 miles
Month to date: 480.1 miles
2010 Total: 3,285.5 miles
Pace to 5,254.8 mile goal in 2010: (113.4 miles ahead of goal pace)

There are those mornings when it would feel so good to stay in bed. This was one of them. Early in the ride I thought I had made a mistake getting on the bike, but I get ahead of myself.

When I rolled out of bed this morning (4:55) it was only through force of habit that I was even navigating through the routine.  I pulled out the bike, filled a water bottle, got everything set up and ready to go.  But it was the little things that got me.  It is always the little things.  Simple, really.  No big deal.  I forgot to put the sweatband on before the helmet.  Off comes the helmet.  I started out and immediately noted that I had left the filled water bottle on the counter.  Ok, I’ll just use the smaller spare bottle on the bike and take it a bit easier.  I didn’t want to ride hard this morning.  At my third traffic light, where I usually grab a drink (the light has only been green for me once), I noticed that my NiteRider was glowing red.  I remember reading that the red light comes on when there is less than 10%  power remaining in the battery.  I immediately switched to the lowest power setting and noted the time.

There was sufficient light coming out of the NiteRider to ride, but I rode a little slower because of reduced visibility (really … it had nothing to do with my desire to ride more slowly this morning).  In about 10 minutes, the light just went out.  The NiteRider keeps full illumination until it dies.  I wondered if it would slowly dim into darkness.  No, it goes out as if the switch was turned off.

Now it is not quite “civil twilight” and I’m riding a tree-lined trail with no headlight.  I slow down a little more (really … it had to do with reduced visibility) and kept an eagle-eye out for runners and other dangerous persons who had the gall to negotiate the trail without a light.  When I did encounter someone head-on, I powered on the NiteRider which would illuminate just long enough to give warning that some idiot was riding without lights.  At least that worked a couple of times.  I didn’t hit anyone I that I know of, and soon twilight was upon the world and visibility came up nicely.

An uneventful trip back home, but I cut it short.  I really am feeling fatigued.  The NiteRider is recharging right now.

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