The idea of an evening club ride sounded nice but getting there on time would never happen given the 20 or so miles I would have to cover within 30 minutes straight from work. Not a problem though, it was a nice warm, sunny and mostly wind free evening, just fine for a trip out so I thought I would meet the others at their pub destination after their ride. Running a bit late after work I quickly had tea, put lights on the bike, got changed and then set off.
It was my normal ride to Lewes, normally done on a Sunday early morning with little traffic, this time I ventured out in the evening rush of cars. Not a problem until I got to Brighton and there was serious traffic, it seemed to take for ever to get through the centre and out the other side along Lewes Road. Now the (again, over the top) cycle path out of Brighton seems mostly complete, cars demoted to single lane traffic while bikes and buses have the other lane. Having lived in Brighton for many years in the past it is sad to see how some of these once wide and clear roads have been turned into narrow congested streets with a multitude of white lines and different colour road surfaces.
I got to Lewes in good time, surprisingly earlier than I had thought seeing as I had left a good 30 minutes late. A pint of Harveys while I waited 10 minutes until the others returned from their ride. While I had not been able to take part in the club ride, it was still good meeting up afterwards and it all made a good excuse for an evening trip and a night ride back home.
Night rides are quite nice, it’s all totally different to a day time trip I always find. Lewes to Brighton was as normal a bit of a trial, mostly slightly uphill and against any wind that may be blowing, but made a bit more exciting by being pitch black. My £3 ebay torch for my front light did a good job in lighting the way, although I found out that the cheaper batteries I am currently using really don’t last for more than an hour. By the time I got home it wasn’t really showing the way too well, good job I had my second light, one to be seen rather than to see by.
For a change my ride through Brighton took me to the seafront and then along until I got home, interesting to find out afterwards that there is little distance or time difference between that and going through the centre of the city. Now I know that, early morning trips to Lewes may be improved by following the coast instead of cutting the corner. Being a warm evening, Brighton seafront was pretty busy, it was best to use the roads rather than attempt to use the shared pavement/cycle path along the front. The wind had increased now and once on the seafront I had the remaining 10 miles battling against it, but it felt like was making good progress which was confirmed when I got home in good time.