Tonight, 11 of us gathered for the first official Night Ride of the dark season. The Night Rides will continue, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from now until we change back to Daylight Savings Time. I really like these rides. They are not terribly long (under 40 miles), they make me work, and, well, they're fun! They also help with my bike handling skills, which is great come race season.
Chip gave a nice speech about safety, and how the Night Rides are not for sprint intervals and high heart rates. The pace is not at all fast. I felt compelled to make a comment that they might not experience high heart rates, or a fast pace, but that I would certainly experience both in just keeping up with them. But, that's okay. It makes me stronger and faster.
With the speech-ifying done, we headed up the trail. Not long after starting, Brad and I were on the front when a Snowy Owl flew right over our heads! Hedwig lives! At the same time, I glanced to my right just as a possum went scurrying into the brush. You don't see that on a daylight ride!
We went north to the end of the trail and out onto the road. Because there is currently a lot of debris on the trail, I much prefer the road--particularly the roads with no shoulders. That may seem counterintuitive, but the shoulders also have a lot of debris, yet cars expect us to ride on the shoulder.
Coming back into town on Eastbay Dr., I ran over a stick (some of that debris I mentioned). Even though I was riding my rain bike with a Schwalbe Durano Plus rear tire, I flatted. Fortunately, there was a street light nearby. The group stopped, and Dave pretty much changed the tire for me. I inflated the tire and put it back on. With a couple of adjustments, things were good to go. I had a brief moment where I couldn't find my glove. Dave found that too. The beauty of having teammates!
We rode the rest of the way back into town and back to the trailhead. I topped off the tire pressure with Maria's floor pump at her car, and headed home.
The Inaugural Night Ride was just under 40 miles for me. Average speed was 16.2--still pretty peppy for the dark.