light and shade

i noticed this week, leaving as i do at 6.30am, that the sky was no longer an inky black, but a dark and crepescular violet. this made me feel happier; it means the days are getting visibly longer. it’s two minutes a day, a minute at either end; over a week that’s nearly 7 whole minutes, the steady and inexorable expansion of the day.

i’m happier because i like the observations; i look forward to the sunrise across belmont and dundry, the sun rolling along the hedgerows, and startling wildlife as i silently ghost along the lanes to claverham. but perhaps more than that, it means i won’t be getting a faceful of undimmed carlight at least 10 times a day. this is my recurrent ‘shakes fist’ moment of the winter; new cars seem to be equipped with some kind of radical blue pinpoint halogen retina detacher instead of a front light; this means when they round the corner, or go over a brow, i can’t see a thing, and am reducing to stopping at the side of the road.

there’s a sort of arms race, most of the (admittedly few hardy souls) i see in the lanes this time of year have seriously bright cycling lights, hundreds of pounds worth – in fact i’ve nearly been blinded by a few of them as well.  i have a hope vision one, it’s amazing, but i can also dazzle car drivers; it feels like the brighter car lights get, the brighter cyclists feel they have to be to compensate. anyway, it’s worse in the morning – i think because the klutzes are half asleep and don’t think to dim. for a while i took to shining my light at the windscreen, but then had second thoughts – it could cause all sorts of issues, not least of which a swerve and crash that might ruin my commute as well. now i try to be more zen, and limit my ministrations to the occasional use of the middle finger, raised skywards.

the roads are still seriously filthy, majorly horrid, and will be for some months to come as all the animal waste and slurry and farmer shit washes off the fields and coats the lane. my bike is creaking; and it’s yellow, but looks like it’s been ridden by an incontinent diarrhoea sufferer during a particularly unhinged, loose attack. i shall leave it that way for when i go to the london, in the hope that the metropolitahipsters don’t steal bicycles covered in shit.

last thing – have you read the rider yet? read it now.

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