The cyclist in the dark

It was a dark late afternoon…

Autumn can be a beautiful season under some aspects, but one thing I really dislike of this season is how early darkness falls on the city. One afternoon I went for a bike ride right after work, using my trusty bike lamp to shed some light on my path.

The temperature was good, and I thought that doing 30 km would have been good enough. So I decided to go till Vrané nad Vltavou . Prague is a generous city when it comes to street lighting: unfortunately on my way back, I had to cross a stretch of unlit trail.

Lost

And that’s when my bike lamp failed me. Just at the beginning of the unlit path, the light goes off. The muffled noise of the street, the splashing sound of the river, the feeling of being lost in the dark.

Equipped with thin 25mm road tires, and no visual on the trail, I was ready for a painful ride back home.

Shimmer

While I was cursing myself for not charging my bike lamp, I was rescued by a faint light coming from behind me. I then heard the peculiar sound of bicycles. Two fellow riders, equipped with charged batteries, were about to overtake me. As they did, I settled in their wheels, now able to see what was on my way.

And so we cruised back to Prague city.

Another dark late afternoon

Same path, different year, same darkness. This time my battery was in good shape, and I was cranking my pedals on the way home, when all of a sudden I see a shadow standing in my way…or better: riding in my same direction. An old man, on his bicycle, and absolutely no light to signal his position, or to show him the way.

His speed was much lower than mine, so I hit the brakes, turned the light to the highest intensity, and settled on his wheel. And so we went until we reached the street lights.

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