Monday, 28 January 2008

An hour makes all the difference

For some people, this time in January will still be synonymous with the depths of winter. Sure, the warmer weather is a long way off and we're sure to get some much colder weather any time up to April or beyond, but for me, it's the light that makes the difference. Perhaps its cycling through the mid-winter months that gives a heightened sensitivity to the change of seasons, but by the third week of January, it feels like spring is on the way. No longer is it dark by half-past three in the afternoon. Dusk is getting on for 5pm. Nor is it permanently gloomy until after ten in the morning. The daylight, even through the clouds, is much brighter and it feels better. The morning ride is accompanied by birdsong, audible even above the road noise. The birds know spring is around the corner and are busy preparing for a new nesting season and the trees although bare, are showing signs of budding.

I'm still cycling at both ends of the day with the lights on but it won't be long until I leave them at home. In some respects I'll miss cycling in the dark and I intend taking some evening rides through the year to make up for it. Meanwhile the next few weeks commuting can still be dangerous as low sunlight can obscure cyclists from drivers' vision. Stay alert and safe out there.

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