Saturday, 14 August 2010

Immortality or lack of foresight?

Last night I went cycling, as I usually do most nights. I've been getting a tad bored with my normal route, so I thought I'd try something different.

My new route took me over Laira bridge and before long I was following the Oreston cycle path, then cutting across Radford lake dam wall.
I had a giggle when I surprised two teenagers walking on an otherwise deserted and pitch black footpath circling the water treatment works. To be honest, I think I scared them witless by suddenly appearing in a blaze of light!
From there I passed the Royal Marines' base before swinging back and cycling UP Hooe Hill. I'll be honest and tell you I stopped several times - that hill is murderous!

Once at the top the road flattens out and before long I turned right, heading towards Jennycliff. I stopped to take a picture of Plymouth at night, but my phone's camera really isn't very good at night photography!
Soon the road was all twists and turns and a reasonably steep downhill. Ordinarily I wouldn't complain, except my front light isn't good enough for speeds much above 20 mph so I had to brake most of the time.
Even so, some of the turns caught me slightly off guard, which isn't surprising seeing as my speed at times exceeded 30 mph.

The plan was to stop at Jennycliff to guzzle down some badly needed water and take some pics, but when I got there there was a surprising number of cars, scooters and people. It seemed a bit like a boy racer meeting point, and this impression was reinforced when the sudden arrival of a police car led to many cars being started up. Obviously they didn't like having a friendly police visit!

As a result, my thirst was quenched on the go and I skipped any other planned photo opportunities. In case you were wondering, prior to Jennicliff it'd be foolish to even try and drink while riding down the twisty bits in the dark!

Now, I don't want to be anywhere near roads used by boy racers as their regular recklessness could kill quite easily, especially on dark, narrow & twisty lanes.

The entire episode had me thinking: am I taking stupid risks? Am I behaving as if I'm immortal, or am I simply not thinking things through enough? I'm in my forties now, so one would hope by now I've learnt how to be sensible - although my lovely wife might feel I have much learning to do yet! :-D

Still, I've made up my mind that I'd avoid that area at night. Suddenly my normal route doesn't seem so boring after all (plus it still has a few decent hills, even if nothing on the scale of Hooe Hill).