What better way to celebrate the longest night than by a bike ride round Hagley Park in the dark? Congratulations to the people who organised the sixth annual Winter Solstice Night Light Bike Ride. It’s the first time I’ve ridden at night, and the first time I’ve ridden in the rain (though luckily the rain stopped before the official ride started). A friend and I braved the rush hour traffic to get to Hagley Park where we joined a crowd of several hundred. I seemed to be the only one with a pink hi-vis vest.
Bicycles were lit up in all kinds of ways and looked great.
Before we started prizes were handed out, and I got one for being a new cyclist. I did wonder whether I may also have been one of the oldest cyclists there. There were lots of youngsters with small bikes, or pillion seats.
We’d been told to cycle in single file, but started off two and three abreast, in a congested group. This meant I needed to ride very slowly, which made me wobble. Round the edge of the park there was some light, but it was extremely dark when we headed through the middle – no street lights there! My new bike headlight is not full beam, and I was glad to follow the tail light of the person in front of me. By then we were well spread out and riding was smoother. There were marshalls at strategic points to say “sharp right here”. In one spot I lost the path, got caught in a wooden edging, and ignominiously fell off. Luckily it was a gentle fall and no harm done.
From now on the light increases!
“What fun to ride around the park
with bikes all lit up in the dark.”