Last night I snuck in an unexpected night ride. I haven't been able to plan anything lately due to a crazy work load and when the opportunity arose last night I just chucked the bike in the truck and bolted. I didn't even check the lights but just grabbed some spare batteries.
The car park was empty which had me a little worried as I was riding alone. Not the best idea but I had told Alison where I was riding and that I would ring her at 9pm to let her know where I was and ow I was travelling. She would have called out the search party if it got too late. Five minutes in and I had lost any concerns and was in the zone. Riding at night is such a cool experience. It totally changes your perspective on a ride as you just get that little isolated view in your beam of light. You really focus on that light. Its magically quiet and there were only the odd toad and an errant wallaby for company. I did see a couple of groups of riders who were surprised to see me out on my own and I had a chat to one group at a trail head. I was ripping along Rocket Frog when I heard a "Hey Graham!" as Rupert came whizzing past. How he knew it was me I don't know but we stopped and had a catchup right there on the trail. The mozzies were ferocious though! I reckon a few minutes more and the first group would have arrived back with some friends and carried us all away. Nasty.
Back to pedaling though. I tried the climb up Dingo. I love this trail. The climb is a good workout with some difficult technical sections both up and down and a nice steady grade for the most part. The view from the top was pretty cool too. Looking out over The Gap it reminds you that you're not in the middle of nowhere but just 10k from the city. I am a lucky man. Going back down was cool too. I did decide to walk the worst section as on my own a crash here would be painful and may leave me stuck there for a while. I was happy with that though.
Now it was through the lantana and up into the last of the single track before the car. I was feeling awesome. Rolling down to the car I thought I needed to finish off with the two short sections over the road. Dirt Girls and Pony Express are cool fun. Dirt Girls is a nice little climb and pops out on a fire road. It's pretty loose with some nasty little gravel sections and off camber corners to keep you guessing. Not hard on a normal day but in the dark it seemed harder and more fun! I got to the top of Pony Express and promptly gunned it. This was my normal approach to the trail but perhaps not the best idea in the dark. I almost binned it a number of times but managed to cling on with my butt cheeks and make it to the end. Rolling back down the fire road and the biggest surprise of all came along. A really big goanna! It must have been 7 feet long. The nice warm nights mean that they stay active well after dark. No harm done as he bolted in one direction and I bolted in the other.
When I stopped at the car to pack the bike it was quiet. Really quiet. There was a sliver of moon and not many stars. I just sat on the tail gate and took my shoes off and enjoyed the feeling post ride satisfaction. Bliss.
I'm glad I can't plan.