Ride your bike

Through the woods, at night - but don't forget your light

My love of surfing and cycling gets cramped at this time of year.

With shorter days and less daylight, surfing after work becomes less possible.

Surfing requires me to schedule a certain portion of my work day after dark so that I can take advantage of the mid day sun.

Mountain biking is much more flexible.

We ride through the woods, at night.

“It’s easier at night,” Marc will quip. “You don’t see what you’re getting into.”

There’s a lot of truth there.

Despite wearing super bright Led lights on our helmets, they are unidirectional.

Our spotlights lack all of the nuanced fill light from the sun.

As such, many of the obstacles - roots, rocks, jumps and drops become flattened out. Their dimensionality is missing.

With this lack of depth and nuance, it’s frequently a matter of ‘go fast and absorb the jank.’

With this lack of depth and nuance, I’m riding a lot on faith. Faith in the ability of my bike and body to absorb the nastiest of the bumps.

When I hold on tight and tense up both my body and bike take a pounding.

When I can give in to the faith and let things flow, things truly do become easier.

What’s more?

There have been times that I’ve returned to some particularly nasty bits of trail in daylight. With the ability to see the full depth of the hazards, I’ve proceeded with much more caution. Progress was more slow. I tired more quickly.

Funny enough?

I could say the same things for starting any creative project. If I could see all of the bumps, if I truly knew just how difficult things would be, I likely never would have started.

Do you like to see all of the resistance?

Do you want to know what all of the hazards will be?

Or, is it easier to ride in the dark?