I finally got in my first night ride for the fall/winter. Riding at night is really amazing. Everything seems a little more mysterious, and magic seems possible.
I sent out an invite to the group, but no takers. Gregg was going to ride with me, but seems to be coming down with something. It was really cold out, and he was pretty tired, so I tucked him in for a nap and went out on my own. I do enjoy the company of other riders. Welcome it with open arms. Actually beg for it sometimes. But riding trails alone at night is actually really nice too. Peaceful. Wonderful.
I could tell right away that I've been too long off the bike. I've ridden the cruiser around town a few times, but that's no preparation for riding up a mountain (or an over-sized "hill", in this case). I was BEAT by the time I got to the top of 29th St., and that's just where the off-road riding begins.
Soon after leaving the pavement I interrupted a small group of deer. They split when they saw me coming, leaving the road in opposite directions. I felt a little bad for interrupting their dinner.
My original plan had been to ride the gravel road to the intersection of upper and lower Horse, take upper Horse to get to the top of Dimple, take Dan's trail back down, and come back via the top of 29th. I ended up being so fried by the time I got to Horse that I cut off the upper loop and just came down lower Horse and back to 29th. Basically, I did half my ride. A tiny bit of a let-down, but better to be out there doing half my ride than to not get out there at all.
As I was nearing the road again I saw more glowing eyes in my headlamp. A lot of glowing eyes. A bigger group than the first time. I thought it was the same group of deer until I got closer to the road and spotted another group. I saw at least seven pairs of glowing deer eyes. They didn't seem to be bothered by me at all. Watchful, but not bothered. They were beautiful. And in a few cases very, very big. But mostly beautiful.
It was a nice night for a ride.