Tuesday 11 December 2012

Getting ready for the Creatures of the Night Brompton Ride!

Friday night/Saturday morning is going to strike fear, trepidation in to the hearts of man and woman! It will bring an icy chill (possibly quite literally) to those brave...mad enough to embark on this perilous sojourn. I write about a Brompton bike ride in London all though the night...yes dear reader, all through the night! Mwah ha ha!

The idea was mine and started out as a mere thought to go out in the early hours in order to photograph famous landmarks/locations when London was asleep. Mentioning it brought the response, 'I'd be up for that.' Soon it became a full fledged event. Then more people signed up for it. Now it is but a few days away!

The weather is set to be decidedly cold and with British weather the way it is, we could encounter, cold, rain, fog, sleet and snow and every combination of this one cares to mention! With this in mind I have been busy thinking about what to wear.

Regular readers will already know that I bought an Altura Windproof jacket and Helly Hanson base layer top. I have worn these in anger with other layers and all worked well to keep me warm, mobile and not bulked out. I have made another purchase. A Helly Hanson balaclava. (I hear some of you gasp with horror). When I was the shop paying for it, I did the same. I mean, good heavens I bought a balaclava! It may Helly Hanson and modern, breathable fibres but it is still a balaclava with all the connotations of the sickly child, sitting on the touch line with a note from Matron. I mean, really!

To my horror when I looked at myself in the mirror I looked like a Ninja. When I did the same 10 minutes later I looked like a middle aged lady from the Middle East. Looking at myself 20 minutes after that (wi contact lenses out and glasses on) I looked like a young Nana Mouskouri with flowing raven coloured locks. This was the final straw! I shall not wear it in the daylight hours...ever!

Another purchase was a new front light. With a few night rides planned and possibly more to come, I needed something more powerful than my current Brompton light. I opted for a Cateye EL520. (I say opted but let us just say a follower of my humble blog gave me a very generous discount).

It is waterproof, takes 4 x AA batteries (supplied) and has a good quick release bracket. There are two modes but there is little difference between them. On the lower light setting the battery lasts up to 150 hours with 1800 candle power.

First impressions are good and it should prove to be a good all round commuter light. I think I will use some rechargeable batteries I already have when the current set run low.

So, I think I am all set for Friday and stupidly I am actually looking forward to it, regardless of weather. We have lots of stops planned in any locations that are open 24 hours to warm us up and have a cups of tea/coffee. It should be a memorable ride! Some of my family and friends think that it is a crazy idea if it were the height of summer, let alone winter. Still, like a small child I have a growing excitement about it all. Look out for more entries on this and perhaps it might induce you to do the same wherever you live?

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