Friday, April 4, 2008

A good day to ride


Riding in the rain is grim. More grim is riding in the rain at night, And grimmest of all, is riding through Whitechapel and Mile End in the rain at night. Never pretty, this route is transformed into a series of deep black canyons. All you can see are lights in your mirrors and streaked red lights on your visor. The roads are often slippy with spilled diesel – often one continuous slick as if a lorry drove ahead of you with it pouring from a tap.

But today was definitely a spring day. Warm, soft pink light and sudden blossom on the tree outside our house. For the first time in months I had to ask myself whether to wear an open-face or a full-face helmet. I folded my lap cover against the legshields – the air on my legs felt strange. The traffic’s always lighter on a Friday, and today was even quieter. Best of all, it was green lights almost all the way and I covered the five or so miles in 20 minutes.

The best riding to work is on Sunday shifts when I set off around 7am. The roads are empty, and if the conditions are just right the sky can be spectacular. This image was taken last November. The picture’s not doctored. Who ever thought an East End sky could be that colour?

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