Just Riding

Shadow Play

I switch my light off and stand for a moment in the forest while my eyes adjust from the bright white of my bike lights to the silvery glow from the half moon high in the sky above me. Tonight is a beautiful night for ride. Stars twinkle in a crystal clear sky and the air is mild and calm.

I ride on and up through the forest, my eyes now accustomed to the moon’s glow. This world of silvery grey and black constantly changing and casting new shapes and shadows around me. The climbing continues. The forest track is flanked with broadleaved trees, and their bare crowns cast complex shadows over me as I ride beneath.

Nearing the top the track enters into some dense spruce trees. I leave the light off and enter the blackness. My world of silver grey and black is reduced almost entirely to black. I can barely see the ground beneath my wheels and the edges of the track are only visible out of the corner of my eye. A faint glow of moon light gradually appears in the distance as the edge of the forest approaches.

Eventually I burst out of the dark spruce trees into a mountain landscape bathed in moonlight. The lower flanks of the Beacons rise up from the edge of the forest, their crisp dark edges against a bright starry sky.

I linger for a while, content with my solitude in the landscape that surrounds me and the vastness of the universe above. I hesitate to embark on the descent, knowing that as soon as I switch my light back on I will leave this intriguing world of moonlight and shadows and all the infinite beauty of the stars and confine my world once again to a pool of stark whiteness.


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