04 Nov 2016 8:58am (2 years ago)
And by this I don't mean it's getting cold, yet, or anything. This weekend we moved out of British Summer Time and the clocks went back.
So in preparation for the cold and wet to come I ordered myself some more appropriate cycling clothing, after all I can't wear shorts and short-sleeves all year. This wasn't a blind decision I got some advice at the Giant Store in Liverpool (http://www.giant-liverpool.co.uk/en-GB/).
What I decided to go for was Biblongs, Waterproof cycling jacket and Overshoes.
These are basically cycling dungarees, think Lycra that hooks over your shoulders to stop them falling down. The ones I opted for are the Endura SL Pro Biblongs. They have a fleece lining, are water repellent and have reflective panels for better visibility in the dark.
Says it all really. I could have gotten a red one but on grounds of safety and visibility I choose the high-vis option. The jacket I chose was the Endura Luminite 4-in-1 jacket. It's waterproof, breathable, highly visible, has a fleece lining which can be removed and has a built in light at the back.
As with any activity it's important to protect your extremities (this being said I still need winter gloves and a hat). These are to go over the cycling shoes to keep my feet warm and dry. The overshoes I chose are the Endura MT500 overshoes. Large enough to go over my mountain bike shoes, still a very tight fit.
When I left the house yesterday there was a proper London Pea-Souper, I could hardly see 5m in front of me. While fog is not as dangerous as for cars due to the speed difference it’s still not easy to she what coming up ahead.
With cycling along the canal the fog is much slower to clear and denser than on the roads, I shall have to watch for this in the future.
When I left work, 17:45, it was already dark. I thought this is fine I have lights and all the way up to the canal was just fine, there were street lights and car lights. The lights on my bike meant that I was visible to other road users.
Although once I reached the towpath these were no longer available to me and it turns out that my lights are not fit for purpose if I want to be guided by them in the darkness. This meant that my progress along the canal was slow.
I hoped that when I got to Victoria Park that there would be lighting in the park.
Instead of lighting at Victoria Park I found a locked gate. So further down the tow path I went. I spotted a small gate into the park that was still being used and I jumped in. Whilst cycling in almost darkness other cyclists would pass me in the other direction and mumble something at me. The thing they were mumbling soon became evident when I got to the far side of the park, "Gates locked".
There's a petition to get Tower Hamlets to keep the park open later.
In the mean time I need to find a new route home.
So after riding in darkness I now have a new front light. The Lezyne Hecto 300 what a difference this makes.
All I need now is gloves and a hat.