#5000colo Day 10: Dancing in the Dark

Distance travelled: 26.29 miles
Cumulative distance: 236.64 miles
Distance remaining: 4763.36 miles
Percentage complete: 4.73
Villages visited: Great Yarmouth, Caister on Sea, Filby, Fleggburgh, Billockby, South Walsham, Panxworth, Woodbastwick, Salhouse.

After a day off the bike yesterday, it was brilliant to be back in the saddle for a very different kind of ride.

Three intrepid fundraisers have just ridden more than 400 miles in four days, from Barmouth in west Wales to Yarmouth, to raise money for The 12th Man (one of my chosen beneficiaries) and Young Minds, a national youth mental health charity.

Rob, Carl and Pat arrived in Yarmouth around 6.30pm this evening, and I went along to meet them and welcome them home. If you’d like to support their amazing efforts, you can do so here.

I then rode back to Norwich, with Tim from The 12th Man accompanying me as far as Acle. Only Yarmouth and Acle were ‘new’ places for me, but I was happy to sacrifice new villages for the chance to go and meet the ‘three amigos’.

This was my first experience of night riding, and it was absolutely awesome. The sun was setting as we left Yarmouth, and we had a stunning twilight ride up the coast towards Caister. I then realised I’d been so sucked in by the beautiful backdrop I’d forgotten to pay attention to the map, and we’d gone ‘off route’; it was easily rectified, though.

I then realised I’d forgotten to put on my hydration backpack, and thus had no water for the ride. Tim kindly nipped into the Co-op in Caister and got me a bottle of water and a protein bar, and we set off westwards towards Acle.

There was one absolutely gorgeous moment where we passed over Filby Broad, and the fading red and purple sky reflected off the surface of the water as we flew by. Shortly after this I realised my front light was out of battery; once again, Tim bailed me out by lending me his spare. Hero!

We parted ways at Acle, and I did the second half of the route alone. Darkness had totally descended by this point, and there was something really exciting and liberating about zipping through the countryside in pitch black, with just my powerful light cutting a swathe through the darkness.

I think I’ll plan some more night rides soon, to prepare myself for the shorter daylight hours when the clocks go back.

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