Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Moonlight Riding

Is the "Harvest Moon" in September, or October? (Maybe it used to be September, but now it's October due to Global Warming, huh?)

On of my life's little unusual pleasures is the occasional moonlight ride on the bicycle.

Traditionally I pick a route where I don't have to share space with motor vehicles, just to be on the safe side. (And also to get away from the din of motor traffic.)

My favorite route is probably on our Greenbelt east of town. Starting from the Warm Springs Golf Course or thereabouts, and riding out to Sandy Point. Summer and early autumn is particularly nice, when you can hear the grand summer chorus of crickets and frogs.

Although it's not the safest practice, I personally like to ride without the lights, depending on the moonlight for illumination. When it's shining bright, it provides plenty of shine for seeing the pathway and other denizens of that pathway (both other users and the critters that cross much more frequently at night). The moon-illumination and the quiet both contribute to an almost other-worldly experience.

Last night, I rode a loop out around the airport on Gowen Road, and watched as that big orange moon came up over the foothills. Awesome! Then I took Broadway down to Federal Way, and got on the bike/pedestrian path to complete the loop. (I had my blinky taillight going for safety, although traffic was extremely light. And was carrying a handheld flashlight, which I turned on at appropriate times. In a few more weeks, the handlebar-mounted headlight will go on for the "dark" months.)

NOTE: I do not endorse the notion of riding at night without a headlight, particularly where it's important that you be seen by other roadway users. It's stupid and illegal to ride in traffic without lights. The only time I feel comfortable in that mode is when I'm out of traffic, and when I'm intimately familiar with my route.


Clancy said...

The moon has been great. We were up at Lucky Peak waterskiing late and watched that moon peak over. Amazing how large it looks.

Anonymous said...

I love riding in the dark so am looking forward to daylight savings time ending.

Moonlight riding on the greenbelt sounds like fun. Hope that you weren't blinded by any cyclists using too much lighting for the conditions.

db said...

The moon has been great for commuting on the last couple mornings. Still use my lights, but at least it's not completely dark when I ride to work.