Blind + Crazy: Strangers In The Night

Postby crazychris on Wed 24/Sep/08 3:04pm

What's madder than taking a blind person mountain biking? Doing it at night!
Yep, tonight we headed out to the river stopbanks. We had to scale a few fences (4 each way) during the ride down to the stopbanks, using a secret route I scouted out earlier in the week. I was looking for a shortcut from home to McLeans Island, and as off-road as possible. I found it, and we got some permission to use the road so long as we take care of it. As a short-cut, it only adds about 2km to the journey. Each way. So a trip from home to McLeans Island for a quick 10km lap adds up to about 35km, but that's for later, not tonight.
We headed off at dusk, quickly made it to the first gate (barbed wire) and were over in rapid time. Second gate, even quicker. A 3km burst to gate #3, dodging and weaving around the rabbits, who all seemed friendly enough, although a little scared, then a final stretch to the last gate, and the stopbanks were in front of us. 
The sun has set, it is that odd light wherethe difference in colours means a pothole. Maybe. I flick on my homemade 50watt halogen headlamp and now I can see, although it doesn't make the ride any softer - we have no suspension on the front, so I can feel every rock and hole as the front wheel parts the gravel like the bow of a large ship.
In short time, it's black, and without light we'd be stuck in the wilderness, lost, sad, hungry. We make it to the end of the river, or as far as we can go, and wheel back to the road we came in on. Soft gravel + tandems = scary as hell! Thefront wheel is bouncing and sliding through the deep stuff, and Logan is still peddling away like a mad badger, seemingly unconcerned for our combined safety!
With some relief, we arrive back at the access road. Probably just as well as my light is dying fast (yea, I should have charged the battery first I guess) so we push down the road nice and swiftly. It is black, no moon or stars, the fog is starting to descend, and I'm surging down the road with about 2watts of light in front, and a madman behind. I can't see a damn thing and just hope we're not heading towards disaster as Logan pushes us faster and faster. I see the rabbits again, only now they don't seem so scared of us and their eyes are glowing with malice in the weak light I am giving off... We leap the gates with the light finally dying somewhere between the last two. But now we are back in civilisation, streetlights!
A quick spin home (test those top gears out) and we arrive safe. My hands are still clenching the handlebars, and I think they are gonna hurt tomorrow, but we didn't crash. This means thattest is over, and we need a new challenge for tomorrow... Hmm... I think we'll be doing singletrack before too much longer.

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