BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘daylight’

#365daysofbiking Lighting up time

Saturday January 30th 2021 – I had to nip to the shops on an errand, but wanted to miss the worst of the lockdown queues, so went as late in the day as possible, and then headed up to Walsall Wood to get some bits for a DIY project, I realised it was still just about light at 4:45pm.

Spring really can’t be far away now, the light is flooding back.

Even on this grey, chilly winter day, it filled my heart with joy.

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#365daysofbiking Approaching equity

March 14th – One of the nice but pointlessly geeky things about riding with a GPS bike computer is the ability to see sunrise and sunset times change every day.

That’s not so great when nights are closing in, but when they’re opening out, it’s lovely to watch; and one of the things that always makes me happy is the spring equinox.

The science of the equinox/equilux is basically beyond me but the equinox is when the length of day is equal to the length of night, and the difference between sunset and sunrise is 12 hours. I always find it intriguing that thins’t smack bang at 6pm and 6pm, which would be neat, but usually around 6:15.

Every year this gets me, and every year I’m as delighted and inspired by it.

Find out more about the science of the equinox here.

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#365daysofbiking Delicious progress

January 4th – And glancing at the GPS mid-ride, I noticed a simple, delicious fact: Sunset was now over ten minutes later than it was on the shortest day, ten days ago.

Already, we are reclaiming the night.

With drier, better weather this has meant the blessed, absence of dark until gone 4:30pm.

Winter, I’ll beat ya yet, you old rogue.

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#365daysofbiking 25 minutes to go

November 16th – Getting home, I looked at the GPS and noticed sunset – which I hadn’t really been tracking this year at all over much – was now at 4:14pm. I think it tends to peak at about 3:50pm, so I guess we have a further 25 minute slide before things inexorably start to improve – and that’s only just over a month away.

Bring it on!

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#365daysofbiking Approaching equity

March 7th – Things that happen while you’re not looking.

The darkness is receding fast now – we’re gaining around fifteen minutes more light in the evening now every week, and soon it will be the spring equinox, when the daylight and night time are the same length – 12 hours.

The concept of the equinox fascinates me, and I don’t really know why. But within a fortnight the sunrise and sunset will occur at the same numerical time, but AM and PM.

And after the equinox comes the start of British Summer Time – this year cruelly not until the 31st March.

Still, it’s almost over.

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#365daysofbiking Golden:

October 18th – A lovely still evening, again with a beautiful sky it was a joy to cycle home in. At Stonnall, the last dying light over Sandhills was precious and suffused with gold.

I’d better make the most of it as the clocks go back in a week’s time, and that’ll end my sunset commutes for another year…

February 25th – A day of continual light snow and odd sunny periods, but it was again fiercely bitter.

Returning from Shenstone Station, I stopped to note than in the daylight at last, my commute revealed the twin church towers of Shenstone – one in use, one very much derelict. 

Across the rooftops of the village, that’s a lovely sight and one that every year reminds me that although the weather may be bad, spring and warmth are on their way.

December 21st – And this is the reason for my sudden optimism. Today is the winter solstice, or shortest day. From here, everything gets better, because the light trickles steadily back into my darkened soul.

The bike GPS tells me the sunrise and sunset times on the main screen, as I love to watch them daily. Today, the sun rose around 8:16am, and set around 3:54. I’ve watched these times all year, and registered the slow acceleration of nightfall from Midsummer, slowly, almost imperceptibly at first, minute by precious minute; then cascading and careering through the midway and the end of British Summer Time. Slowing up again, that last push to before 4pm is crushing when it happens. 

By the time I return to work after this, my final commute of 2017, the sunset will already be past 4pm. And no matter what the winter brings, inexorably, unalterably, the GPS will record the gradual steps into the light. And then, at the end of March, I will emerge blinking into the light evenings as British Summer Time commences again.

I have survived the oncoming dark for another year. All I need to dow now is watch the darkness retreat.

November 22nd – Coming through New Street Station at night, rush hour on a foul blustery evening when all the trains are messed up.

I’d rather be anywhere else than here.

Nothing sums up the deadzone, the suck, this awful time of year: no end to the advancing darkness, travel worsening daily, weather closing in.

And yet, there’s something awfully optimistic about it. You know that in a few short weeks, it’ll be over, and we’ll be opening out again.

Patience. Patience.