BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘gps’

#365daysofbiking Gaining already

Sunday January 2nd 2021 – A day of pre-back to work bike maintenance and cleaning, so only time for a short test ride to check everything was OK. Which was sensible anyway, as during the day the temperature had risen and the snow had melted, leaving behind muddy, unpleasant road conditions.

Looking at the bike computer as I left, I noticed the sunset time was now already at 5 minutes past 4 – around the shortest day is was 3:53. 11 minutes clawed back from the sunset already.

By the end of January, we will have gained pretty much an hour.

This is very good reason to be cheerful.

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#365daysofbiking Slipping away

Tuesday, October 13th 2020 – Another darkness commute, and less than two weeks until the clocks go back. I hate this time of year, I really do.

The one downside of having a GPS on the bike is that it allows you to morosely monitor the closing in of the days, but also the opening out, which is why I keep the data field active.

As the daylight slips away and I get used to the return of the night, it’s hard to find good images and can be difficult to be positive: But in truth, you can’t have the great, long days of high summer without paying for them with cold, rain-sodden commute in winter.

So onward, into the dark…

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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 Things can only get better

December 21st – It’s not hard to notice if you’re a regular reader that I hate the darkness of winter and the closing in of the days. Well, this is the weekend where the process reverses for another season, and from tomorrow, the light will slowly but surely trickle back into my life.

Winter always feels on the run from hereon in.

Bring it on.

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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 Getting better every day

January 2nd – Back on the 21st December my heart was lifted, as it always its, by the thought that we’d had the shortest day of the year, and that now the sunset would get later and later and the night and darkness would retreat for another year.

Well, not two weeks later, and the sunset is already 10 minutes later than it was on that day.

Ten minutes may not seem much, but it’s significant. Although the timetable to which the day lengthens is fixed, the rapidity of the change is always impressive to me and the retreat of night, being loosely sinusoidal, accelerates as we escape winter.

That six hundred seconds of gleaned light mean that on a clear day, it’s not really dark until well after 4:30pm. Soon light will leak into my evening commutes, and all will be well again.

I so hate the darkness.

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#365daysofbiking Grimness:

November 29th – Although we’re approaching the shortest day – when the advance of night is defeated and light gradually seeps back into my life – this next three weeks are the hardest commutes of the year. 

This evening I noted from the bike computer that sunset is now before 4pm for the first time this winter, and it will creep almost ten minutes earlier as the weeks wear on.

The commutes will be heavy with seasonal traffic, there will be grim weather and the trains when used will be a mess.

It’s the same every year and I hate it.

#365daysofbiking Still amazed:

November 9th -One thing I never take for granted is my biking technology. From disc brakes to LED lights to tough tires, things are very much better in the saddle these days than the four decades or so ago I started to ride a bike.

One thing that would have blown my mind even in the 1990s is the current GPS bike computer technology available to me. I ride down darkened lanes, with the soft glow of a device on my bars indicating my position on a scrolling Ordnance Survey map. Overlaid on this are street names, and I get warnings of sharp bends and hazards. 

Of course, I know these lanes like the back of my hand, but when off-piste, it’s a godsend. If anyone had shown the young me this device, it would have blown my tiny mind.

Old hands scorn the modern technology, but not really is a wonderful thing.