Vokesy

A family man and his camera

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Well if there was any doubt that autumn had arrived, there certainly shouldn’t be now. The changing colour of the leaves may have been paused by the recent warm weather, but today has autumn written all over it. Grey, cold, raining, windy… pretty much a cyclists worst nightmare! The rain makes potholes vanish, the wind means you’re really unsteady and the fact that it seems so dark and grey at the moment just means it’s harder for drivers to see you (like they needed any excuses!). Thankfully, in terms of visibility, I’m not too badly set up, with a bright reflective jacket and some pretty bright lights on my bike. I invested extra on the rear lights as I really feel they tend to make a difference, I’ve been assured that I am very visible from behind and I find motorists tend to take me more seriously as a result. I certainly know that when I’m driving and I see cyclists with little or no lighting on the back of their bike I instantly think that if they’re not serious about being seen then they can’t be very concerned about being knocked off, and that being on the road probably isn’t the right place for them! With the winter months approaching and the darkness setting in a little bit earlier each evening, suddenly lighting is a priority again. I’ve even ordered some more front lights from Amazon just to make sure that people coming the other way can see me too, or that people in front don’t try changing lanes as I’m about to pass. I had given up on buying bike lights in halfords as the choice was dreadful, and the lights were just weak and ineffective. The front light I’ve actually ordered may not be branded, and it may be coming from China, but it’s got some good reviews, especially on brightness, and I’m going to give it a go! On days like today, being visible is crucial, the rain has been coming down solidly for about 9 hours now, and hasn’t showed signs of slowing down! It made for a very damp ride home, and my shoes and gloves are still drying out now, I just hope they are dry for the morning and the rain finally stops before we have to leave the house. Its fairly clear that after such a dry September topped with the fact that we are now well into autumn, we will be seeing much more rain, and I can only keep my fingers crossed that it gives me a bit of respite until my mudguards arrive to keep my feet and my bum a little bit drier. The worst thing about riding in the rain isn’t the actual rain itself… its the spray that comes off the wheels! With a bit of luck my mudguards will be here by Thursday according to Amazons estimations, although I probably won’t be cycling on Friday anyway, as I am going to be resting for a couple of days ahead of the half marathon, I may well be taking the car. Hopefully we should see the weather start to improve a bit in the run up to the weekend, the current forecast is for a dry day on Sunday, which I hope is true. Either way, I don’t think the new mudguards will benefit me hugely this week, but the weather can only get worse as we head towards November, so maybe next week I’ll be appreciating them more. I really could have done with them tonight though, as I walked into the house I left a trail of wet footprints across the kitchen floor tiles and had to go and change into dry clothes before I could do anything.

With the clock ticking I really need to be in bed now, we had another bad night with Olivia, still under the weather from her vaccination jabs, although showing significant signs of improvement this afternoon. Ate everything at lunchtime, all her snacks, and also had a huge dinner when I got home and fed her. I’d say she looks like she is getting better, which comes as an additional relief as I wouldn’t want to risk the nursery turning her away, especially as we still have to pay even if she doesn’t go! So we’re now hoping that she slips back into her old ways of sleeping through the night again, fingers crossed!

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Author: andrewvokes

Husband to my beautiful wife Clare, and father to two gorgeous girls. Cyclist, runner and photographer, living in Birmingham, UK.

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