The shorter days are requiring drastic action — like leaving work early! I had planned to leave my desk at 3pm but one of my project managers called an emergency stand-up meeting which delayed me slightly. By the time I got changed and read to push off it was just a couple minutes before 4pm. When researching the possibility of today’s ride, I saw that sunset was just before 6pm. Given that the foothills stick higher than the horizon, I knew the sun would actually drop behind the hills earlier than that.
The conditions were perfect for riding. Almost no wind and cool, but not cold, air temperature. My biggest concern was sun glare. I don’t worry so much when I’m travelling northward with the sun off to my left, but whenever I have to turn into the sun, I know drivers are struggling to see and will be less likely to notice me on the side of the road. I ran with my red blinky light going full force and I added another smaller light (also red blinky) to the back of my backpack. I wore a super-bright orange jacket too — I’m sure I was quite a sight. To increase my chances of arriving home alive, I also altered my route to take CO 287 home instead of E. County Line Rd. CO 287 is a 2-lane divided highway with a huge breakdown lane for a shoulder. E.Cty Line Rd, on the other hand, has either a 3 inch shoulder or none at all. The highway is much louder, but to be honest, I didn’t notice. I just rode along with a big grin on my face. I could hardly believe I was riding home — all the terrain around me had all the signs of fall. Earthy colors on the hill sides and pastures, trees with few or no leaves, and the low, soft sun.
One stop at Lookout Rd to meet up with a friend to drop off some Nugget’s tickets and then onward towards home. I cut farther west onto 95th Street and up Hover Rd through Longmont. This was a bit tricky. There is no bike lane so I rode to the far right of the right lane — and I rode as predictably as I possibly could! There was one short stretch where the road is rough and cars tend to get bounced around a bit, so I opted for the sidewalk there. I much prefer the road — but safety first.
It started to get cooler as the sun got closer to the horizon. I was about 10 minutes from home when it dipped behind the foothills.