After our alarm failed to go off, or at least not wake us up, we were woken with the arrival of Ben and Luke at 01:00 and after a bit of a rush we were on the bikes by 01:30.Winter solstice is a fantastic time of year and one of only a few when you can properly go to Stonehenge and get up close and personal with the stones. In all the times I have been I am still to experience a clear sunrise, but what with 2012 being a special year maybe this was going to change. The weather was due to be kind to us, but as there had been heavy rain and flooding throughout the country in they days leading up to it we were not holding our breath .
I had also just got my new Exposure Sirius Mk1 front light (360 Lumens) so was keen to try out night riding with the ability to actually see where I was going, previously I had been using the Knog Blinder 4 (80 Lumens).
The 4 of us were the only people on the road and the ride out of Portsmouth was the quietest it has ever been. We were soon on the A27 heading west to Southampton. The road was flooded, but luckily only by the light from the streetlights that line it, and we made our way along the deserted street through Fareham, Bursledon and finally to the outskirts of Southampton. At which point Ben couldn’t resist and grabbed some burgers from a 24hr McD’s.
Pushing on we went past flooded fields and burst rivers, but the roads we were on had escaped any issues. As we crossed over to the north of the M27 the streetlights became less and less and my new light came into its own. As we got on the A36 traffic picked up and we soon had huge lorries hurtling by. We were all glad to make it safe and sound to Salisbury just in time to grab some food as the shops started opening at 06:00.
It was just a short 10 mile ride to the stones from here and we were there just in time for sunrise.
We had ridden up on a good selection of bikes. Luke had his Giant race bike, Ben was on his custom Dawes fixie, Lex was riding her trusty Surly LHT and I was on my fixed On-One Pompino.
On the way back we took a much nicer rout along national cycle route 45. The river was flooded in places, but the road was high enough not to be effect. This is a lovely ride and I would recommend it if your in the area.
We got back to Salisbury for breakfast and then caught the train home for some much needed sleep! This was apart from Luke who despite having no sleep the night before had to go into work for a few hours before going out for a Christmas party that night!
If you have never been night ridding I strongly recommend it, just leave earlier rather than later and get a decent light 🙂