We promised you Moonlight…

Still catching up from the week’s rides!  On Monday, eight of us gathered at the museum (plus one rider who joined us later) for our very first full moon ride. The group included Fiona Wilson from the Museum and Brian Morrell from Caerlaverock WWT, to give us some of the history and natural history of the Great Moss. At eight o’clock it was still perfectly light and still very warm, although overcast. After a brief pause to lock up the museum (top tip to thieves: try somewhere less well-defended, like the Bank of England) we set off along the Caledonian Cycleway on a route that would circumnavigate the remnants of the Lochar Moss.

Lochar Moss ride route map

Lochar Moss route

Apart from a brief stretch on the A709, we were on B-roads and quiet roads throughout. We had intended originally to make this a more leisurely affair, like our summer rides, with a chance to stop and hear from Fiona and Brian but the length of the route and the need to ensure we didn’t miss last orders rather took over, although once we got onto the back roads people did have the opportunity to ride alongside either and chat on the way. We’d also hoped for more moonlight but what the overcast skies did deliver was a perfect temperature for riding – just warm enough to make bare legs and arms no problem, cool enough to be comfortable. In the end, the ride became more about the atmosphere of it all: the twilight settling over the countryside, the lights coming on in the cottages around us, the bats flickering overhead, and the twinkle of fellow riders brake lights on the road ahead as darkness fell. When the moon did finally put in an appearance we were almost home.

The only real hiccup was the discovery that the Swan at Kingholm wasn’t open when we finally arrived! Fortunately, the Coach and Horses was so some tired and thirsty riders could revive themselves in traditional fashion

group in the pub

Rehydrating in the Coach afterwards

Despite these few teething problems, we agreed that it had been a grand night for a ride and we should do it all again next year. We just have to arrange for another perfect cycling night – and maybe a bit more moonlight too.

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