It was a dark and stormy night – well it was just the opposite actually.

Last Sunday I left home early doors to go to Nottingham for a Ruby wedding celebration and as it was a beautiful morning I took a detour via the peak district.

This time of the day driving South East (ish), from Knutsford towards Macclesfield, the bright, low sun hitting me right between the eyes, with my side of the road in heavy shade and constantly changing lighting as I went in and out of the overhanging trees on that side of the road, I nearly killed my first one. A couple of hundred yards further on (that’s 184.2 m to you decimalised types) I narrowly avoided 2 more. It was only the shiny bits of movement, like two hard boiled eggs rocking about in a knotted hanky, that tipped me off to their presence. Long, lean and covered in a sort of black snake skin they were almost completely invisible as they moved in the shade against the piercing sun as it slowly rose in the southern sky. Come to think of it it moved a bit like a sidewinder rattlesnake slithering and wobbling side to side in order to progress forward against the incline, incapable of maintaining a straight line.

This experience was repeated at regular intervals until the summit of the Cat and Fiddle. Sometimes these creatures stretched across to the centre line as they competed with each other to be the first to die.

Wouldn’t you think these single celled organisms that constantly tell the rest of us about our road manners would at least identify which of them had signed up to the transplant list so we pick the right ones to knock over.

You would think, would you not, that those who continually pontificate about road safety and respect for cyclists would have the sense to wear bright clothing and give the rest of us half a chance to see them in typical Autumn and Winter dawn and dusk conditions.

Then again those who organised, I use this term loosely, this very large event (the hundreds of them that took part did do so by accident) would have made some common sense comments in the joining instructions.


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