Saturday was the day for the planned bike ride to Albany. Housework took a little longer than I anticipated so I did not get away until 1 pm. It is only 170Km to Albany, so I figured it would take me maybe two and a half hours. I should easily have been there before three o’clock, but of course I tend to drive slowly and stop to look around frequently so it was well after four when I arrived. I realised that if I did not turn straight around and head back, I would be riding in the dark. That is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, evening is when the kangaroos come out. I have heard horror stories of collisions with unpredictable roos. I was not too worried about that, because I could slow down in the risk area, but the second and more important reason was that I had come out without my clear visor, and driving with a tinted visor at night is dangerous. Driving without a visor at all invites eye injury from stones and insects. So, after a very quick trip to Kmart to get a couple of things not available in Katanning, and a short mental debate on whether it would be better to stay in a motel and head back in the morning, I jumped back on the bike and headed home. I thought that if I rode hard at the limit, I would make it home in around two hours and a bit. I guessed the sunset would be around 6.30, and it would remain light for a while after that, but I was wrong.
Despite a manly effort at a high speed run, I did not make it all the way in daylight. The sun set just after 6 and darkness fell surprisingly soon after, when I was still 40Km from Katanning. Luckily I fell in behind a car and had a good run into town, without problems. But it was a little scary even following a car in the dark, with poor visibility. Adrenaline kept me alert, but it won’t happen again. I learned my lesson. Plan Ahead.