I had to shoot out today during work and was amazed at how beautiful the weather was so I resolved to leave work dead on time and head straight home to hop on the Busa and grab the opportunity to enjoy the Auckland twilight by the handlebars.
Even a spontaneous decision to ride involves some pre-ride mental preparation during which I run through the weather and time available and possible routes. I have put off quite a few riding opportunities as winter has hit but I could see no downside tonight other than the fact that once the sun starts setting in winter darkness arrives quickly. But there was little wind and the air was crisp but not icy.
So onto my steed I leapt and off I went in my newly acquired toasty warm kevlar camo pants and into the sunset (quite literally) I rode, heading off from Albany and arriving at Helensville to see a low, dark pink skyline. From Hellensville I headed back through Kaukapakapa in darkness to Silverdale and through evening traffic on the Whangaparaoa peninsula where I had coffee with my daughter and son in law.
From there I texted my riding mate to see if he wanted to go across the bridge which he was thankfully keen to do else I would probably have just headed back home. He had commuted to the City across the bridge and had himself decided not to miss the stunning evening weather. So I zoomed back along Highway 1 to our rendezvous point at a Northcote gas station and from there we headed out over the bridge to a stunning, calm Mission Bay, along to St Helliers and back to Starbucks for a coffee, then back through the city to Ponsonby and back across the bridge to the North Shore.
The Auckland skyline is a postcard view from the bridge and the drive along Tamaki Drive looking back at the city is magnificent, passing yacht basins and people out strolling or running. The City, Mission Bay and Ponsonby were all alive to the sound of Aucklanders enjoying what their mother city has to offer - great vibes, good cuisine, stunning scenery and tonight - excellent weather.
I have to say that, for a mid winter's night ride, there was barely any wind and the air was warm enough to sit outdoors.
I arrived home and am sitting writing this so hugely thankful for this amazing city I find myself in, for the fantastic bike I am so enjoying and for a great riding mate to enjoy it with, especially when my wife can't ride with me.