Television static. White fuzz drifts towards me like spindrift. I squint and flip my cap peak down against the drizzle. It quickly gets heavier. It isn't drizzle anymore.
I could have gone out hours ago, but I couldn't find those socks, or the other glove. I couldn't decide whether it was actually as unseasonably mild as it felt while I was out earlier, or whether I should at least be wearing leg warmers rather than knee warmers. Where is my other knee warmer anyway? Not that one. The other one.
Standing outside, I switch on lights one by one by one, leaving the emergency blinkies sitting there, waiting for their time. Your day will come little ones. It is as warm as I thought, and I'm thankful I went a little bit underdressed for a change. There is hardly any wind for the first time in a week and pedalling actually feels easy for a while. I get to cash in my momentum savings for a change. Cadence increases and I spin along under the zoetrope-esque street lights, light-dark-light-dark-light, quicker and quicker, across the roundabout and whoosh into the black.
As I cross the dam at the end of Eccup reservoir I look up. Darkness really has fallen quickly, there was no sunset, no dusk. Just dark... or the kind of dark you get at the point that suburbs give way to country lanes. Below the hedges and in the shadows it is as black as black, hiding potholes, farm detritus and gravel washed into the road by recent rain. Above the hedges, there is a familiar orange glow of city lights.
Head down, I roll along, adjusting my light beam upwards slightly, trying to pick out those potholes and rough patches in time to dance around them. For the first time today, everything is quiet. Apart from the rattle of my guards, the hum of tyres on tarmac, the tapping of a zip against fabric and the occasional knock of a battery pack against frame. My mind is silent though. I push on, feeling on top of the gear. Rolling on.
The rain gets heavier and heavier. I have to slow down. My lights are simply illuminating the first rain drop they hit. I can see the 6 inches in front of the light with remarkable detail... the cow slurry and barely existent road surface... not so much. Clunk.
The smell of fertiliser stings the back of my nose. Insert some comment about how our senses compensate when other senses are diminished here. It just stinks to be honest.
At some point I need to squint less. My under trained legs fade with the rain. That one gear is no longer the right one. I climb out of the saddle on gradual inclines. I wrestle my way up the last proper hill. It's not pretty.
I pop out on to the main road once more, weave through traffic to the front of the lights. I'm part of the city once more, despite swimming against the flow of late commuters rushing to get home.
I'm not in a rush, but that's enough for tonight. I sit up and leave my mind switched off as I cruise through sodium-orange patches once more, reflecting off glossy wet tarmac.