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Really creepy experience cycling home tonight (I did solve the mystery eventually)

Posted: 7 Jan 2019, 9:00pm
by Mr Tom
Such a strange experience riding home tonight! Part of my commute takes me along the river path from Richmond to Ham. It's normally totally deserted at night, and unlit, bushes and trees on one side and the river on the other. Anyway, as I was riding back tonight at about 6pm I spotted a runner I hadn't noticed at first, who sprinted away from me along the verge to my left. I could just see him darting along, well ahead of me. I tried to catch up to get him in my lights but on my heavy Dutch bike I couldn't do it. It seemed strange he stayed on the verge but I figured he was just avoiding my bike. Then he seemed to turn and hide in the bushes, which really creeped me out. I carried on past, half expecting somebody to jump out. Then he reappeared again, up ahead of me on the verge, still racing along. At this point I started to think I was either hallucinating or seeing a ghost, neither of which seemed very likely. Then - I finally realised what was going on. I looked behind me and a cyclist had caught up with me and was riding along behind with their front light facing straight ahead. It had been projecting my own shadow onto the trees to my side, which had become the mysterious runner!

Was one of the strangest experiences I've ever had, and pretty un-nerving at first. Has anyone else experienced that? It irritates me so much when people position their lights at eye level, but I'd never expected this to be a result!!

Re: Really creepy experience cycling home tonight (I did solve the mystery eventually)

Posted: 7 Jan 2019, 9:27pm
by whoof
I saw a program on the RAAM riding from one coast of America to the other. A lady was riding through the night followed by her support vehicle. After about six hours of night riding she stopped for a break and told her team that she was chasing the other rider all night but every time she went faster the other rider went faster. It turned out that she was chasing her own shadow from the support car headlights as she was suffering from sleep deprivation.

Re: Really creepy experience cycling home tonight (I did solve the mystery eventually)

Posted: 7 Jan 2019, 9:46pm
by brynpoeth
Maybe you could use a bright rear light to encourage others to keep back
When following I leave plenty of room and let the rider in front show me the way :wink:

Re: Really creepy experience cycling home tonight (I did solve the mystery eventually)

Posted: 7 Jan 2019, 11:58pm
by Mr Tom
The rider behind wasn't that close, probably 10 meters away. They must have just had a really bright front light.

Re: Really creepy experience cycling home tonight (I did solve the mystery eventually)

Posted: 8 Jan 2019, 12:01am
by Mr Tom
whoof wrote:I saw a program on the RAAM riding from one coast of America to the other. A lady was riding through the night followed by her support vehicle. After about six hours of night riding she stopped for a break and told her team that she was chasing the other rider all night but every time she went faster the other rider went faster. It turned out that she was chasing her own shadow from the support car headlights as she was suffering from sleep deprivation.


Yes, I can totally imagine that! I was pretty tired today and had just had a coffee, so was a bit wired. I was completely convinced it was a real person

Re: Really creepy experience cycling home tonight (I did solve the mystery eventually)

Posted: 8 Jan 2019, 12:25am
by Bmblbzzz
So you were literally scared of your own shadow! :wink:

I've never had anything quite like that but once saw something pretty odd as I was riding along the Bristol-Bath Railway Path at night way back in the early '90s. The path wasn't as busy back then, nor was it lit at all, and most of it was still gravel surface with various odd bushes, shrubs and things at the sides. I saw four or five blokes in camouflage gear walking along then when they noticed me, they dived down and hid behind some bushes. At the time, the camouflage gear made me think it was some sort of army or territorials exercise, but now I'm not so sure...

Re: Really creepy experience cycling home tonight (I did solve the mystery eventually)

Posted: 8 Jan 2019, 12:57am
by NATURAL ANKLING
Hi,
We all done it, many years ago I was leaving my shed, could walk down the garden with my eyes closed to and from shed in almost pitch black.
One night I left shed and just as I walked saw a cat under my foot..............my foot went right trough it as a ghost :shock:

Me and my shadow...............sing along..............moon out that night :lol:

Scared me for a mo.

Re: Really creepy experience cycling home tonight (I did solve the mystery eventually)

Posted: 8 Jan 2019, 8:04am
by Vorpal
my shadow is faster than I am
it caught and overtook me hundreds of times this morning
riding past
street light
after
street light

Re: Really creepy experience cycling home tonight (I did solve the mystery eventually)

Posted: 8 Jan 2019, 2:19pm
by Bmblbzzz
Very nice, Vorpal!

Another headlight experience that is fairly common but still occasionally deceives me is that when the road is wet, there are odd reflections of your headlight beam thrown up onto walls and hedges in curious striations. These can sometimes create the impression of a following vehicle when there is none.

Re: Really creepy experience cycling home tonight (I did solve the mystery eventually)

Posted: 8 Jan 2019, 3:14pm
by charliepolecat
Not quite the same, but on an overnight Audax ride through some very lonely country in the pitch black at about 2 in the morning I heard a lonely wailing coming across the fields like a woman in great torment. I was some miles from the nearest habitation but this entire area used to be slave plantations so my fevered and very wide awake imagination thought of a ghost of a female slave lamenting the sale of her child or for her own unhappy and much abused life. It was very eerie and quite scary with no other living person within miles yet there was this awful crying and weeping sound echoing across the mist laden pastures. I got out of there pretty fast. It could have been coyotes - there are plenty of them around - but still to this day I wonder if it was a ghost or a live woman needing help.

Re: Really creepy experience cycling home tonight (I did solve the mystery eventually)

Posted: 10 Jan 2019, 11:06pm
by roberts8
A few years ago I used to commute across Richmond Park. One dark night I saw an odd bunch of shadows on the road only to ride into a herd of deer. I rolled into a ball and felt lucky but a total idiot when I uncurled and was totally alone with a few bruises and scratched bike.

Re: Really creepy experience cycling home tonight (I did solve the mystery eventually)

Posted: 18 Jan 2019, 12:02pm
by anniesboy
Some years ago I used to met a friend at a pub some ten miles from my home.
I often returned home after eleven one night I startled by this on dark country road
owl.JPG

Re: Really creepy experience cycling home tonight (I did solve the mystery eventually)

Posted: 18 Jan 2019, 12:24pm
by fastpedaller
Wow - that's a good photo of the owl.
Many years ago (I don't ride in the dark any more) It was a pitch black lane, and my front light wasn't great (BITD) and as I went up a steep incline I heard a 'terrible scratching noise' which made my heart jump and my speed jump even more :lol: Never gone up that hill so fast. When I got to the top I took a breather, and realised it was probably rabbits (very frightened) scrabbling to get away on the tarmac - not seen in my headlight because they were beside me.

Re: Really creepy experience cycling home tonight (I did solve the mystery eventually)

Posted: 18 Jan 2019, 12:41pm
by Vorpal
anniesboy wrote:Some years ago I used to met a friend at a pub some ten miles from my home.
I often returned home after eleven one night I startled by this on dark country roadowl.JPG


I had a similar experience, though the owl that scared the wits out me stooped on something in the hedge about 2 or 3 metres in front of me. It just appeared rather suddenly in the light from my front light at head height. I about jumped out of my skin.

Re: Really creepy experience cycling home tonight (I did solve the mystery eventually)

Posted: 18 Jan 2019, 1:56pm
by NATURAL ANKLING
Hi,
Vorpal wrote:
anniesboy wrote:Some years ago I used to met a friend at a pub some ten miles from my home.
I often returned home after eleven one night I startled by this on dark country roadowl.JPG


I had a similar experience, though the owl that scared the wits out me stooped on something in the hedge about 2 or 3 metres in front of me. It just appeared rather suddenly in the light from my front light at head height. I about jumped out of my skin.

Very same thing happened to me a few months ago, thought it was after me, landed in gutter, seen many birds on there prey early morn setting off (only on a bike will you see that close up like feet away) even ones that cant take off again :lol: