I got back on the bike for the first time Friday afternoon. At 4:15pm. For a nighttime ride. I had never (intentionally) done a nighttime ride before.
Long story short, I rode with a teammate who was dressed like the freaking iceman and had on a reflective construction vest, a huge blinker on the back, and headlights. I had a tiny reflector/blinker on the back that I borrowed from somebody, and I wasn't dressed like the iceman. I just showed up for kicks.
We went down the East Bay path, and while the reflection of city lights on the bay and the parts that pass through towncenters were quite visible, it felt like the majority of the ride was in the deep dark woods. Without headlights, I personally could not see the ground directly below me, which was probably bad because a lot of the path is covered in slippery leaves and a bit of gravel this time of year. Thank goodness for all those rides that I do with my road bike on mountain biking trails (there's no better confidence builder than riding clipped in on a road bike on a non-technical mountain bike trail). Coming back, the Providence skyline was beautiful above the water, but we didn't care because we were flipping freezing!
After I came an inch from getting T-boned by a car in East Providence, the two of us had a lengthy discussion about how to approach the Henderson Bridge. We decided that the sidewalk on the Angell Street side was probably best - although the sidewalk is horribly small and debris-covered and the railing separating us from a significant drop into the Seekonk River was a bit too short for comfort. Nothing like the old Washington Bridge crossing, though...but I guess I never did that at night either. We got over the Henderson, although my strategy was to do it as fast as possible and get it over with while my teammate took it slow and thus had time to reflect upon the danger of the situation.
The East Side was well lit. The off-ramp from the Henderson onto Angell Street was the most comforting site of the evening. That says a lot.
For the record my achilles tendon is still totally screwed up, so I don't know what I'm going to do with it. My two options are to continue to rest it (although rest seems to have little effect on its currently non-existent improvement), or just start riding on it again. Logic tells me to pursue the first option, but then again I don't like applying logic to riding.