Venturing into the Chilcotin Range is always exciting, but this time we had a different goal in mind for our images. We were going to shoot all the action once the sun had set on the day and the moon was all that shone in the sky. -
They say when you go blind, the other senses are heightened.
We aren't blind; our pupils are dilated as wide as the big ring, trying to catch each photon of light bouncing off the moonlit silver landscape. The mind has amplified all sensory inputs: darkness to light, ratcheting free hubs become machine gun fire, shifting breezes are akin to weather change.
Hours past sunset, our eyes have adjusted and the landscape is fully visible. Nick rides first, followed quickly by Andrew, and Jonathan, the din of their motion rolls down ridge lines like noisy floating ghosts. Alone, I pack my kit and replicate the movements that I've just captured in image.
I feel like a gymnast finally stepping off the tumbling mat where routine governed a sequence of hops and twists in coordinated sequence. I've been the lab rat in a cage, compulsively pressing the same button for a kick of dopamine, addicted to a sweet but altogether familiar dose of happiness.
Muscle memory pushes my brain aside, and my body rides on autopilot. Leaving my mind free to experience the movement. Normal details of riders' shadows, sunny skies, chattering birds, and afternoon breezes have been removed; the library of familiar sensation has been closed. It's all new, as though I've never felt the euphoria of a bike before.
The best ride of the season was hidden on the dark side of the clock, overseen by the bright side of the moon.
Trust me, the photographer said; come into the dark room, it'll be worth it. They followed me down a rabbit hole with faithful abandon. When we clipped toes into pedals, there were no memorized circuits, the front wheel lead into an unfamiliar realm.
Break the cycle.
Words and photos from behind 'When Darkness Falls
', a feature story by Reuben Krabbe
in Coast Mountain Culture Magazine. In collaboration with Norco Bikes. Norco Bicycles is based in the Fraser Valley, born and bred PNW. - Ridden on this trip: Norco Range Carbon, Range Aluminum, and Sight Aluminum
Riders: Nick Geddes, Andrew Gunn and Jonathan Duncan
Photos and Words by www.reubenkrabbe.com