By local resident Peter Abbey

The nights are drawing in, you can tell because by the time The One Show starts you’ve already pulled your curtains closed and decided that leaving the back door open for the dog is way too chilly.

It is nights like these that the old man in me breaks loose and shakes a disapproving fist in the air at the number of (don’t make me say it, please don’t make me say it) youths (ah man, I said it) riding the streets without lights on their bikes. Now I’m fairly sure this isn’t just a Dartford thing but it’s where we live and you can only do so much, so I wanted to take this opportunity to urge you to stick a light on your bike.

I don’t remember my first bike, which is weird because I can distinctly remember my first set of lights. They were a Christmas present. I mean seriously, safety equipment as a Christmas present for an eleven year old boy? They came in a big box too. Imagine my anticipation, the glee, the rapture at having this Transformers shaped box to open only to discover the contents inside contained something to keep me safe. I wasn’t impressed.

Having lights on my bike felt so degrading, so sad, so… lame, but did I once get knocked off my bike? No sir I did not. Well, ok, once, but it was daylight and to be fair it wasn’t my bike. Which reminds me, sorry I mangled your bike, Rob.

Anyway my point is, now that I’m all grown up and I’m driving around in my car with my lights ON, it scares me to see people cycling along the road this time of year without adequate illumination. So please stick a light on your bike, stop giving me a heart attack when you emerge from the shadows like Batman on a bicycle and together we can all do our part to make safe cycling in Dartford a reality.