Sorry .. it's long winded After last night, I'm lucky to be sitting here in once piece posting a topic here. And who's fault was it ...... MINE ! I'm near-sighted. Have been for years. I have glasses for this, but rarely use them apart from long drives at night where I am unfamiliar with the area. This hasn't really been a problem in the past, I couldn't make out street signs, read number plates off vehicles more than 3 car lengths away etc... no biggie. Driving with a GPS helped solved the problem of reading the names of streets etc.. Riding wasn't too much a problem either .. so I thought! Last night, around 6:00pm, I met a few of fellow NR's for a 'twlight' ride. Our destination ..some twisties just north-east of Phillip Island , a 2-3hr round trip. It all started off fairly well, was enjoying the ride. bike was running well .. all was good. As dusk settled upon us, I began having trouble focusing. Overtaking became a more cautious negotiation, oncoming vehicles out of focus were making it difficult to make clear judgements as to when or where to make my move. It didn't take long for my fellow riders to dissapear into the distance, but thankfully they had stopped and waited for me before deviating. Finally we hit the twisties. It would be an understatement to admit I do not corner exceptionally well, probably due to the riding I do...I ride daily ... commute to and from work and have not been out on a decent ride since Easter. Nothing .. I mean NOTHING prepared me for the RUDE awakening I was about to experience. My cornering was ATROCHIOUS ! My Lines were BAD, my speed ( or lack of ) was pathetic. I felt like I was a 'learner' was again. The rest of the guys were nowhere to be seen as I tried to negotiate my way through what felt like and endless amount of twisties. I didn't know the area, hadn't a clue where I was, nothing but cows, fields and winding roads... darkness was also beginning to suck away at what little light was left. Twice I had to stop and use my mobile in an attempt to contact one of the riders and ask em which way they went. I felt like an idiot. At this stage I was STILL dumbfounded as to WHY I rode so poorly. I mean I was worse than I ever had been. I finally met up with the small group, feeling inadequate and slightly embarrassed. I felt I was spoling the ride with them having to stop and wait for me to play catch up. Ok.. it was time to head back. Again some twisties, but more sweepers this time. Again it didn't take them long to dissapear into the distance. I began to feel bad about not keeping up, and the ride that was meant to be fun had now turned into a not-so-good experience, one which I wanted to end. WHY? .. cause I just realised I was riding BLIND! Everything was out of focus , it was dark, no street lighting, plenty of sweepers and I could barely make out the road let alone up-coming corners. I had a few 'FARK' moments but managed to keep on the road. Then I saw them up ahead .. 'thank fark' I thought. This is where it really HIT me for the first time. There I was riding toward them up ahead when I realised .. ALMOST too late, the road swept off to the LEFT! They had taken a detour OFF the main road through a small gravel section to cut across and meet with the road over the other side. I hit the brakes in time not to make my entrance eventful. However, this meant any vehicle travelling from the opposite direction would have taken me out. This was getting BAD. Off we went again, this time one of the guys stuck behind me. I am guessing they had a discussion in my absence and decided it best that someone stick behind me. I was grateful, but again EMBARRASSED. We ended up on a rough stretch of road .. mostly straight so I was feeling better not having to try and GUESS upcoming corners, and focused on the taillamps up ahead. I stepped up the pace a little, not wanting to hold them up again, and feeling bad someone had to sit behind me. I was doing around 130k, trying to close the gap. THEN .. a POTHOLE... I don't know if my firm hold on the grips saved me, but the bike litterally JUMPED and I ended up on the wrong side of the road!! I am guessing if I was more relaxed on the grips it may have been worse .... not sure. After that incident I backed off. Then, as we approached Cranbourne ... 'there was light'. I had never been so happy to see street lighting. What a relief. A few kms away from home, the guys made a quick turn into a servo/ cafe .. YEP I missed the turn. I should've hung a U turn I guess, but I figured they'd realise being so close to home I'd decided to keep going. I've now come to realise the ONLY reason I take SOME corners ok, is the fact that firstly .. I 'know' the corner, secondly .. I almost always take these same corners in daylight. When I arrived home, I was SOOO relieved, and even ANGRY. My first thought was dismay at the way I was left by the others in unfamiliar territory .. they way everyone seem to ride like a bat outa hell with no regard for someone who isn't as proficient. This thought quickly dissipated once it hit home that it was ME who was at fault. Riding virtually blind, having to take corners I couldn't see at such a slow pace, trying to make up for lost time in the straights when I still couldn't see shit ( I really should've noticed that huge pothole ). Anyway a lesson learned. I'm going to have my eyes re-tested, and see what ( if anything ) can be done about my poor sight at low light. I feel bad possibly putting a downer on the ride for the others, but feel even worse putting myself in a situation I may not have come home from. This ride was so BAD for me, I reconsidered my 'riding', and thought perhaps it's time to throw the towel in. BUT .. I love to ride, albiet at a relaxed pace, so I guess the H6 is stuck with me for now.