~ Bill Walton
Things that I'm grateful for...number one, being above ground. It all happens from there. Lately, I've been getting up early to ride. I mean early...5am. Maybe 5:30am. So I can be out the door when the sun comes up. When the alarm goes off, all the reasons in the universe for not getting out of bed invade my brain and try their damndest to get me to stay in bed and say, "Fuck it, I'm not riding this early." In spite of that invasion of negative thoughts, I push myself out of bed, go into the bathroom, and wake up. I put my contacts in. I put on my cycling clothes that I was smart enough to put in the bathroom the night before. Now, I'm dressed. Time to go. I head to the kitchen, trying to keep as quiet as I can so I won't wake up Eileen who won't wake up until 0630, when she'll get dressed and go hike Boston Hills near our house. In the kitchen, my bike, helmet, gloves, sunglasses, socks, shoes...again, which I was smart enough to put there the night before, are all waiting for me to finish getting dressed so we all can head out the door. I manage to down about 28oz of water, some food, maybe an espresso... and then, out the door as soon as it's light enough. Maybe feed the cats before I leave. Maybe.
Getting on the road this early is a real plus...a bit of a chill but tolerable and I get to go out without slathering sunscreen all over me because I'll be back home by 10am. Plenty of time to finish my ride before the sun's rays are too hot/damaging. The real plus to be out on my bike this early is that there are so few others out and about at this time. Those who are seem to be impressed that someone is out there on their bicycle... pedaling away while they're wondering, "What the hell is this guy doing out here THIS early?".
It really is the best of times to be riding a bicycle. Very few vehicles. Cool weather. Some animals looking at me like I'm an alien. Maybe some other cyclists, but usually not. When I'm heading back home, I start to see those cyclists who slept in and are just getting out...the sun is higher in the sky and it's getting warm. I'm feeling good that I'm heading home while they're just getting started.
If the powers that be could only make a drug that would make getting out of bed at 0500 easier. But, if they did, everyone would be out there with me and that would change the whole dynamics of my ride. So, I'll continue to push myself out of bed before the sun is up and go into the bathroom to get dressed...and wake up. Some things are just too hard to explain. When I rode across country in 2010, no one could understand why I was up and out of bed by 0430 everyday. WHAT? Yes, and I was on the road by 0600, enjoying the sunrise and the cool air. If that could be packaged and sold, it would be a hit...at least with cyclists.
Time for a tune...the Red Hot Chili Peppers singing "The Bicycle Song".