Some of you know that I set my alarm for 4:30 AM every day so that I can get in 20-25 miles before work. In my previous role, I could sneak out during lunch and since the company was on Eastern Standard Time, I could also knock off at 4:00 PM for a second ride. These days, I ride early because if I don’t there’s a good chance I won’t ride at all.
It was tough at first. I started with this firm in early October and the days were already getting shorter. I ended up riding in the dark for almost four months. It was bitter cold many mornings, but as I grew accustomed to my new schedule I discovered that I actually liked it. For one thing, there’s less traffic on the road. That’s good. Wildlife is also very active early, even in the dead of winter, and so I really developed a sense of who my natural neighbors are. These were blessings.
There were more. As winter turned into spring and the days began to lengthen, I also started being entertained by the most dazzling sunrises imaginable. We have pretty amazing sunrises here in Greene County. They’re as good as any I’ve ever seen. I suspect the long vistas have something to do with it. Maybe all rural places have great sunrises. I don’t really know, but I think I’d like to find out. Just when you think you’ve seen the best one ever, Mother Nature raises her game and delivers a better one still. I haven’t gotten tired of them yet and I hope I never do.
Cycling at dawn has become a really special part of my day. It gives me an opportunity to organize my thoughts before tackling work. It allows me to wake up a little more naturally. I still drink coffee, but I drink less than I used to. After my morning ride, it’s herbal tea and fruit-infused water now. Maybe someday soon I’ll stop drinking coffee completely.
But it’s the mind calming opportunity to put the day in order that is the biggest benefit of my morning ride. I typically don’t really even think about it. I just get on the bike and go and soon enough all the pieces of the puzzle just fall into place. No apps are required. No doctors. No pills. How do you put a value on something like this?
The sunrises are the icing on the cake. That one above? I didn’t have it all to myself. There were two cows that had gotten loose along the road. Cattle tend to be skittish when I approach, but these two were as calm as could be. I think they were in the same place I was.
Here’s wishing you a great day. Cycle on.