Learning to wake up on a bicycle

I like to ride bikes. The past few months have seen a change in the way I view bikes as I have begun riding more and I’ve gotten rid of my car.  My goals, athletically, now overlap my practical goals of being car free.  So, while training to ride a double century is an athletic goal, it also impacts how many places I can comfortably commute to on my bike.  


In September I did an experiment.  I had been only riding my mtn bike (a rigid single speed SE Stout 29er, ratio: 32:18).  And while I had been going out for 6-8 hours at a time, it’s a different kind of riding than what I would do on my road bike.  I decided to have lunch in Belfast, a coastal town about 50 miles away.  So a friend and I, Ben, took a leisurely ride down to Belfast, had a long lunch and then rode back. It was pretty decent.  It surprised me in fact.  It was then that I realized that if I could raise my base fitness I could comfortably visit my folks (70 miles away) or any number of things.  I could take an extra day and ride to Portland.  My imagination just isn’t big enough yet to fully conceive of the things I can do on a bike.


To train for a double century (while also training to run 50 and also keeping up the delightful hobby of bouldering and being a grad student) means that sometimes I wake up early to get a ride in.  Lately I’ve been trying to figure out how to sleep more but wake up earlier which means streamlining my morning procedure so I can roll out of bed and onto the bike.  So I have found myself increasingly waking up on the bike.  The alarm (a sunrise simulator) goes off and I wake up.  I start drinking from my thermos of coffee, still warm after making it before bed.  I eat a piece of pumpkin bread while getting dressed and grabbing my bag which is already packed (with alternate clothes etc).  Soon I am on the bike, lights on, pedaling through the darkness.  I always feel a little slow but that goes away as I find my groove and I have really started to enjoy the process of seeing the darkness fade away and day break over onto the world.  As the rides get longer I will spend more of my morning sipping coffee and eating breakfast while rolling down roads and I embrace this.  My rides are no less than the growth of an engine, the improvement, in situ, of my vehicle of choice.  Here’s to breakfast on two wheels.


About because0fbeauty

Let's become better.
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