I had a dumb idea the other day, rather than doing a night-ride, get up a bit early and do an early morning ride. Now stupid idiot I am, I posted this up on the Emunicyclists list, expecting everyone to tell me not to be so stupid so I could get my lie in. Inevitably some idiot said okay and I ended up getting up at the crack of dawn to go riding.(Given I’m a lazy student, this didn’t mean super early, we had an 8.30 start). I was a bit hungover thanks to going to a chocolate and wine tasting the night before, but made it there on time, and we headed up the hill. Mmmm, the trails were mostly empty, solid as a very solid thing thanks to being frozen up and looked really beautiful. There were leaves on the ground, making it kind of like night riding, because we couldn’t see what we were riding over at all. We pootled off up Bramcote Hill and Hemlock Stone, pausing only for me to throw myself off on my front on a leaf covered uphill that was disguising the only patch of unfrozen mud in Nottinghamshire, and to fall right on my arse coming down Bramcote Hill a second time, then headed across the hills to the deer park and into university. What a cool way to start the day.
Early morning winter rides can be fun. For a few years when we lived in Reading I would meet up with Roger shortly after Christmas for an early morning ride to burn off the Christmas pud before I went to work and he drove back up north.
Ooooo, you beat me to it. After staring out of the office window at the glorious weather during the week I went for a very-early-morning ride today, leaving the house at seven. The views from the hills overlooking the cloud-filled valleys below were well worth getting up early for!
More photos can be found here if anyone is interested. Be warned, this link contains graphic and disturbing pictures of a bike…
Nah, boring… that’s what it’s like every morning when I’m going to work - or am I just gloating over living on top of a big hill?.. at least, that’s when it’s not raining, or so misty you can’t see your own hand, or too windy to keep your eyes open, or…
My favorite time of the day for riding has always been first thing when there’s nobody around. You certainly have the place to yourself and more often than not you see far more wildlife. Nobody see’s you fall off either!
Once a week for the last 5 years or so I’ve been out riding at the crack of dawn to do at least a 2 hour ride. Depending on the time of year, or what I’m training for at the time, then I’d be either distance riding on the Coker, or XC training for Red Bull, or doing plain old silly stuff on the muni.
I’m always on a high after a ride anyway, but I find it more so after an early morning ride. It’s also a hell-of-a way to clear that hang-over from the night before. More often that not the air is clearer first thing in the morning and so better chances of some views.
There are exceptions to the last comment though. Read on… All last week Scotland had blue sky and sun, so I headed off to Fort William at the weekend, complete with muni, to ride down the highest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis. I set off up the mountain at 7am, still in the dark and looking forward to some breathtaking views from the summit. Errrrr… No!
This is what happens when things don’t quite go to plan.
We don’t have mountains around here, but I’ve been doing sunrise trail rides for a couple of years. It’s really difficult to get non-morning people (read ‘Normal People’) to even think of getting on the trails right as the sun tops the hill. I’m always reminded of the old ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ line uttered by the visiting beatnik… “Aw, man, you mean that six o’clock comes TWICE in ONE DAY?”
Unfortunately, I’m really, really a morning person. I can get up and play at 4 a.m., but I’ve missed all the moonlight rides 'cause I start to drop off at 9 each night.