2 or 3 weeks back I had to get up at like 4am to take my sister to the airport to catch a plane at some ungodly hour.
On the way back it was around 5:30am and just starting to get light. I was thinking to myself that I usually get up about an hour from then and going home and going back to bed would probably hurt more than anything else once it came time to wake up. Plus the dog would probably make a racket and wake up the kids earning me a trip to the doghouse with the Missus.
Then it dawned on me. I was going to ride the bike to work anyway, I could go home and get my shit on and get an hour or so in at Wakefield before heading out to work. I had just built up an off road SS and hadn’t ridden it much. In a fortunate twist of fate, I had put some WTB Racing Raptors on it – semi slicks – sorta. So I went. I rode Wakefield in insane silence for an hour an a half. Well, silence except for me giggling. I heard the birds wake up. Watched the sun come up. Almost hit 3 or 4 deer. It was, needless to say, an ephiphany. Then, I left, straight from there and rode to work (thank you Racing Raptors) with some fresh mud still on me.
I’ve tried to do it everyday since then (I’d say right now I’m at around 80-85% of the time). I even made it out after a night of ‘pinting’ with Gaz. Initally that day I felt as if I was simply going to stop trailside and have my head explode and that would be it, but after about 15 mins or so of good blood flow in the cool air, the ride went along way towards erasing completely the damage that had been done the night previous.
I can’t tell you what riding singletrack for an hour or so before work will do on your general outlook for the day. I can tell you if more folks did it the world would be a better place. I can guarantee it.
I will say this. It is not easy. Every morning now, the alarm goes off at 5:30 and 2 things happen. First my wife says to me “Why is that thing going off? It’s still dark!” Then I lay there and have the internal arguement in my head. “Uh. This bed feels reallllllllly awesome right about now, and you only went to sleep roughly five hours ago…”
Like I said, sometimes the darkside wins. Most times though, I roll out of bed and go into autopilot shuffling around the house, feeding the dog, packing the stuff, really only half-awake. Really, I’m about 10 minutes out the door and down the first big hill before I fully wake up and say to myself, “Self, why were you buggin’ back there in the sack? Look at where you’re at now….damn.”
We’ll see what happens tomorrow, I’ve got a good feeling though….