When I first started cycling with a group the typical starting time was around 8am from the meeting point. Bearing in mind it takes about half an hour for me to get there, I’d have to get up about 6:30am. When I found that out I thought “looks like I won’t be riding of a weekend then”, to hell I was getting up at that time of a weekend.
Oh how things change.
I think there was a shorter ride planned for one weekend and as such a later start time of about half 8, getting up at 7am is more reasonable so I thought I’d go along. I could always cut it short and go back to bed if needs be.
When riding to meet them after going about 10 minutes without a single car going by and better so – no close calls with cars, that’s when I noticed that there is something nice about it. For the majority of this ride roads were quiet and I remember coming home after doing 50 odd miles and it hadn’t even gone past midday.
Two years on and now this is the norm but more often than not it’s a 6am start now rides tend to be a lot longer than what they were so if on the occasion I am able to get up at 7am for a ride this is considered a lie in! 7am…on a weekend…a lie in?
With that being said though, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Even if I am doing a solo ride of a weekend I’ll still get up as early as possible and head straight for the roads.
You’d think after 2 years of doing it, it would get easier but nope. When the alarm is going off at 6am it’s still incredibly difficult and each time is as hard as the last and that’s why you’ve got to remind yourself just why you set the alarm in the first place.
This is when you fall in love with Cycling
Being in the saddle by 7am is when I properly fall in love with cycling. It reminds me why I do it. Being out before the world has woken up and when it’s at its calmest.
There’s just something incredibly beautiful about being out in the solid silence and loneliness and it’s something that to this day I still haven’t got bored of and it’s a gift that keeps on giving.
I’m not one for “The Rules” of velominati. They’re humorous but hardly something to go by but there is one I particularly like. #6. Free the mind and the legs will follow.
When you’re out in the countryside pedalling to the rhythm of your breathing and the only things you can hear is the drivetrain and free wheel on your bike – that’s when your face has a great big smile your face can’t wipe off.
It’s also the best time to clear your head. You don’t even need to think about whatever problems you may have or what is causing you stress you can just go out, spin those pedals and come back feeling a thousand times better. Even if you do struggle getting up the stairs after a ride.
If something makes you happy, do it often!
One thing I do perhaps miss out on is a ‘proper’ Saturday night. Being 21 still you’d expect most lads my age to be going out to town, the pub or whatever and just getting drunk having a good time and whilst I still like to do that I’m happy to do leave it for once every few months.
I’m a firm believer of if something makes you happy, do it often. So that’s just what I do!
Going out on a Saturday night and being hungover the whole next day just doesn’t appeal to me especially only having 2 days off a week, so why waste one feeling like shit? It doesn’t sit well knowing I could be out cycling rather than throwing up all day. 90% of the time I have a better time out on my bike than I would on a night out too, so…apologies for not living up to the stereotype