#bikeschool: Morning Glory

I was out riding on Friday morning, on route to meet the rest of the gang, taking in the morning air and the quiet roads when I realised not everyone gets the wonderful experience of early morning cycling. Whether your work/life balance prevents you riding in the morning or your commuting route starts and ends in rush hour, by not getting that early morning cycling glory, you are missing out on one of the wonders of riding.

The quietness of the empty roads, the slow movement of delivery drivers arriving at shops, the buffudled look you get from drivers trying to work out how early you must have left the house to be in such a rural place on your bike… All things I love experiencing on early morning bike rides. I often commute to work and when I work during the day I have to leave the house around 5am. It’s cold, it’s bleak and most of the time I’d rather spend the extra hour in bed. But once I’m out of the door and flying along the coast road, looking at the sea in the star light, I remember why I’m doing it.

I’m sure for many of you leaving the house at 5am is up there with sticking pins in your eye or as beneficial to a relaxed lifestyle as wrestling an alligator, but I urge you to try it. Maybe wait until the weather warms up a bit if you’re not too sure, but I promise you there is no feeling like an early morning bike ride; the wind, the crisp air, the open road. My early morning cycling glory.

Homework

Do you get to ride early in the morning? Do you love or loathe your early morning commute? What are the benefits of getting that ride done early in the day? Let us know below what you think of morning rides and if you are considering stepping up to the plate and tackling the hazy dawn sunshine soon. I’d love to hear your positives and negatives of morning cycling.

Photo c/0 Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

  • horizonseeker

    Retired and can do what I want. I love getting up early for a ride, but not the winter time. After riding for a couple of hours, I love to stop for that cup of coffee and a danish. By the way, if the pictures you posted can’t get you up for a sunrise, then nothing can. Great pictures!

  • Jake Schoellkopf

    I commute by bike to the train at 5:40 am. Winter is tough, seeing where the moon is at that hour is a treat (it’s always somewhere different in the heavens!), no traffic and it’s now getting light earlier and earlier. I virtually have the roads to myself.

    End of the day commute is a different story altogether.

  • http://twitter.com/icemanbb Bob Burpee

    For me an early morning ride is wonderfully peaceful and riding in the dark is surreal.

  • Jessie

    There is nothing better than an early morning ride before anyone else is out on the streets.  I am ready to get out there early again as soon as the temperatures cooperate.  There is also the benefit of calm conditions and getting out there before the winds pick up.

  • http://www.wet-works.net/ Heather H

    I love early morning rides. My commute isn’t super early, but I catch a nice sunrise every now and then. I like to start my training rides as early as possible, especially in the summer to avoid heavier traffic and the Texas heat.

  • http://www.bikeview.ca/ Ken Walker

    My morning commutes really vary.  In December, with the winter bike, studded tires, snow on the ground and dark going to work and dark coming back.  In the fall and spring there are these amazing shadows cast long beside me.  In the summer on a great shiny day riding my road bike it just feels awesome.  My commute is about to double in April, 13Km to 27Km one way. We’ll see how that goes.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this to you before, but anyone who commutes in Canadian winter conditions deserves some sort of award.  Thanks for writing in, Ken.

      • http://www.bikeview.ca/ Ken Walker

        Wow, thanks.  Actually this winter has been pretty mild and without a lot of snow.  I’ve only gone through 2 sets of brake pads as well, an indication of how much dirt/grit is on the road.  Still had a cold day of around -25˚C or so.  Love your site too and your enthusiasm for biking! 

  • Raymond

    I nearly collided with a badger at about five in the morning. It was the first badger I’ve seen in my life. In spring and summer it’s great getting out so early as long as there’s no frost.

  • Giovelli

    The benefits of getting a ride in early in the day is that I never have to try and fit it in later.  It wakes me up and gets me ready to take on the day plus it also puts me in a good mood.  I recommend an early morning ride to everyone.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Exactly, Giovelli….I call that Paying Yourself First.  If you get your riding done first thing then there is no worries about having to fit it in later in the day.  Thanks for your comments.

  • Roger

    I get out riding in the early morning as often as possible.  Sure some days it’s hard to get out of bed, but a few seconds on the road and I’m feeling great.

  • http://twitter.com/mclgreenville Matt Long

    my goal starting in March is to commute at least once a week.  Difficult now because I’m normally on the daycare duties on the way in but my ride roundtrip is an easy 15 miles to and from work.  Perfect for early day riding.

  • http://twitter.com/PDogB P. Dog

    Mornings are great, but I leave a little later than that. I am extremely lucky to have a paved nature trail that runs all the way to town. = 5 mi.  I like to leave by 7:30am, with a goal to arrive by 8:05am.  (work begins at 9am, I like to take my time, also to leave some extra time for any poss. events which may occur, such as repair to tire,etc) I don’t have a fancy commuter bike. I have a 6 yr. old, 3-sp. cruiser that I couldn’t live w/o.  If rainy,  I use those plastic bags that a new quilt or set of sheets come in and pack my work attire in it. Keeps them dry in my basket.  I wear rainboots on my feet and put a plastic bag over my seat when I get there.  You develop a system and prepack everything you need. The ride clears my head and preps me for a mildly stressful job, brings color to my cheeks and up close killer view of the seasons changing, wildlife, etc. along the way. Highly recommend trying it. PS) Make sure you have working lights when days are short. PPS) Evenings are great too! Unwind time!

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Great comments and tips, P. Dog.  I always love to hear about people who commute by bike and are so excited about it.  Keep up the great cycling.

  • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

    There is something so magical about early mornings and I love that you brought it up in today’s post, Stevie.  As you know, I love cycling….and I love the idea about being out there first thing in the morning to soak up all the magic.  But I love my Family even more and right now I choose to spend my mornings cuddling with my kids so the early morning rides are going to have to wait until they don’t want to cuddle with Daddy any more.

    Fantastic post today, Sir Stevie.

  • Justin

    I wish I got outside for more early riding.  I enjoy it immensely but I seem to have more availability later on in the day.

  • Mark Beaconsfield

    Morning rides are the best. My commute used to be at 5am. The cold air combined with the ride certainly wakes you up in a hurry. Also, the roads were mostly deserted, The freedom of having the roads to myself is always fun. I would arrive at work warmed up, wide awake and happy. Ready to start the day.

  • Drmiczak

    I enjoy riding early in the morning in the summer months. You are right though. Early morning rides are so beautiful.