Monday, May 17, 2010

10 Great Things About Getting Up This Early

Editor's Note: Yes, Max promised you a write-up about his race, but he's still thinking up excuses. He should be done tomorrow.

I gotta blame the birds.

Not that we have that many trees around our house, but we have enough that the birds usually wake me up when they start twittering at the rising sun. (For those of you who don't know, before there was Twitter there was twittering -- a thing that birds and grandmothers used to do. Birds still twitter, since they lack the opposable thumbs necessary for text messaging, but grandmothers now Tweet pictures of their grandchildren smushing creamed beets up their noses.)

Anyway, the birds. They're out there telling one another, "Hey, look, Ralphie. The sun!" "Where? Oh, yeah. Golly." "Yeah, it never did that before." "Jeepers, no. That rising in the east thing ... that's definitely new." "Yeah. Definitely."

And on and on. I mean, who can sleep through all that racket? (In case you're curious, RandoGirl can. She does it very well, and is quite pretty doing it.)

So, it's 4:50 am, and I'm awake. I go ahead and perform my morning ablutions (I love that word ... it implies so much) get dressed and am on the bike heading for work at 5:30.

You see, it's Bike-to-Work Week. Just like last year, I plan to ride my bicycle to work every day this week. Friday, which is Bike-to-Work Day, I plan to bike down to Franklin (about 15 miles from my house) and lead a group of cyclists in to downtown, thus helping them to all bike to work that day. Once we're downtown, Mayor Karl Dean is supposed to greet us at the capitol. It will be a HUGE gathering of cyclists, and I am really, really, really excited about it.

But, back to this morning. Here are 10 great things about riding in that early.
  1. It's light enough that you don't need lights, yet dark enough that you don't feel stupid turning them on.
  2. It's dark enough that you get to enjoy the colors of the sunrise. On a morning like this, with the sun peeking up under the last of the weekend's clouds, it went from gray to pink to crimson. Glorious.
  3. It's dark enough that your lights make you more visible to cars. Noon, on a sunny day, I doubt that running my rear red light does me much good.
  4. There are almost no cars.
  5. The few cars that there are can easily pass you, because there's nobody coming the other way.
  6. The few cars that pass you still slow down, because they're not late for work. Most of them are just heading to Dunkin' Donuts.
  7. Since there are so few cars, you can take a road on which you might not normally ride your bike. Now, don't go crazy with this and start biking on the interstate. I was able to take Holt Road this morning, which is a two-lane with no shoulder and a 35-mph speed limit. Normally, there are a lot of cars on it, but this morning I was passed by three vehicles, and they all did so nicely. This cut a mile off of my commute. Even better, it cut out a steep hill that, due to the winding nature of the roads I typically take, I have to go over twice. Ouch.
  8. The dogs are still asleep.
  9. Bakeries are open, and their stuff is just coming out of the oven. My strawberries and cream scone from Panera this morning was perfect.
  10. You get to work early enough to be very productive and make tons of money for the company to which you are unflaggingly loyal. Or, you can eat a scone and write your blog.
So, what are you going to do tomorrow morning when the birds wake you up?


  1. With you as an inspiration, I rode, even though my panniers are under repair and I pulled the trailer instead. Good training, though. Had fun visiting with RandoGirl & Co. during the TdC. Looking forward to your 600K report.

  2. Thanks! I look forward to recovering enough from the 600K to write said report.