Today I did something I haven't done in too long: I took an early-morning bike ride, and I wasn't going to work.
There was a time in my life when, if such rides didn't constitute the majority of my cycling, they were at least routine. On days when I worked in the afternoon or evening, I took such rides, and on weekends I got up early to take my long rides.
But I can't recall the last time I did such a ride. Part of the reason is the work schedules I've had. I also can't help but to wonder whether the hormones and other changes have made me into more of a night person: I stay and get up later than I used to. At least I can say that, as often as not, I'm writing or doing some other necessary work when I'm "burning the midnight oil."
Today I made a point of getting out early. For one thing, I wanted to avoid the heat this part of the world would experience later in the morning and afternoon. But I also wanted to remember what it was like to take such a ride.
Back in the day, my early-morning rides were solitary or in the company of other hard-core cyclists, all of them male. The latter kind left me pumped with adrenaline and testosterone: If I went through a day cocky, it was a result of such a ride. On the other hand, the early-morning rides I did alone left me feeling a peace with--if not within--myself and the world around me that I rarely, if ever, attained in any other way.
Today's ride--a little more than an hour and a half on Tosca, my "fixie," left me feeling contented and ready for the rest of the day. That was definitely a good thing on a day which is not structured by outside forces. I needed to do laundry (which I did), but there was nothing I absolutely had to get done today. But I managed to accomplish a couple of other things I could just as easily have put off.
I say this, not to congratulate myself, but to show what a wonderful thing it is to be able to ride early in the morning without going to work.