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  1. #1
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    Early morning rides

    Ok, it is 5:00 am here and I have been up since 3:00. Just got in from my ride. Is it just me or is any one else addicted to the rush of riding at the crack of dawn, where it is just you and the road. no traffic, cool summer night breeze, hearing the dawn chorus (birds) at about 4:30 getting in just as the morning commuters get up to go to work, watching the sunrise. Does anyone know what I am talking about or do I ride alone on this one?
    Don't stop believing in the sun just because it is raining

  2. #2
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    You're by no means alone. I love setting out at 4.30am (yes, even in "winter") before anybody else is up. One thing I particularly like doing is getting up ridiculously early and climbing the mountains west of here in darkness, watching dawn gradually break over the coast. Then descending in daylight, it looks like two completely different rides.

    One ride I do remember earlier this year was a pre-dawn ride in pouring rain before work one morning. It felt like I had the whole world to myself. Pre-dawn is the time to ride. :thumbup:
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
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  3. #3
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    5:43 here and I am heading out to do my 30 mile recovery ride bro. Early morning rides rule!

    Chuck

  4. #4
    Look Ma, NO hands!
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    When I commute into work I have to leave home at 3:30am to be ready to work at 5am. I love riding in the early morning, especially on a Sunday morning when it seems like NO one is up and about!

    Gotta love em!

  5. #5
    bac
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    Fresh body - little traffic ... what's not to like!

  6. #6
    Go Yankees MI_rider's Avatar
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    There isn't a better way to start the day than with an early morning ride. The lack of traffic and the cooler temperatures make it perfect.

  7. #7
    Pat
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    During the week, I do predawn rides. In central Florida this is a good idea because the traffic volume is much less at that time and it is not hot and humid enough to cook you until later in the day. Also, the drivers tend to be sane. They seem to let the lunatics out at about 7 AM.

  8. #8
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    Once I recuperate from this friggin 'case of the flu I'll be out at the crack of dawn. Morning is always my favorite time; all the mockingbirds and such are out in force and I can hear our roosters crowing like idiotic alarm clocks, plus you can hear the larger "skreech" of the big hawks and the sharper, smaller "klee, klee, klee" of the merlins-sparrowhawks. The roads are quiet and you can just barely hear the rumble of the new freeway (that is downwind of our house, unfortunately). The air is much cleaner and more clear and now that school is out we don't have all the moms in their expensive SUVs racing their kids late to school.

    I guess I am a morning person. And during the heat of the summer, I will be a morning rider.
    I . . can . . . doooo . . . it

  9. #9
    Senior Member chip's Avatar
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    I'm the same way I like the early morning hours a lot better then evening cycling

  10. #10
    It's only a hill. Weasel's Avatar
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    I can relate to all the stories. The best shift I work is my early shift. Up at 3, out by 3.30, start work at 4.45.

    DEAD calm, no people, no cars, just the odd bird or two chirping. No traffic lights, no stopping, no morons, no noise, no pollution, no nothing - just you and your bike, tyres whirring on tarmac...ah bliss.
    If you want spectacular results, you have to know how to treat your bike badly.

  11. #11
    Burn-em Upus Icephaltus Gojohnnygo.'s Avatar
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    :thumbup: Early morning rides are the best.I commute at 3 AM.

    One word of caution LOOK out for that DUI driver on his way home from the pub.I have had more then just a few life ending close calls with a$$ holes like this.
    Sick BubbleGum

  12. #12
    Da Big Kahuna
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    I try to ride early, though I've only gone so early as to require lights a few times. But it isn't early enough to avoid all traffic here, which starts darn early.

    But what about problems with lighting? I can't ride very fast except in places with lots of street lighting because I wouldn't be able to see the hazzards early enough. Are you folks using very powerful systems or just not riding very fast or do you just have really smooth roads without trash on them?

    Bob

  13. #13
    XtC Addict Dazza's Avatar
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    Here in UK the lighting is perfect in that time for riding, you guys have persuaded me to do it, im setting out tomorrow at 4, may do about 40 or so miles.

    Cant wait.
    ...

  14. #14
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    I am glad to see that I am not alone! The only thing about early morning ridesis that there are not many of us on the same road at the same time, but some times that is the point isnt it Chris, I envy your early morning mountain rides they must be spectacular!! the best I can do is out in the woods on a country road as the sun comes up. however watching the sun come up in the city and watching the city wake up is pretty cool too.

    It is the early morning temperatures that have got me hooked. especially late fall, nothing like working the chill out of your bones with a good ride!

    TheRCF, I use two LED lights by Planet Bike "beamer" model. they are super bright, they use the same technology as some of the new LED superlight flashlights for ultralight camping (if you are into that sort of thing) I could get away with just one for some of the lit streets, but defineatly 2 for the darker paths. I ususally take it easy if I am going on uneven terrain but I dont advise it very often. otherwise once your eyes get adjusted to the light you should be able to avoid any major obstacles and be able to go at a good pace.

    Gojohnygo: I know what you mean about the DUI I%$#@ one time I tried to see if riding between 12-2 was just as good.... bad idea especially on friday night.... so now it is just 3:00am onward

    cheers
    Don't stop believing in the sun just because it is raining

  15. #15
    Da Big Kahuna
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    I have one headlight - a Cateye opticube. I have no idea how it compares to what you use.

    Bob

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    Senior Member mascardr's Avatar
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    I go for a short rides at about 5:30 and it just makes for a good day. I just seem to have more energy during the rest of the day.

  17. #17
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    Some of my most memorable moments on randonnees have been when the pre-dawn lights up the sky in brilliant reds. Country that was singed by low rainfall became mystical.

    Riding from midnight onwards is great... few cars and trucks, a fair bit of wildlife to keep you alert, and stars by the millions in the black sky. Then, if there is a half, three-quarter or full moon with no cloud, there is a luminence that makes everything glow. Just wonderful.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  18. #18
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I do most of my purely recreational cycling by the dawn's early light.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  19. #19
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    I've taken to doing my riding as early as possible- so I'm now up at 4:20am and trying to get myself out by 445am. First, it's just cooler out, so it's relief from the sun, which is nice. Plus, there's less traffic out- I live right in the middle of downtown Chicago, and there's just no way you can escape the traffic, so you're constantly riding in the traffic, and with all the starting and stopping, you just can't get a lot of significant quality mileage. I will probably hit rush hour, though, but that wouldn't happen until towards the end of my ride, which is nicer. On the weekends, I can probably avoid heavy traffic entirely, since most folks don't get up and about until later in the morning.

    Of course, in the wintertime, this will change- unlike ChrisL's area of the world, a real winter where the wind chill is so low it keeps your water frozen in your water bottle, it would be impossible for me to keep myself warm that early in the morning. I would switch to early afternoon riding, when it would be at least 5 C outside.

  20. #20
    Avid cyclist Heidi's Avatar
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    I used to ride from 4:00 - 6:00 every morning until I got a bad case of the flu and could not ride for almost 2 weeks. That broke me of taking early morning rides.



    I am off all this month, so I think I will try the early morning thing again now!
    I love to ride my bike!

  21. #21
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by lifetan
    Chris, I envy your early morning mountain rides they must be spectacular!! the best I can do is out in the woods on a country road as the sun comes up. however watching the sun come up in the city and watching the city wake up is pretty cool too.
    Yeah, I get to see that, too. These mountains overlook the city as well .

    Originally posted by TheRCF
    But what about problems with lighting? I can't ride very fast except in places with lots of street lighting because I wouldn't be able to see the hazzards early enough. Are you folks using very powerful systems or just not riding very fast or do you just have really smooth roads without trash on them?
    I recently bought a new 12w headlight for just that purpose. It gives me plenty of illumination. You could probably get by with something that was just 5w, but I'd recommend at least 10w. Of course, if you just wait for a full moon, this might solve a lot of your problems, too.

    Originally posted by Koffee Brown
    Of course, in the wintertime, this will change- unlike ChrisL's area of the world, a real winter where the wind chill is so low it keeps your water frozen in your water bottle, it would be impossible for me to keep myself warm that early in the morning.
    At 4.30 am this morning in the middle of a Queensland "winter" it was about 10 deg C.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
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  22. #22
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    Skies painted it reds and purples, birds singing in choral harmony, dew evaporating into the morning mist..... looks like a lot of us morning riders are romantics at heart... at least my wife thinks so about me I used to try riding year round up here in the great white north, actually one of the coolest (pardon the pun) winter rides I've ever been on was in Thunder Bay, Canada, just north of Duluth, Minnesota, the temp was -48 C (thats - 54.4 F if I did the math right) the wind chill dropped the temp down ten degrees, the icicles were huge off the houses, the northern lights were spectacular, and you could hear the ice crack from the cold. add about a foot and a half of fresh powder snow, I didnt know if I was riding or skiing. sometimes you gotta hand it ot those sears bikes- it got me through the snow, ice rain hmmmm shoulda been a postman what a ride!!!

    Mascardr, I too feel great after an early morning ride, better than a tim hortons double double (sorry thats canadian for a great cup of coffee)
    Don't stop believing in the sun just because it is raining

  23. #23
    Senior Member JasBike's Avatar
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    Originally posted by lifetan
    Ok, it is 5:00 am here and I have been up since 3:00. Just got in from my ride. Is it just me or is any one else addicted to the rush of riding at the crack of dawn, where it is just you and the road. no traffic, cool summer night breeze, hearing the dawn chorus (birds) at about 4:30 getting in just as the morning commuters get up to go to work, watching the sunrise. Does anyone know what I am talking about or do I ride alone on this one?


    as much as i hate waking up, its a wonderful thing to be up before the rest of the world, and getting to watch them follow suit while cruising along on a bike

  24. #24
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    Originally posted by lifetan
    ...the northern lights were spectacular...
    Ah, now there is something I really want to see again... the aurora australis, the southern version of the aurora borealis. I've only ever seen the AA once, while doing a motor rally control 10 years ago in the middle of one of our southern forests. Really, really spectacular. Nature has an awesome way of ensuring the human species knows its place... as a miniscule part of the universe.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  25. #25
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    I thought I was the only person who loved to ride in pre-dawn. I asked my biking buddy to make sure and bring lights for his bike on RAGBRAI because I wanted to leave before sunup at least one time. I love to watch the sun rise and the fog lift from the fields.

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