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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 06-14-17, 07:56 PM   #1
ZippyThePinhead
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Crack of Dawn

Any of you riding during the summer before 5:00 a.m.? It's been a few years since I've done early rides (starting a bit later, actually, like 5:30 a.m. at one time) but long story short, work is making me consider squeezing in a ride between 4:30 a.m. and 5:15 a.m. a few days each week. I think that would be better than riding after work, in the heat of the day with rush-hour traffic. Also, late workouts mess with my sleep.

I like to be on the road heading to work around 5:45 a.m. at the latest, and I see occasional riders out at that hour. But I'm usually climbing out of bed around 4:30, not riding local roads and hills. Around here sunrise will be between 5:40-ish and 6:00 a.m. for the rest of June and July, so I'll be using my lights.

Do you have a coffee before an early ride, or some food? I usually start doing cold extracted coffee around this time of year, which is quicker in the morning.
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Old 06-14-17, 08:00 PM   #2
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Yes! Beat the heat by all means! I don't know about So Cal, but here in the north it is supposed to be in the 100s starting this Friday for over 7 days in a row. Plus it is getting light early enough.

Me? I would have to get up even earlier to get my coffee fix!

So, you're in Fullerton/Brea?

Oh, one other thing: beet pills! Don't forget to take them with a dirty mouth (this is called a tangential snipe--don't mind me!).

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Old 06-14-17, 08:15 PM   #3
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Last Saturday the bike computer said I pushed off at 4:56am. I wanted to get a 57 miler in before it got hot.

It's supposed to be 110+ in Tucson this weekend, so I'll probably start around that time again just to get a decent ride in before it gets hot enough to melt my tires.
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Old 06-14-17, 08:18 PM   #4
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Even here inland, where it actually gets hot, I've found that 6:30 is plenty early enough. The heat soaks in here-- it's often the same temperature here at midnight and 7am, only dropping 1-2º just before sunrise. So leaving at 5am would be the same temperature as leaving at 7am, just a lot darker. On the hottest summer days, so long as I'm off the road around 10-10:30am, I don't have to deal with any real heat.
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Old 06-14-17, 09:34 PM   #5
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4:00 AM to 6:00 AM is a good time.

Crazy drivers start around 6:00 AM and I like to be off the road before the sun comes up and blinds the drivers.

Coffee yes.


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Old 06-14-17, 10:07 PM   #6
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I only get up early for long rides. I have thought about riding before work, I usually roll over and go to sleep before that happens
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Old 06-14-17, 10:09 PM   #7
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Props to you morning guys! We have a few groups around here that take off around 5 or 5:30 AM. I just...can't do it.

On the other hand, we have light until almost 9PM, and "rush hour" is very short. Much different from Southern California. (I lived in Fullerton for a year.)
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Old 06-14-17, 10:26 PM   #8
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I ride year round before dawn, 2-3 mornings a week. I need to be home by 6:30 am to make my train.

I depends on what I have planned for the morning- workout vs ride. And whether I'm meeting people, in which case we need to get coffee after, have to make time for that. There's maybe six or seven of us who ride before dawn and even going out solo, it's not unusual to run into a friend.

Most of my rides start in the 4:30-4:45am range.

I have a cup of black coffee before I head out, but that's it.
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Old 06-14-17, 10:57 PM   #9
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I tend to ride in the evening, starting at 6 or 7 and riding until 9-10.

I love riding in the dark.
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Old 06-15-17, 12:57 AM   #10
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I wish I could get up early enough on the weekends to do it, but I'm too sleepy. I do ride around 8 everyday. I eat breakfast (bowl of cereal and a 3/4 of a sandwich) and drink coffee and a good amount of water. I also suggest doing your business before a morning ride.
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Old 06-15-17, 04:10 AM   #11
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Nothing better than a 'crack'o'dawn' ride in spring/Summer - sunrises are grouse!
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Old 06-15-17, 04:33 AM   #12
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Aside from the mile between Times Square and the office and occasional rides to meetings on Citibike, early mornings are the ONLY time I ride during the week. Used to accumulate about 80 miles during the work week, but I've been slacking lately.
Coffee is on before I even turn on the lights, but I don't eat anything until after I get back from pre-work rides, which don't amount to half what they used to these days. That's the irony of having moved to the area where people like to ride - commuting time cuts into riding time.
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Old 06-15-17, 05:24 AM   #13
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I used to get out early for my commutes to work just so I can do some extra miles before ending up there. I'd be out of the house by 5AM. Near summer solstice it's not bad as it begins to get light. I don't do it other times of the year. It is nice and cool, and especially gratifying on those days when the heat and humidity makes it feel like 100 later on.
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Old 06-15-17, 06:44 AM   #14
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I'm on dawn patrol about three days a week.
(That's me on Shelter Island with downtown San Diego in the background).
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Old 06-15-17, 06:50 AM   #15
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If it fits your schedule ... of course you should ride. And of course you should drink coffee.

If you are short on time, put int in your backup bidon and drink while riding.

As others suggest, the riding is best before about 6, when the people who are crazy to get to work before they wake up start driving.
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Old 06-15-17, 06:55 AM   #16
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Good for you early risers! Personally I prefer the after-work rides (when I actually ride on days when I work).
But I sure understand wanting to beat the heat. This past Tuesday I started a 50 mile ride around 9:00 a.m. Temperatures rose into the mid 90's that day.
Let's just say I paid for that ride.
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Old 06-15-17, 06:57 AM   #17
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It's true that after several really hot days in a row the heat in the early morning may not be all that much different than it would be in the late morning. However, this time of year it is also good to reduce the amount of time you spend riding in the direct rays of the sun. Your skin will thank you, certainly. And, you won't be tempted to shed and sell it prematurely to Louis Vuitton.
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Old 06-15-17, 07:22 AM   #18
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when I was testing some bike commuting last summer, I was on the road 5-6:30 am. it was quite nice but yeah the craziness starts about 6 am. gotta be motivated tho
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Old 06-15-17, 07:39 AM   #19
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I love an early morning ride in the summer. Generally get out at about 5:30 and ride till 7:00, then shower and eat and I'm at my desk or studio by 7:45. (I work from home.) I try to do this 4 days a week. I live in a rural area in Eastern PA and generally I only see 3-5 cars on each ride.
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Old 06-15-17, 08:01 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgconner View Post
I love riding in the dark.

Me too. I actually prefer it. A bit of a sensory deprivation thing. Makes the hills and intervals feel completely different. I also like to be cool or cold when I start riding, I can ride harder.
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Old 06-15-17, 08:04 AM   #21
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On the weekends I get out around 7:00 am. Weekdays I start work pretty early so I have to do evening rides after work starting at 4:30 pm.
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Old 06-15-17, 08:10 AM   #22
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I thought this was the punchline to that Tony Orlando missing joke.

Anyway, family issues keep me from getting out early in the morning. I do most of my running/cycling at night. If it is raining, that means a treadmill/spin bike at the gym. I do like the solitary state of the darkness.
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Old 06-15-17, 08:28 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robj4 View Post
I love an early morning ride in the summer. Generally get out at about 5:30 and ride till 7:00, then shower and eat and I'm at my desk or studio by 7:45. (I work from home.) I try to do this 4 days a week. I live in a rural area in Eastern PA and generally I only see 3-5 cars on each ride.
Hey robj4 - I live just west of Allentown. Where in Eastern PA do you ride?
Perhaps we've crossed paths.
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Old 06-15-17, 08:49 AM   #24
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Hey robj4 - I live just west of Allentown. Where in Eastern PA do you ride?
Perhaps we've crossed paths.
I'm in Moore Township, about 7-8 miles North of Bethlehem. How about you? If I ride in your direction it's mostly North of the LV towards Slatington and Beltsville.
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Old 06-15-17, 09:27 AM   #25
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I get up at 4:20 3 times a week and get in about 12 miles on the old mountain bike. I've been doing this for about a year now. Typically on the bike by 4:30 and get back about 6:10 in time for coffee, shower, and off to work.

If it's raining or below about 35°, I do some indoor exercise instead.

I find you need to be very vigilant in the early morning. Many commuters are half asleep and not expecting to see cyclists. Some don't even bother to stop at signs cause there is no one around. I always yield to cars even if they appear to be waiting for me. If I can't see them, I can't be sure they see me.
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