4:30 am, the alarm clock goes off. For most, there would be hesitation, a certain disbelief and resentment that it’s time to wake up. For me, it’s Go Time! My wife and two month old daughter are fast asleep next to me; in the room adjacent, our toddler is sawing little mini logs. I arise: quietly walk out the bedroom door, grab the duffle bag that I had, so diligently the night before, packed with my kit and gear required for what was about to ensue. I creep down the stairs, trying to avoid the inevitable squeaky steps.
Once downstairs, I set the bag down and begin the ritual of brewing the precious bean. Coffee is my only companion as I stare out the window, attempting to gauge what the weather is about to bestow upon me. Movements are quick as I go through the routine of drinking coffee, making breakfast/lunch, packing my bag and getting mentally prepared for the day.
Several times I step outdoors to get a real gauge on the temperature/conditions before the final gear selection is made. Once this, all important, decision is made it’s time to gear up and get out! I walk out my front door, “clickety clack” to the garage and grab whichever bike is lucky (?) enough to make the cut that morning. Most mornings, it’s the steel road bike with disk brakes and fenders, this is Portland after all and the inevitability of rain is most certain. Tires pumped, pressures checked and lights are placed: the last steps before mounting up.
I’m out and rolling by 6:00am and for the next, two sublime hours, I’m riding! Before the traffic, before the work, before I am expected to show up and act “professionally,” before it’s time to be “Papa;” I get to experience the thrill and the simple beauty of riding a bicycle.