Saturday mornings are made for snuggling under a warm comforter for a few extra hours of sleep.

Wrong!  Not for cyclists.  Saturdays are the day to get that long ride in, to get out with your friends for a satisfying workout.  These days I don’t use my alarm Monday through Friday.. I only use my alarm for the 5 AM wake up on Saturday morning.  I growl a little when the alarm goes off, then peel the covers off quickly, that shock of cool air waking me enough that it’s just a tad easier to swing my legs over the side of the bed.  I trudge to the bathroom, brush my teeth as the mint from the paste wakes me a bit more, then pull on my cycling clothes as I venture down the dark stairs to the garage.  From there the fun begins.

Usually I already know what bike I am going to ride before I go to bed.  It’s not an eeny meany miney mo choice because the people I ride wait for Saturdays with baited breath, arrangements for our rides set up by a string of emails by Thursday or Friday.  We know where we are going to meet, how far or long we are going to ride, what the bike of choice will be.  This time of year the bike of choice is always my mountain bike, my friends Jon and Jim always ready to ride off road when the air turns cool.  Usually we have a few other friends that join us, but it’s always us three getting dirty on Saturday morning.

So I throw my mountain bike on the back of the VW, toss my helmet, hydration pack, gloves and shoes in the passenger seat, and head out for a quick coffee to take with me to the start of the ride.  We like to get to the start before dawn, watch the sun come up as we catch up on the week, ease into the prep for our ride.  I like Jon and Jim, always casual and easy going even as the pedals start turning, very capable and experienced riders.  We ride hard, but never try to punish each other.  It’s more about being out on the trails together and soaking in the joy of creation.