I’m one of those guys who lays out his cycling kit the night before a ride. I’m not the only one who does this, right?
Why? First and foremost, I’m excited! I’ve only been riding “properly” for about 5 years and I love getting out on the road whenever I get the chance. Second, I have a 2 year old son, Maxwell, who I try to not disturb because the more sleep he gets, the better that is for me. And thirdly, I am going to be up EARLY, but more on that later.
I fell in love with cycling in San Francisco, where my wife and I lived, “pre-Max”. While we were there, I would spend most weekday mornings and at least one day on the weekend exploring the uncrowded, redwood-lined peaks and valleys of Marin County with a bunch of more-stoked-than-serious friends.
We would tackle hour long climbs up twisting and turning two lane highways, hurtle down speedy descents with cliffs on the side as high as the safety barriers weren’t, and take our road bikes on to loose gravel and root-rutted roads without a second thought. To calm our nerves, we may have even had a few beers along the way…
When Max was born in early 2017, a lot of things changed but even without noticing, I became more conservative in my riding. After all, my actions now had consequences, potentially life threatening ones. I NEVER rode helmet-less, I upgraded my front and back lights, I paid more attention to the condition of my tires and I began to ride very early in the morning when traffic was at a minimum.
I value these early morning rides for multiple reasons but mostly because they provide me with a rare window of independence and solitude before arriving home to a dependent and often loud toddler. I may return home to Max quietly eating an apple and watching Thomas the Tank-Engine or he might be collapsed in a heap on the kitchen floor wailing because he wasn’t allowed to use the kitchen knife to butter his crumpet – either way, I will have had a bit of “me-time” before tackling the day. It’s not unusual to find my wife in her work-out clothes ready to tag out for her time alone as soon as I get home.
Max has shown an early interest in biking (like he even had a choice!) and we’ve been blessed with two council clean-up finds – an old pink “radio flyer” tricycle and now a cheapie BMX with training wheels. I don’t know if it’s realistic but I want to see him off training wheels by age 3. Even if it doesn’t pan out, I know he and I will have a lot of fun together trying.