It’s 7 a.m. It’s cool, dark and calm and the only sounds to be heard are the chirping birds and the steady breathing as I pedal uphill. Waking up at the crack of dawn is how I get saddle time in. Waking up early, before lifts are spinning and before people are really awake is how I enjoy my mornings. It’s really the only way I can get on the bike since I work full time.
I’m at Green Mountain Trails in Pittsfield, pedaling up the long ascent to enjoy the views, nature and the amazing trail network. Since lifts started spinning and since I crashed a few weeks ago, I haven’t been putting the saddle time in I need that will make me a better rider when using the lifts.
To some, riding every morning at this hour seems idiotic, psychotic, even crazy. To me it’s just habit. It’s life. It’s what makes me find my inner Zen. Sometimes I’ll run into another rider out there; most times it’s just me and nature. I push through pain, the pain of pushing myself, pain from crashes that I now attempt to recover from. Pain is what keeps me awake at this hour. Pain is part of trail riding and what makes me a better rider in the end.
Once at the top of the five-mile climb, the pain subsides, my breathing relaxes and I take a moment to enjoy a Clif Bar and a few sips of my Gatorade concoction. Then I get back on the bike and head down the mountain. By this point it’s 8 a.m., and I have to make my way back down to be at work by 9 a.m.
This is my tale from the trails.
It’s my normal routine and is what I consider fun, because in the end I’m not only going to be able to have fun on my bike, but ride longer, pedal harder and push further.