The crack of sparrows

So, I’m up and awake this morning at 2am. All is quiet outside, even the birds are still asleep, but I can’t stop thinking about the day’s ride ahead. It’s an early start to get the commute out of the way so that I can start the trail just before dawn and get the most out of it before the weekend warriors turn out in their droves.

Not that I have an issue with other riders riding ‘my’ trails, but at times it can get congested out there, so doing things at silly O’Clock means I get all of the benefits but none of the negative attention that comes with it…although the big benefit that I do miss out on I would rather just ignore.

Most of the time, on the dirt trails, I am alone and not a soul in sight for miles…but at the weekend that is rarely the case. If I’m out early then even if something were to happen to me…it would only be a matter of time before someone else rides past me. It is an odd thing to plan for the unexpected or even your own demise, but just giving yourself a little bit of coverage goes a long way even when your confidence should be high.

Right now the bike is packed with essentials like Angel Cake and coffee, folding spade and saw, waterproofs and cameras. The panniers are on because I need to transport some extra items to my final destination and the first slurp of coffee is going down well.

I’m just about ready for the off. It’s now 5:30 in the morning and the birds are just waking up but the rest of the local world is silent. I have a mission to ride new cool trails this morning and give me that lift that only man on bike & dirt can give me. The call of the wild, the intrepid explorer…the adventurer…albeit still within a day’s walk of civilisation.

My route will take me up onto the hills and down into the valley floor, through forests and over the open plains. I’ll be crossing rivers, cutting along hedge trails and launching myself over rocks and logs…all in the pursuit of much happiness.

I can’t wait and I’m ready to twist that throttle. This is why I have not been able to sleep and this is why I must write, as an act of centering before I launch. To keep myself in check, to consider clearly and to rationalise with purpose. This is what the weekend ride is all about. Getting out and doing something new, travelling to places as yet unseen, to explore and expand the horizons…and just ride more dirt.

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