By the dawn’s early light

18 07 2012

I’m a morning person. Much to the dismay of the Princess of Pavement.

Even on my days off, I leave the alarm set for 6 a.m.

In July that even means I’m sleeping in. Because when the Tour de France is on, I watch it live. That means setting my alarm regularly for 5 a.m., and as early as 3:30 a.m. for those gruelling mountain stages.

It’s the least I can do to honour the riders’ suffering.

But as early as I awaken, I still like to ease into my day, by catching up on the Internet, listening to the radio, flipping through the newspaper (now that we actually subscribe to one for the first time in more than three years; it’s free, which is a pretty sad statement on our industry), watering the plants on the balcony, eating breakfast.

I’m not particularly keen to pursue robust activity that early.

On Tuesday, still basking in the post-Fondo glow, I pitched an idea to RDM and his riding buddies that we prepare for our long drive home later that day by heading out for a ride in the morning. Early morning. As in 6 a.m. early.

Lapierre in the pre-dawn gloom.

After all, my body clock is already on TdF time. We’d beat the heat of the day. And we’d get to wring a little more enjoyment from the beautiful surroundings of Penticton.

An early ride through the hills and vineyards.

And so we headed out for a robust two-hour spin up to the vineyards above Summerland, with their gorgeous vistas over Okanagan Lake. It was, we all agreed, our favourite part of the fondo route.

Saturday, we did it again. This time a 100 kilometre hammerfest to The Goat. After my companions shook away their overnight cobwebs, we all enjoyed a serene sunrise, the cool morning air, quiet roads not yet busy with traffic and a whole afternoon free and clear.

A pretty payoff for the early start.

The early morning ride, they all agreed, was a good idea. But not one they’re too enthused to repeat any time soon.
We’ll see.