Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Morning Rides

I like morning rides because most of the time I'm alone, things are quiet, the animals are out, and I don't have to worry about hitting someone coming up the single track. Plus, it seems like the weather is also just waking up. There are many times when I finish riding about 8:30 a.m. that the rain starts, but not before. You also get to experience the "warming effect" of a morning ride. For instance, I started at the Oak Creek gate at 7:00 a.m. on MLK day and it was 24 degrees. An hour later (60:47 to be exact, I know not a real fast time, but steady) I reach the bench on the top of McCulloch Peak and it is 39 with a stunning view. I get an ice pick coming down after the South Side Slip because it is only 27 at the car.

This is the same reason I like night rides, not riding in the dark, but a night ride which start about 9:30 p.m. The weather quiets down and the animals are back out and we don't have to worry about running into anyone coming up the trails.

I mention that because also on MLK day, my wife wanted to hike, so we also started at the Oak Creek gate at 1:00 p.m. and hiked up to the "half way" bench just before you get to the Endo trail head. In that 1.5 hour round trip we saw about 20+ hikers, numerous dogs, and 10 mountain bikers (where we you at 7:00 a.m?). It was like grand central. Now I admit, the Oak Creek gate like the Saddle is the Highway of Mac Forrest, but still in the morning even on a busy use day, you have the place to yourself.

The other advantage of early morning or late night rides is that you have the entire day to do everything else you need or be with the family. I find they are much more supportive of me riding when it doesn't doesn't impact the family or become a "burden."

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