TCI Friday

TCI Friday is a group project. I write the prompt. You answer the question(s) in comments.

I’m an early if reluctant riser. My wife convinced me when our kids were young that the useful hours were at the beginning of the day, before the kids got up, rather than at night after they’d gone to bed, when we were too exhausted to do anything other than watch TV and drool on ourselves. It took a little while to adjust my frame of reference, but now I’m all the way there, though my kids no longer demand my attention much in either the morning or at night.

Getting up early is nice in the spring and summer months, when the sun is risen already. You’re walking out into a day that’s already happening. It’s a much bigger challenge in the late fall and winter, when Vitamin D levels have dropped along with the mercury, and all the signs say it’s still nighttime.

The alarm shatters dreams still in progress. The blanket is at its warmest, its comfiest. And those folks who are meeting me, the ones with all the motivation, become tormentors. I go on saying ‘yes’ to them, but clearly they don’t have my best interests at heart.

That’s me being dramatic. For sure the transition is difficult, the creeping darkness after the equinox, but eventually it gets easier. Not easy. Just easier.

This particular year I was given the gift of a chest cold by the aforementioned kids, and that laid me low right at the time I ought to have been rising to the challenge of the new season. It put me behind the curve, which is a bit like taking off too late for a wave. It leaves you bobbing the froth, hoping you’ll catch something in the next set.

It feels like I need something like a formal plan for this time of year. A playbook I can execute next year, when the days grow short and the air goes crisp.

This week’s TCI Friday asks: How do you manage the transition in seasons? Do you just suck-it-up-buttercup? Or do you have a plan? I do take Vitamin D supplements once it’s dark at 6am. Or am I getting this all wrong? It’s time to sleep in, to follow the sun’s sage advice, to blow off those pre-dawn starts in favor of some much-needed rest.

As a Friday bonus, check out this little movie from Ride Shimano about bike building in Japan.

Join the conversation
  1. tcfrog says

    While I understand the idea of waking up and getting a workout in before the kids wake up, it presupposes two things – first, that your kids actually sleep in, and second, that the evening is off-limits. Since my kids rarely sleep past 6:30, to get a decent ride in and clean up before the kiddos need help, I’d have to be up before 5. That wouldn’t really let me be functional the second half of my work day, let alone in the evening when all my kids want to do is interact with me. For that reason, I’ve started doing trainer rides in the evening after the kids go to sleep instead of waking early. It’s just what fits well for me. My oldest is 8, but I’m hoping when they’re all a bit older, going for rides after dinner while the kids self-entertain will be a possibility. Who knows, maybe they’ll want to come along sometimes too.

  2. jlaudolff says

    Every season offers the promise of something new and special. That is enough to get me out the door.

  3. schlem says

    Fenders, kevlar tires, gore-tex, profanity, self-loathing.
    If it ain’t pissing rain sideways, I am compelled to get out. And the spin bike, the Iron Maiden, abides in the basement.
    Cold? Fine.
    Wet? Fine.
    Cold AND wet? Fuggit.

  4. rides in be says

    I do not feel like I manage the transition very well. Not to sound melodramatic but I always have a short season of grief and then I try to find some motivation to get back on Zwift and do some core work. The last few years after a total knee replacement the motivation to rehab has actually helped to transition to a different season and work on something that just might make me a more joyful cyclist when the spring comes and the snow goes away and the mountain roads are free of grit, sand, and people driving to ski

  5. alanm9 says

    I guess I’m of the suck it up variety. Been leaving before dawn on my bike commute all seasons for 30+ years. Except for occasional snow and ice, the winter just changes how long I have to allot for putting on extra clothes. Plus, when I roll out on a weekend jaunt around 8 it always feels warm and toasty.

  6. Jeff vdD says

    I don’t really sense seasonal “transitions,” perhaps because the difference between full summer and full winter comes just a bit of light at a time, a day at a time.

    My riding doesn’t change even if my bike, clothing, lights, and riding companions do.

  7. TominAlbany says

    I flounder a bit as it gets colder and darker. And I jump when the unseasonably warm days arrive. (Rode twice this past Saturday!)
    I start to do some early morning running and going to the Y. Evenings I’m too whipped to do much, especially if it’s my week with the kids. They’re teens but, I suck up every moment I can with them when they’re here.

    I’ll start snowshoeing and XC skiing when weather permits.

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