People who don't get up super early in the morning won't know this yet but, those of you who do, you know it's already started.
The sun has turned into a lazy ass and is taking its sweet ol' time waking up the morning. Every day it's a little more noticeable and every day it seems a little more dramatic. The lingering darkness is creeping into my morning routine. I wouldn't normally mind that very much. I love heading out for runs in the early morning sunshine but I also love heading out for runs in the dark and watching the sky brighten and the sun rise. I'm happy heading out for runs in any kind of light because, well, I just like running.
This summer though, I'm looking at the diminishing morning light with a certain amount of horror and growing sadness.
Because this is the first summer where I have discovered the joys of early-morning cycling.
I discovered those joys several weeks back. When the sun was already up at 5am and I headed out without a care in the world. And then the sun would be asleep when I woke up but was up by the time I got my clothes on and my bike out. Then the sun would be creeping over the horizon within a few minutes of the start of my ride.
Now it takes the first twenty minutes of my 70-minute ride before I even see the sky change colours. I leave in darkness and it stays that way for an uncomfortably long time. Yet I still come home squinting into the sun that is bursting over the treetops.
Last week, I decided enough was enough and I headed to the local cycling store. If I was going to keep riding in the early mornings, I was going to have to purchase some safety equipment. Namely, a front and a rear light.
I explained my issue and the lady brought me over to the light section. She showed me a few options and then landed on the one that 'all the staff in the store use'. It has a USB charger (no batteries!) and is so bright that I saw spots for several minutes after she showed me. The front light is every brighter.
So this morning, before you even read this post, I will have gone out for my first fully lit, super safe, rule-abiding, early morning bike ride.
I know that these lights will only buy me a few more weeks because it's one thing to need to be seen. It's another thing entirely not to be able to see. And unless I want to start wearing a headlamp or cycling with a flashlight between my teeth, I don't have much time left before it gets too dark to safety navigate the streets.
But I'm going to enjoy the time I do have and spend the winter dreaming about getting back out there as early as possible next spring.