Over the colder months I find it increasingly hard on occasions to garner the motivation to prize myself away from the warm cocoon of bed, to suit and saddle up, hitting the freezing tarmac to get those all important and often trumpeted ‘winter base’ miles. Recently iv discovered that moving around my cycling, whether it be to a different time of day or a different route to play on has reignited the passion and im finding it increasingly easier to cast aside the covers with reckless abandon…. grabing fistfulls of lycra carefully laid out the evening before, and jumping atop my winter bike to roll out on another early morning solo adventure. Simon Gerrans recently summed up the motivation experience with such a great quote from his coach Dave Sanders –
Spotted this beaut of a handbuilt steed over at Justin Spinelli’s Luxe Wheelworks. I love everything about this bike, its understated aggression and the stealthy finish to it. A belter…
“the hardest part about going training is putting on your socks”
I always lay out my kit in anticipation of an early morning roll out – it softens the blow of waking up at 5:30am to simply remove pyjamas and jump straight into the soft comforting arms of super-roubaix and softshell fabrics. Another tip is to lay out the baselayer on the radiator… instant toastiness that no winter warrior can resist passing up.
You see, however hard it is to get that initial motivation and get-up-and-go feeling, once im actually out there on the open road, i NEVER regret the decision to train, no matter what ungodly hour I see the city, it matters not that I have a busy day ahead with a late night finish… for this moment i have zero regret that im out riding my bike and enjoying the city before sunrise.
Atop some cheeky little north London climbs, lie the rewards ready to be reaped for the season ahead. Legs will become stronger and more efficient as you dance atop the pedals up a particularly steep climb, or choose to grind out a slow lingering hill. But its not just the fitness rewards that await the early morning intrepid stealth-cyclist… its the breathtaking views and the ability to enjoy a deserted cityscape, inhabited only by other early-morning risers. There can be no more rewarding feeling than to sit smugly at the apex of a climb and take 5 minutes to soak in the surroundings, knowing so many others opted to pull the covers over their heads, ignore the early morning alarm that was set with all the best intentions, whilst you took the bull by the horns, you decided today was the day to set the training in motion on the new loop you discovered perfect for that pre-office workout.
So with the little training loop done I head back to the office bike part, hanging up the Colnago in the bike park area until the commute home later. I cant help but feel chuffed and happy and warm (proper layering and good quality clothing like gloves will make all the difference when tarting around before sunrise on your bike this time of year). The rewarding glow will last all day, even if you don’t, and find yourself dropping off before hometime.
Lights + decent clothing + good music + handful of haribo + bidon of water = perfect training
You’ll Know – Eliphino
A Town Called Obsolete (Mount Kimbie rmx) – Andreya Triana
Fort Teen – Dorian Concept
Always – Hackman
Snow & Taxis – Gold Panda
Kaili (Walls rmx) – Caribou
CMYK – James Blake
Earthquake (Gold Panda rmx) – Little Boots
Leave House (Ikonika rmx) – Caribou
The Floating World (Eliphino rmx) – Kidkanevil
Snowburst – Italtek
Rock Wit U (Yoruba Soul dub) – DJ Jazzy Jeff
Tilt Shift – Mosca
Will Be Gone – Dave DK
Channel One (Dave DK rmx) – Pablo Bolivar
Pushin’ – Duncan Powell