Sunrise Shadows

It was actually a treat to do my workout this morning. I was originally planning on doing the intervals then meeting the crew for a fun night ride. But my work schedule is crazy this week and I had family conference late. I wasn't sure I'd have enough time for it all before the night ride started. So I got every thing ready last night for a predawn pedal. Lights for my helmet and bars - Exposure Diablo on my helmet and the Toro on my bars. Light wouldn't be the limiting factor as to how early I could leave! It would be the temperature. I've been running in the morning and it's been chilly. So I laid out my warm clothes - wool base layer, long sleeved jersey and Gore jacket   My "winter" gloves, wool Swiftwick socks, leg warmers and booties. Enough to tackle the 25° chill. I was ready to go - my own private sunrise lap before work! It was still night dark when I left the house, the stars glinting in the navy sky. The moon was bright, but only half a circle shone down. There was no hint of the sun yet on the eastern horizon. Crisp and chilly air filled my lungs as I pedaled up the back way into Stratton. I was alone on the road and the trail - my lights filling the empty track, glittering against the frost on the bushes. And it was empty - at least until I got to Stratton. On the climb up from the high school, I startled a herd of deer. They weren't expecting company that early! I meandered across Stratton towards the reservoir road, watching the faint glow from the east. There weren't any clouds to provide for a spectacular sunrise, but the colors were still refreshing. The inky darkness of night faded away to pale blue streaked with pinks and oranges. My shadow was tinged with gold and mauve against the scrub oak along the road. A sunrise shadow - surprisingly different from the sunset shadows we are used to. On the road, doing my workout and the early morning dog walkers didn't know what to do about me. I don't think they have seen someone out riding at that time before! Didn't help that I had my lights on for the first hour of the ride - blindingly bright. I tried not to look at anyone, but it's hard when all the dog walkers want to say good morning and such! I'd taken off my Gore jacket for the workout, but the chill quickly seeped through my jersey once I'd stopped. I'd dressed perfectly for hard work, but needed the jacket for easy pedaling. The sun provided welcome light, but had not yet cut through the cold. That would come later. I finished my ride, returning home as the world started waking up. Tired but awake. I'd been dreading the early ride - not sure why since I love my early runs - but now I'm happy I braved the cold. It was a different world in Stratton for the sunrise - quiet and peaceful. It was also a good mental wake up. I'm a 24 hour racer. I have everything I need to ride whenever I want, regardless of time. And I proved that this morning, chasing my shadow with the rising sun. 

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