I love to sleep. And I’m not a morning person. Not a good combo for a cyclist. In order to ride during the week, it’s those early morning hours that I’ve had to make friends with over the years in order to get the miles in. But I usually can’t think straight right when I wake up. Maybe you’re the same. For years, it took me 30 minutes or more from the time I woke up to the time I rolled off in the dark to meet up with the Group Ride. I just move slowly. Searching for knee warmers, fiddling with the floor pump, even struggling with the ratchets on my shoes…I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rolled out the door without bottles.
So over the years, I’ve had to develop a routine that involves planning the night before so that I don’t have to think when the alarm goes off. Here are a few tips I’ve learned for making the most of those early morning minutes. The key is preparing all I can and laying it all out so I don’t have to think in the morning. All of this occurs the night before:
- Check the weather and temp for the morning, especially for the colder months. The Weather Channel iPhone app has a temp predictor that’s fairly accurate.
- Lay out appropriate kit based on temp in order of how I put it on. Socks, knee/leg warmers, bibs, base layer, jersey, arm warmers, gloves, hat, helmet, vest/jacket.
- Prepare one bagel with Nutella. Put it in a baggie so it keeps ’til morning.
- Fill bottles and put in fridge in the front next to the bagel I’m going to eat in the morning. I’ll forget the bottles if they’re not right next to food. Again, it’s early and dark and I can’t think straight.
- Pump up tires. Leave bike by the door. Check to make sure bike lights work. Put phone/ID/keys next to bike.
- Fill coffee maker. Set timer on coffee for 5 minutes before I get up.
Here’s the routine in the morning:
- Wake up to my ridiculously loud, annoying alarm. Think of 10 reasons why I should stay in bed. Visualize my riding buddies calling me all kinds of names if I skip the ride. Drag myself out of bed.
- Dress while checking current temp. Hopefully, I don’t have to look for more layers.
- Hit the fridge. Grab bagel and bottles.
- Roll out and eat while riding to the Group Ride.
Unless I forget something, I can usually go from getting out of bed to pedaling in 15 minutes.
Any tips from your morning routine? Can you get out the door in less than 15 minutes?