Earlier riser I am not. This morning however, I was up at 5:00 AM - stupid early for me - partly due to a stiff neck. I couldn't get comfortable, so just gave up and hit the shower. I'm also pretty busy at work and thought I'd get in early for a change. After a slow breakfast and change into bike duds, I was out the door at 6:00 AM or so. Really early for me. Weather was overcast and 56 degrees. Welcome to the Pacific Northwest.
Rolling along to work, kind of tired at first - this being day 6 of riding without a break - I loosened up and felt better. No rush today and I just cruised at a slow 15 mph pace with no effort at all. The Burke-Gilman Trail was less crowded then usual, but still the occasional bike commuter, jogger, or dog walker to keep me company. No pushing it all for this commute, speeds low and sightseeing high. The overcast conditions making Lake Washington look more dramatic. I could hear bald eagles in the trees, their call is unlike any other bird. Bike commuting on the Burke-Gilman, you can't ask for a much better set up. Trust me on that.
When I hit my usual trail exit that dumps me onto Seattle streets, I elected to stay on the trail and continue towards Fremont, a funky - though becoming more developed - part of Seattle. Plan to arrive at work early now canceled. Plan now to use the extra morning time for a longer ride. Yeah, that's the ticket.
I roll through Fremont along Lake Union, go under the Fremont Bridge and continue on the bike path for awhile longer - thinking I'm damn lucky to live here. Seattle is an awesome place to be a cyclist. After a bit, I turn around back through Fremont and over the bridge into downtown Seattle - a different route then I usually take. Nice change of scenery.
Even after my scenic detour, I still get to work a few minutes early and clock a 20+ mile commute. Sweet. A killer way to start the day. I'll have to take the longer route more often. It's worth getting up early for, even with a stiff neck.