Ways to Make Riding in the Morning Easier

So you’re not a morning person. I get it—I have to bribe myself into semi-consciousness before 7 a.m., too. But there are certainly compelling reasons to change. Studies have shown that setting aside time for yourself early leads to a more relaxed feeling throughout the rest of the day. And personal experiments in time management have confirmed that it’s far easier to find time for a morning ride than to try to shoehorn one in during lunch or sometime around happy hour.

So how can we make the transition to becoming those pillars of the community—those heroes of the early hour—morning people?

Lay out your clothing and gear the night before. Pack your bike tools, check your chain, and set out your helmet, gloves, and all other ride clothes in advance so you can slip into them immediately after waking. It’s pretty hard to back out and return to bed once you’ve encased yourself in spandex.

Dial in your coffee. Auto-program your coffeepot so it’s ready when you wake up, or make cold brew with a French press the night before. If you really have a hard time getting out the door, don’t keep coffee in the house—plan your mileage around riding to a new coffee shop or breakfast spot.

Make plans to meet a buddy. Or get in on a morning group ride. It’s a lot harder to bail when someone is already at the trailhead or coffee shop waiting for you.

Have a ride plan. If you commit to your mileage and route in advance, you’ll be able to start looking forward to the ride the night before—and it’ll be harder to bail early if the weather isn’t ideal. Another great move?

Don’t hit snooze. It will only cut into your ride time. Put your alarm on the other side of the room if you have to, so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. If you have trouble getting going in the morning, leave the shades open for a natural sunlight wakeup call.

Don’t check email. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or any of your other social media accounts before launching yourself outside. It’s too easy to get sucked in and lose valuable ride time. You’ve already done the hard work of stirring yourself into action—don’t waste that effort on responding to work emails. It’ll all be waiting for you when you get back, whether you want it to be or not.

Consider skipping breakfast. Unless you’re riding for more than two hours, you probably don’t need it. You should have enough glycogen and fat stores to fuel your ride with just water or sports drink. Bring a bar along if you’re worried about your energy tanking.

Bask in the smugness that comes with being a “morning person.” Instagram the sunrise so we all know you were up, living your best life while the rest of us were futzing around on the Internet or wasting our morning in deep REM.

Stick with it and make it a habit. Try to get up at the same time every day (and go to bed at the same time every night) so you develop a routine. After a while, it won’t even be a question of whether or not you’re going to ride—of course you’re going to ride. You’re a morning person. It’s just what you do now.