Thailand is hot. And, one of the ways locals get their cycling in is by doing it in the wee hours of the morning and also in the evening, before the Sun has come up and after it has gone down. Of course in the morning you’ll experience sunrise while you are out on your ride, but it’s best to time it so that sunrise is in the latter part of your ride.
It is far easier to make time in the morning than to try to find time during midday or evening for your ride. Having an enjoyable ride in the morning sets a positive course for the rest of your day and is less likely to have to be canceled. Whereas a midday or evening ride is far more likely to have to be canceled due to unforeseen circumstances that may arise.
So how can you set yourself up to become an early morning cyclist? How can you start enjoying the benefits of a morning ride with less traffic, less heat, and less hassle? Here are 5 tips that will help you get up, get fueled, get out, and get going on a morning bike ride.
1 – Have your pre-ride snack/meal prepped and ready to go the night before. Or, decide on a pit stop location along your route where you can grab something quick. Choosing either of these options the night before your ride will not only save you time during the cool hours of the morning but will also ensure that you do not skip taking in necessary fuel for your ride. If your morning ride will be less than two hours long you can get away with a small pre-ride snack. If your morning ride will be longer than two hours you may need to throw an energy bar or banana in your jersey pocket. No matter the length of the ride always take water. Fill up your water bottle the night before and stick it in the refrigerator.
2 – Lay out your cycling kit the night before. Shorts, jersey, shoes, socks… the whole outfit from head to toe (including helmet!). You will save time by being able to wake, shower, and slip into your cycling kit right away without having to go searching for items in drawers and closets. Once you are dressed you are definitely committed to doing that early morning ride. If you can’t find your favorite gloves or discover you don’t have a pair of clean cycling shorts you’ll be more likely to crawl right back into bed.
3 – Make sure your bicycle is ready for the morning ride. Check tire air pressure, lubricate the chain and then set your bicycle in an easy to get to location in your house the night before your ride. Place any extra items such as an air pump and tool bag next to the bike for easy access in the morning. Knowing that your bike and equipment is all ready to go in the morning will help you sleep better.
4 – Find a cycling friend (or 2!) and make sure that you agree to meet them at a start location that is neither of your homes. Knowing that someone will be waiting for you will motivate you to get out of the house and to the start point. Meeting up at a person’s home will only encourage that person to be the last one to be ready to go. Guaranteed that when you arrive they will still be putting on their shoes or looking for their tire pump.
5 – Don’t turn on your computer to check email or social media before your ride. You can do that when you return from your morning ride. Besides, you don’t have anything interetsing to tell people yet, you just woke up. Go out on your morning bike ride and then come home and tell the world about that. As a matter of fact, while you are telling the world about your awesome accomplishment you could also invite them out on tomorrow morning’s ride.