This morning, I woke up at 4:35 since I planned to ride the 17 mile bridge loop that I am accustomed to riding.
From yesterday’s AM ride with Keara.
 However, upon waking, I was feeling a bit adventurous and a bit more lazy. I didn’t feel like packing up my bike and gear and driving the whole 20 minutes to my usual bike route. I decided I’d do an exploratory ride around my very own neighborhood. I’ve run these streets many, many times and knew there wouldn’t be much traffic at 5:00 AM. 
One of the things that annoys me about cycling is all of the schlepping and prepping. I got dressed, filled a water bottle with my caffeinated Crystal Light (perfect for early rides), put on my back blinking magnet lights (I have a back light on my bike as well), pumped my tires, put on my bike shoes, put on my helmet, and grabbed my bike. I went to turn on my front light and it didn’t turn on. Ugh. The battery must be dead. After all that prep work I was going to be resigned to the boredom of the trainer. 
I carried my bike upstairs from the garage and looked for the light charger. Not being able to find it, I figured it was also in the garage. I may as well charge it while I try not to die of boredom on the trainer, right? I go back down to the garage and find another front bike light. Hooray! I am saved! I go back upstairs (still in bike shoes mind you) put the working light on and head down the stairs only to slide on a few steps, almost bust my butt and smack my bike into the wall. I have a small heart attack and chuckle at myself. I’m now shaky from almost breaking my neck and back and bike. I laugh it off and finally head outside to ride. 
So, the found bike light is kind of a turd. It’s bright enough but it’s not fitting my handlebars that well and it’s basically just lighting up everything to the right of me. Super.
Lighting up everything on my right. Gee thanks.
But since I’m determined to ride at this point I just sorta fumble with it periodically to kinda see in front of me. Fortunately, there are street lights as I get rolling and not a car in sight. I ride almost a mile down to the start of a multi-use paved trail and get the shit scared out of me by the always useful talking crosswalk. 
You b!tch.
I ride along and realize I can’t see all that well and I have no idea if there are any big cracks in the trail that I should be worried about. Running is so much easier. My handling skills are definitely feeling wonky because of the darkness and general unease of not knowing my route. I continue on at a snail’s pace and think I should at least get in a few more miles. 
I reach the pier which is surrounded by little shops and thankfully more light. I bump along the brick road and decide to never ride on this brick portion again. I head down a quiet neighborhood street and think I hear the ch-ch-ch-ch-ka-ka-ka-ka of Friday the 13th and decide never to ride this portion again either. 
As I turn onto a busier road where three cars pass me going a little too fast for my liking, I decide that I’ve had enough. As much as I wanted to make this close to my house ride work, I’m just not having any more of it. I live in a very safe area but the dark and my not-so-straight light make my will to ride zilch. (I did see the most amazing shooting star so that was a bonus.)
I turn and head back to my house and reach the talking crosswalk. It scares me. Again. 
I look ahead at the section of trail that I could ride if it were a bit lighter out. It’s lined on both sides by trees making it dark, but it’s probably fine. I consider it. But then, I think, nope. 
My flash is on here, mind you.
Courtesy of The Oatmeal
After a whopping six miles in thirty minutes, I was quite relieved to roll up into my driveway.
The face of driveway relief.
I am chalking this up to trying something out and it not working. I think if the S.O. goes with me next time (he was dead asleep!) and shows me a better route it would be much better. Otherwise, I’ll be sticking to my usual route with all the lights and big, fat bike lane. 
Happy Friday!