I rode to work yesterday for the first time in two years. I learned some things. First, 38 miles on a mountain bike is a long way. Second, four in the morning is way too early to get up. Lastly, the effects of aging increase at a cruel rate. It just didn't seem that hard a couple years ago.
I rolled down the driveway at about 4:15, lights blazing. I am running 750 lumens on my helmet and 700 on the bars, which is plenty as long as you keep it under 60 miles per hour or so.
I hit the first stretch of dirt in about 30 minutes, dodging the bunnies and hares zig-zagging away from the light-emitting monster crunching though the night. I am not exaggerating when I say I saw at least 50 of them. They were everywhere. It was like a video game.
On the next trail section I got into a groove and only made one small mistake. I was going fast, making great time and having fun.
I hit the Brown's Ravine trail at about the hour mark and it was still dark in the woods. When I emerged only a few miles later the sky was just starting to brighten:
Most of the rest was on the bike trail, and I was OK until about mile 30. At that point I wanted off the bike, and my speed slowed a bit.
I rolled into work with a time of 2:45, about 15 minutes slower than I used to do it. Getting old.