As usual for my ride days, the alarm is blaring at 5:00 AM. For some reason, though, I’m very disorganized this morning and take forever to get myself ready and out the door. It must have been because I was sleeping like a baby and was disoriented when I woke up. Somehow I doubt that. I couldn’t find my socks. I rummage through several drawers to find them. I get to the garage and notice it’s cold so I go back inside to get a long sleeve shirt. I go back out the the garage and realize my computer is sitting on my desk where I copied down the stats from Ride 5. So, I head back inside to get the computer and head back to the garage. Now, try and picture me going in and out. Every time I open the door to the garage the house alarm system goes, “DING, DONG.” I’m sure my wife didn’t appreciate that. Not to mention the kids, the two cats, and the dog. I don’t actually get pedaling until about 5:20 which has me a little upset. Note to self – set out my gear the night before so that I’m ready to go when I get up.

First thing I notice once I open the garage door is that it is much colder than it has been since starting Bike To Live. It’s probably in the low 50’s. I know you Northern boys/girls are saying, “You panzy! 50’s isn’t cold!” Well, when you’ve become accustomed to lows in the mid-60’s, it’s quite a shock to the system when it’s 15 degrees colder outside. Needless to say it was cold starting out. I don’t make it down the block and I’m thinking, “I wish I knew where my full finger gloves are.” Note to self – find all my gear.

Because I’m upset about being disorganized and starting late I don’t start out very good. I feel like I’m fighting it. I eventually settle down and start to enjoy the ride. I pass a couple of joggers with their dogs on my first long stretch and say “Goodmorning” to both. One of them was the lady I scared half-to-death on Ride 1. She must not have remembered me because she said “Goodmorning” back. Either that or she suffers from short-term memory loss. Note to self – it pays to be nice.

As I’m riding, I’m of course looking to the sky because it’s crystal clear. A kind of morning where it would be superb to pull the telescope out and do some observing. The quarter-moon is low in the Southeast sky and is brilliant. Jupiter shines to the South. Just absolutely beautiful. As I near the end of my first long stretch I pass a roadside drainage retention pond. Because of the chill in the air, a mist has formed on the pond and is just hanging, suspended, above the surface. It’s quite eerie. On the pond is a lone duck that is also trying to stay warm by tucking its head under a wing.

By this time I’m starting to warm up pretty good and am cranking along at a good pace. I ride the same route as Ride 5 and try to maintain my pace as long as possible. After my turnaround point I come to a section of my loop I call No Man’s Land. It’s a long straightway that is slightly uphill and passes right in front of my youngest daughters school. For some reason, I always find this section slightly harder than the rest and today is no different. I totally waste myself on this stretch of asphalt. My speed drops down and I’m fighting to finish it. I think I probably started too hard and didn’t save any for this section. Note to self – take it nice and steady next time.

That’s about it for the ride. Here are the numbers: 10.59 miles, 49 minutes, 17.1 mph max, 12.9 mph average.