This morning I looked outside at 6:10am as I picked up my backpack, jumped into the car, and heading to the GO Train station here in Milton, ON and noticed something I've not seen at this time of the morning in some time: The Sun. We have finallly come around the sun far enough that that sunrise has become early enough to see the sunrise as I head out to the office. Today, it has special meaning. Having reviewed the weather forecast for the two weeks the general trend in temperature in this area of Ontario is on the upswing. Finally, spring was about to spring to life. In preparation, I packed my backpack full of clothes to leave at the office and enough lunches that I would be set for at least 3-4 rides in.
The commute to the office entails getting up well before the crack of dawn, prepping the bike for the 55km join from Milton, ON to the Yonge and St. Claire area in midtown Toronto. The journey generally takes about two hours on the way in and slightly longer on the way home (it's up hill); 110km on the day. In the dead of winter, that journey requires a full lighting package and braving the cold temperatures as I sometimes have to ride in the dark of night before the sun rise. My goal is generally to leave by 6am for a 8am or so arrival at the office. So, in December and January, that usually means I'm riding in darkness for most of the journey. It's not that bad in the city, but can be "interesting" in the throws of the farmland outside of Milton where there are no street lights. Nevermind, the first 30mins of the ride I'm sometimes cold enough to wonder why I'm doing it - when it's dark it just feels colder because there is no warmth of the sun. Furthermore, for some reason, the farmland of Milton is always five degrees colder.
So, today has special significance in the that the break of day is earily enough that I will be riding in daylight in temperatures that finally resemble somewhat I will call normal and in daylight. I had thought of riding into the office today, but saved this opporuntity for another day in order to bring clothes and food into the office. Thursday, I'm making the journey where the weatherman is predicting 3C in the morning, so it will be brisk, but 6-9C on the way home, which will be nice. This Thursday's commute is going to be fun.
Some might criticize or offer HTFU, but when I lived in Toronto, and I was a 40 min bike ride from the office, I rode to work 4days/week all year around generally on a fixed gear bike and I've done the Toronto Donut Ride in the dead of winter. So, I know what it is like to brave temps below -10C on a ride. The coldest ride was one winter commute when it was -29C - before the windchill. So, I know what it is like to brave the cold, and I just choose not to do that anymore.
Thursday I ride.