Alarm goes off at 4.45, it vibrates away, I can’t have it ringing with the newborn baby purring away in our bed. After a few alarm clock sleeps I slump out of bed. After 6 hours sleep, this just feels like the worst idea. Ever.
The bike gear is already. The camera primed.
I head off into the night, well, the morning. My destination? The old Severn Bridge to see the dawn. I very quickly realise it’s a lot colder at this wee hour than my morning commute, so I step up the pace but I have a bit of a wind chill vs sweating dilemma.
Dawn is at 6.30. I have an hour to get to the bridge. I hit the country lanes and have to slow down as my lights, chosen for commuting brightness, don’t let me see that far in pitch blackness. I’m all alone on the roads apart from the birds awakening and my American companion in my pocket guiding me through my lefts and rights.
You know when you just have this perfect picture in your head? The sunrise. Orange sky. The new bridge in the distance. The river magically twinkling. Well…
It gets lighter and lighter, and I’m actually getting quite excited about cycling over the bridge precisely at dawn. I catch a view of the cables and I’m a bit gutted to see them disappear into fog. I’d checked the weather and it was supposed to be a fine day. The lack of stars should have been a hint *palm hits head*
As I hit the bridge the wind hits me like a Siberian train. I head over the bridge and gape as the structure and the mist entwine. It’s not what imagined, but it will definitely do. The photos don’t do it justice.
By now, I’m freezing so turn around and join some commuters cycling over the bridge. I grab a coffee to get warm from a service station and head back. I normally do loops, I hate just tuning around, but the light makes it a totally different ride, and I can see what I was cycling though in the dark, and watch trees and sheep standing amidst the mist.
I reach home by 8.30am. Stuff oatcakes in my ravenous mouth and head upstairs to see the family. Mum and the baby are still asleep. But the toddler is awake so we both head downstairs to start the day.
Here’s the ride on Strava. Please don’t judge my speeds, I’ve been umm, off the bike for 4 weeks with an injury followed by paternity leave. And I’m just slow anyway!