the start of my day...

simple and plain... I need to go to bed earlier as I am not getting enough sleep
tough to handle the afternoon routine with the early morning schedule

morning came and I woke before the alarm
which was good... because I mistakenly left my iPhone on the charger
and well...
the iPhone is my morning alarm

at 5:45 my eyes opened and I saw the clock...
dangerously I opt to steal another 15 minutes of sleep

my back is sore
my spine is twisted into one major knot
my 8 year old son snuck into bed between Lisa and myself
my less than a year old dog slept comfortably at my feet
which had my 6'4" body occupying a space so small that I would have to be Harry Houdini to fit within it

without the alarm I am up and out of bed
the room is dark
the world is dark
I try to stir silently as so not to wake my family

in the dark I grab the clothing for the day
really I only need clean underwear, socks, and a t-shirt
shoes... pants... and sweater are already at work... I leave that stuff  at work rather than hauling it back and forth on the bike
a dress shirt was already selected the night prior and that shirt is next to my commuter bag

out of bed and into the hall
conscious of the time I try to knock out the morning tasks
into the bathroom for brushing of teeth and whatnot... no need to comb my hair as I have none
I drag my body downstairs and put my clothing for work with my bag
sure enough... there is the phone on the charger

since I am not planning on a post work ride on this day I suit up to walk the dog in the same clothing that I will ride my bike to work
that should save me a second somewhere

Lisa preloaded the coffee maker the night prior
I hit the ON/OFF button to get things moving

with coffee brewing I go back upstairs...
Didg the dog is slow to get out of bed
I am jealous that he gets to steal the extra moment
in a cat-like way Didg stretches long and lean as I rub his belly

it is nice to have a warm connection with my moderately aloof dog
when he wakes he enjoys contact
but during the day he often seems confused with the way that we try to express our affection

then when I leave out Didg does not follow
I call him... I call him again... I walk over and give him a tug on the collar and tell him "lets go outside"
Didg gets halfway up... then throws his head back on the pillow
I know how he feels it is early... but really
how tough can it be for a dog to get out of bed
all this dog needs to do is get up... go for a walk... then go back to sleep
only to wake and play with the kids before school
then have the whole day to sleep again

ah... a dog's life

down the stairs in the dark we each move stiff and slow
I leash the dog
grab my over-sized coffee cup
and head towards the woods
we are about five minutes ahead of our usual schedule
trying to be more efficient... rather than getting up five minutes earlier... I am trying to knock out morning tasks more rapidly

in the woods it is dark... real dark
although I own multiple Petzel headlamps... I use the braille method
I walk cautiously as so not to trip and fall or worse yet... slip and spill my coffee
dog still on the leash I allow him to pee... but am frustrated with his need to stop and sniff everything
come on... we gotta move... this morning walk is about walking... not about sniffing!
quickly read that PEE MAIL and then leave a PEE MAIL response
then get on with it

a couple hundred yards in the woods on the leash and then I let the dog off to run free
in the darkness of morning Didg stays close
I give him some space... but do not risk letting him wander off
my morning routine can not afford an additional five minutes of me whistling and calling for the dog

it is routine that we take the same short wooded loop each morning
as we near our exit I see another dog... it is Zoe
it has been a while since we have seen Zoe
each dog takes an introverted herding dog stance 20 yards away
I try to accelerate the meet and greet
the dogs run wild
I lose my five minutes of starting earlier to allow my dog to interact with this other dog... they are having too much fun for me to just keep moving

back home I move towards getting on the bike and heading into work
a moments distraction... I find myself setting up the de-humidifier when I should be on the bike headed into work
I have a moment to reflect on my SPAZZING on my younger son Grant for trying to handle something with his fish tank when I had told him to get dressed for soccer... he deserves an apology and an explanation... same for Dean... sometimes my fuse is short... sometimes my intensity is unnecessary... again... more sleep would help

just as I am about to head out the door my wife Lisa asks me for a lock
Lisa has jury duty... so her routine is altered
rather than driving to work... she is going to jury duty... yesterday she took the Metro... today she plans on riding her bike...
I need to pull her bike from the garage and find her a lock and a key
more things to slow my momentum out the door

dehumidifier set up...
lock and key in Lisa's hand
Lisa's bike ready to roll
I am out the back gate and on the bike rolling down the alley

onto the streets through the neighborhood and I am dancing with the morning activity

I hustle through traffic on my short straight route into work
there is the usual hassle

the roads are nearly vacant
which has the few cars that are on the road moving at an aggressive pace
illogically I have conflict with cars that have that obvious need to get ahead of the person on the bicycle
every car that is behind me seems to have a need to get in front of me
even if they have to stop just after they pass me... where i then split lanes and pass them back

pedestrians step out from in between cars and step out into the street in front of me
it is as if I am invisible
my trajectory is not factored into their movements

a metro bus makes that very obnoxious metro bus maneuver
the metro bus moves around me just as it approaches the next bus stop
pinning me against parked cars
then forcing me to the curb
I am able to split the space between the bus and the riders looking to get on the bus
then I progress forward

a bicycle runs the red light
I accelerate and go in front of them
had I maintained my speed and straight line
my trajectory would have been a point of intersection
it seems that cyclists do not factor in the bike
I must be invisible

the bike lane ahead is blocked
the usual crap
double parked cars within 20 yards of a vacant space
I go to the outside of the parked car watching for doors to open

a garbage truck passes me and then fades into the bike lane and then makes a right hand turn
I think of Alice Swanson and how she was crushed by the garbage truck

this is a short straight 15 minutes into work
the chance for danger is there
in the course of one city block I have a serious of would be close calls if I were not being vigilant about putting myself where I am most safe

I zig and zag around
there is a method to my madness
i am avoiding danger
keeping my bike and body out of harms way
trying to arrive alive

a car zips pass me then fades in front of me
rolling in the bike lane
then starting to double park

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