How do you get your own Epic in life? It depends on what you define as Epic. I believe it’s something that resonates within you for a while. It seems the marketing folks make us associate “epicness” with everything, from the small and minute, to the largest pursuits that pro athletes take us on through print and web spaces. I have friends too, all with no kids or much older kids then mine that share these remarkable rides and experiences through Instagram and Facebook. At least they look remarkable . . . even Epic. But I don’t have the time or resources to do epic adventures in far off countries or states for days of riding on end. Nor do I have the desire to leave my budding young boys behind while I gallivant making my own experiences that I can’t share with them. So, how do we get epic in our lives . . . on the regular? How do we create something in the time we have available to make us feel like that part of our life isn’t slipping away? I think I found a recipe.
Since becoming a father and moving into more demanding work, my personal time has been pushed to the outer banks of the day, those being early mornings pre-dawn and late nights under moonlight. These are the times I get out to ride my bike now on a regular basis. Surprisingly, I found its down-right amazing! I never knew before, but being out at those times of the day, when most people are sleeping or bundled up in a blanket watching TV, is a special time. And, I found a renewed sense of adventure that I never feel when riding mid-morning or in the afternoon.
Night rides. Probably my third favorite type of two wheeled outing, but every now and then they creep into Epic status. For these I usually leave after the kids are down for bed around 8pm. Except during the peak of summer, late evening starts are usually dark and chilly. Suiting up to ride at that time of night is hard. Mentally it feels like gearing up for jumping into a pool of ice water. It’s never easy, but once the bike and I are out of the garage and rolling down the street, new feelings begin to flood the brain. Adventure, joy, excitement, and sometimes just a smidgen of fear like you I had as a kid alone in the dark. These night romps are typically just out my door. Nothing big, nothing special, riding my easy local trails I have ridden hundreds of times. But in the dark, riding by battery powered lumens, there is a renewed sense of adventure. Every now and then, I will do a larger 20 plus mile ride with a buddy. Same late start time, just deeper riding. My past rides like this have all put the needle into the epic zone. Full moon, long distance, deep woods, one too many beers, overdue conversations, post-midnight finish. . . what I think epic is supposed to feel like.
Now, early morning riding is a bit different, and because I am a morning person, they’re my favorite. Ya, it’s still hard to suit up and get out the door, but knowing that the sun will be joining you once you’re out there helps. For me, early starts mean 530 AM, which are best in spring through fall seasons, so you actually get to see the sun. Pretty much any morning you can get at least 30 minutes of riding in the dawn’s early light will be more than worth it. When the sun creeps over the horizon, the light at that time of day transforms the usual into a sight rich palette of extraordinary. It’s the same light all those epic photographs on Instagram and in the bike mags are taken in. The light makes it epic. The light during that time is guaranteed to make one feel damn glad to live on this earth. It’s powerful, it’s fleeting, and it’s special. The light doesn’t last, but the feeling probably will all day. What is that feeling? I believe it’s a little sliver of epic.
Either way, morning or evening, these rides have kept my sanity, fitness, and stoke levels high for a few years now. More than that, they have opened my eyes to where we can find epic in our daily lives, and given me a new perspective on what makes a great ride. Give it a try, I’ll see ya out there.
Pete - a proud father of two
Comments will be approved before showing up.