The lighter, brighter mornings are bringing out more people at 6.30am.
There are quite a few regulars, along with the usual collection of comedy ducks and skittish rabbits, who I see at various points around the routes of my early morning training rides.
When it is darker and colder, 6.30am in Lichfield looks a lot like this.
(by RachelCreative – part of the 4am Project photos)
There are not many who venture out too early in the autumn and winter months.
Yet spring and summer encourages plenty of people to get out and about early. There are more dog walkers around now, a few extra joggers, a couple of fellow cyclists and the market stall holders are usually well into setting up by the time 6.30am comes around and I ride by.
But there are also one or two regulars I see all-year round. We exchange a cheery “good morning” and the odd smile and wave of the hand.
A few intrigue me. The old guy with the funny little dog who walks briskly and never fails to look happy.
There’s the lady jogger who pounds the streets of ye olde city impressively and probably covers more distance than I do each week.
Then there is the relative newcomer. He’s an old chap who takes an early morning constitutional which must last a minimum of 5 miles given the number of times I see him and the points on my route where our paths cross – either that or he drives around and parks up once he spots me in my bright fluorescent jacket (which I think is a tad unlikely).
He’s the happiest of the lot.
I’m sorely tempted to stop and chat, say hello and introduce myself properly to all three.
I like to think it is my dedicated training regime that is preventing me. I have a set number of miles to cover and a desired time to complete them in.
But it is more likely that I’m afflicted by yet another British disease – social awkwardness. I’m far too worried about what they would think of me if I did stop and say hello.
Maybe one day I’ll loosen up and take the plunge?
In the meantime, although they don’t know it, the 6.30am crowd are doing a good job of keeping the smile on my face as I pedal along.
So, thank you one and all.