It’s a habit, not a choice. And thank god for that, because if I had to choose to get out of bed at 5:40 to ride into the cold damp San Francisco air 6 days a week, I’d sleep in 7 days. 

But before I know it I’m digging through my pile of kit, looking for something that matches. Without a thought, I’m clipping in as the front door to my building quietly closes and the light turns green for me to cross the street. I’m riding down an empty Geary St, noticing the little discarded pieces of the night before in the gutters and stamped onto the pavement. 

The first decision I make in the mornings happens somewhere near the base of Hawk Hill on the otherside of the Golden Gate Bridge–where most of San Francisco’s cyclists go to train in the morning. I come to and take stock of how I feel. Weird, it seems like only a few minutes ago I was laying naked in my bed. Then I decide how hard I want to breathe on the way up and get on. Usually, 6 mornings out of 7, the sweat starts to drip with a few hundred feet to go, probably out of habit more than anything else.

- Dylan Nord