6 Jun 2010 9:29 am   //   Filed under: Bicycles, Weather


During the winter, the sun doesn’t rise in New York until 8. Right now, because of daylight saving time and the change of seasons, it’s getting light at 5. That’s three extra hours of light in the morning before the city (which likes to sleep in) really gets humming.

Lately I’ve started waking up early and taking long bike rides in the sleeping city. Some mornings I do a few laps around Prospect Park. This morning I rode the Belt Parkway bike path most of the way to Coney Island and back.

I find this so enjoyable that I’ve started pondering what it would be like to live at a lower latitude, where before-work bike rides were possible year-round. (I don’t mind cycling in the dark, but cold air, wind and ice make it unpleasant.) I bet I’d get tired of it. Something about the fact that it’s only possible to ride early in New York five months of the year—and even then, only when the weather behaves—makes it feel like a rare treat. It’s something to be earned by suffering through a grueling winter.