"YOU’RE UP RIGHT?"

It's a text from your friend. Less than a minute later, the alarm goes off and its pitch dark. It’s cold too.

Then your phone chimes again: another text. 

"PICK YOU UP AT 5."

Another one:

"I have coffee. (Coffee emoji coffee emoji coffee emoji.)"

Fine! Bleary-eyed, you text back.

"Ok!!!!!!!!!!!! Up. See you shortly."

This friend is the only one you’d get up for. Bailing’s not an option. When her truck pulls up outside and another text comes in… “Here!” you’re already out the door. Bike in the truck bed, and off you go.

By the time you park, pull the bikes out, put on your gloves and hat and scarf and do a warm-up dance with the engine still running, the sky is just tinged with purple. As soon as you hear your tires crunching along on the flat gravel section leading up the trail, you get a sense of anticipation.

The hum of a nearby road starts to disappear. You warm up quickly with a short climb and can't believe you considered staying in bed. The trail's empty, it's just you, the wheel in front of you, and the birds just waking up. 

Like seriously, how can you be this lucky?

It’s a new route for you, too, so everything just seems exciting. Just follow your friend ripping along ahead; no worrying about routes or getting lost. As the sun gets a little higher you can’t help but laugh, at nothing but the pure stoke welling up in your gut.

When you hit the single track you start to hesitate, until you hear a shout coming from the trees ahead of you. You can’t see her anymore, but you hear “You got this girl!” And guess what? You do.

Nothing like friendship and pure fun to get you over any obstacle. This mood will carry you all day too, once you head back to the car and eventually, back to reality. 

'Til then, let’s keep jumping in puddles.

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Photography by: Warren Kommers