Marty’s photos of the day #4251-4254: Many years ago, I started going on early morning bike rides to stay in shape. My ride is roughly four miles, which isn’t far, but since I do it on a steep mountain road, often in the snow, it does the job. I quite literally wore out the drive train on my bicycle, accumulating in the neighborhood of 2,500 miles. Now, at fucking sixty, I am likely in better shape than I was in my twenties. I have studded tires, so I bike year-around, only missing days when the snow is too deep or the road is covered with slick ice that is too hard for my studs to dig into.

The temperature this morning was a crisp five degrees above zero (Fahrenheit). The cold doesn’t bother me, but sometimes, when it’s really cold, breathing can become difficult in the thin mountain air. During these rides, I often come up with ideas for whatever book I’m writing at the time, so hopefully my body will allow me another twenty years of peddling.

This is what my ride looked like this morning (all but the photo of the creek are lit solely by my headlamp):

1. The beginning of my ride. That “cloud” is my breath.

2. The mountain lion is just around the corner. I know it! (Two mountain lions are hanging around, so it is, technically, a possibility.)

3. Frozen Fred Burr Creek, on the way back.

4. Heading back up the hill, which is much steeper than it appears in the photo. This is the first day this year that the sky has started to brighten before reaching home.