I’d Ride, if I Could Just Get Out the Door

07.17.2009 | 8:34 am

I know people who are able to wake up, take care of business, get dressed, get their bike ready and be riding within ten minutes.

I am not one of those people.

Today, for example, my preparation to bike to work actually went really well. Here are the steps I took. The times are guesses, but probably pretty close to reality.

  • 7:00am: Wake up (no alarm clock)
  • 7:01: Assess whether there’s a good reason to not go riding
  • 7:01: Bio break
  • 7:04: Sit on bedroom floor, wondering who I am and why I’m sitting on the floor
  • 7:09: Get dressed to ride
  • 7:11: Grab messenger bag (cleverly packed last night) and kiss wife goodbye:
  • 7:13: Top off tubes
  • 7:14: Fill water bottles
  • 7:15: Figure out how to route headphones and carry new iPod (birthday present from wife, currently loaded with Anansi Boys audiobook)
  • 7:17: Bio break 2
  • 7:24: Put on bike shoes and helmet
  • 7:27: Out the door

Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet Mr. Disorganized

Like I said, today was a good day. I took half an hour to get on my bike on a good day. And most days aren’t that good. Here’s a more typical itinerary for me getting going on a ride.

  • 6:00am: Wake up (with alarm clock)
  • 6:01: Bio break
  • 6:02: Go find where I left the messenger bag previously
  • 6:04: Empty messenger bag
  • 6:06: Find clothes for work
  • 6:14: Get dressed to go riding
  • 6:15: Try to remember whether I already have a towel at work
  • 6:16: Go get a towel
  • 6:17: Look outside to see if maybe it’s raining or something
  • 6:18: Go find bike clothes
  • 6:20: Put on shorts, jersey, one sock
  • 6:21: Look for another sock
  • 6:29: Decide that today’s warm enough that I don’t need to ride with socks at all
  • 6:30: Head into garage to get bike ready
  • 6:31: Top off tubes
  • 6:34: Lube chain
  • 6:36: Look for gloves
  • 6:40: Decide that today’s warm enough that I don’t need to wear gloves
  • 6:41: Head back inside to fill water bottles
  • 6:42: Start looking for different water bottles; current one is funky-smelling
  • 6:45: Back into the garage to put on helmet and glasses
  • 6:46: Back into kitchen to wash sweat off glasses
  • 6:48: Back into garage to put on shoes
  • 6:49: Take off shoes just after I put them on, in order to go back inside for bio break 2
  • 6:50: Bio break 2
  • 6:59: Back into garage to put on shoes
  • 7:00: Back inside (without taking off shoes, and hoping my wife won’t see) to fetch cell phone
  • 7:01: As long as I’m inside, I may as well check email before heading out, just in case anything crucial needs taking care of before I head into the office
  • 7:12: Back into garage to go, for real this time
  • 7:13: Back into the entryway to grab my wallet
  • 7:14: As long as I’m inside, maybe I’ll grab a Clif bar. I may get hungry along the way:
  • 7:15: Actually get on my bike and leave

I swear, it’s amazing I ever get out at all.

PS: This post rescued from my Spaces archive.


  1. Comment by Ben | 07.17.2009 | 9:28 am

    I had a similar situation this morning, but add “starts to rain just as you roll out the garage” to the list.

  2. Comment by Lissee (formerly known as Bitter) | 07.17.2009 | 9:29 am

    Looks like I’ve been reading your blog for far longer than is healthy. *grin* Thought your post was funny then, and now.

    Much love sent your way to you and Susan.

  3. Comment by Evil Cyclist | 07.17.2009 | 9:32 am

    “I know that I’m speaking for the entire platoon when I say this run should be postponed until this platoon is better rested. ”

    -Stripes, 1981

  4. Comment by Amy | 07.17.2009 | 10:11 am

    wow, this is exactly like my husbands morning schedule for riding his bike (in the summer that is, he buses in the winter…we are in Canada!) In winter, it only slightly varies leaving out the topping up tubes and filling water bottles! :)

    Does your wife just shake her head and laugh at you??

  5. Comment by chad | 07.17.2009 | 10:24 am

    E X A C T L Y. You nailed my routine (2nd one). Thanks for writing it down for me.

  6. Comment by Amy | 07.17.2009 | 10:48 am

    This is the story of my life. I’m tired at the end of the day, but nothing has actually gotten done. Just alot of milling around.

  7. Comment by Clydesteve | 07.17.2009 | 11:06 am

    have you been hacking my computer? I have that all scheduled just like that, (the 2nd schedule). I don’t even bother to try to improve. That is MY itinerary! (Except for wearing the road shoes on the hardwood floor.)

  8. Comment by Kt | 07.17.2009 | 11:13 am

    You forgot to add, between top off tubes and lube chain: Discover rear tire is flat. Change tube. Spend 15 minutes looking over old tube for why it’s flat, then spend 5 minutes wondering if you checked the tire itself thoroughly enough for any little bits of something that made the tube go flat in the first place.


  9. Comment by Judy | 07.17.2009 | 11:36 am


    5:30 Wake up, unwillingly
    5:31 Accidentally change station when smashing alarm clock
    5:44 Wake up to blaring Mexican polka music (I’m sure it has a name, but it sure sounds like polka
    5:55 Check email
    6:01 Bio break
    6:03 Move laundry from clothes washer to dryer
    6:04 check other emails, blog, do dailies
    6:35 Shower
    6:49 Bio Break #2
    6:50 Look for clean jersey and shorts on hanging rack. Find something clean “enough” in laundry hamper.
    6:55 Remove semi-damp work clothes from dryer and iron
    7:05 Take yesterday’s work clothes out of panniers and put in washing machine. Repack bag with freshly ironed but now only slightly damp work clothes.
    7:10 Sunscreen, brush teeth, braid hair
    7:14 Dig through dryer for matching socks
    7:16 put on mismatched socks
    7:18 wheel bike out of garage in socks
    7:19 back into garage in socks for pump
    7:20 pump bike in socks
    7:21 back into garage in socks to fill water bottle
    7:22 Close garage
    7:23 Decide socks aren’t too dirty and put on shoes
    7:24 lock up house, put on helmet, ipod, gloves and glasses
    7:25 unlock house and walk across floor in shoes to get water bottle still sitting on kitchen counter
    7:27 On bike and pedaling down street
    8:16 At work. Late. Again.

  10. Comment by MattC | 07.17.2009 | 12:07 pm

    What a GREAT post (rescued or not) today Fatty! And great comments…Judy, you WIN! (I can really relate to the running around in the garage in my cycling socks)…what a laugh! Are we silly or what! Only diff is that I bought a bunch of pairs of the SAME socks, so any 2 will match! (Brilliant if you ask me!)

  11. Comment by Paul | 07.17.2009 | 1:32 pm

    I DO THAT!!

  12. Comment by Di | 07.17.2009 | 5:56 pm

    Bio break? Nice!

    My morning starts like this (if I have to get up early):
    7:00 alarm goes off, hit snooze
    7:07 alarm goes off, hit snooze
    7:14 alarm goes off, hit snooze
    7:21 alarm goes off, hit snooze
    7:28 alarm goes off, hit snooze
    7:35 alarm goes off, hit snooze
    7:36 I start thinking that I should get out of bed
    7:37 I think about coffee
    7:38 I close my eyes to wait for the alarm to go off
    7:39 I’m guilted into getting out of bed
    7:40-8:50 RUSH!
    9:01 arrive late to work

    I am *not* a morning person.

  13. Comment by aurora amaya | 07.17.2009 | 7:48 pm

    I don’t know you but you are hilarious. I totally understand. I run 7 miles each morning. The goal is to be on the ground moving by 6am. Sometimes I find myself out the door by 630 or 7. There is no excuse. For whatever reason, I just move slow….

    Great work!

  14. Comment by BikecopVT | 07.18.2009 | 6:13 am

    Go team Philly $100,000 yeah!

    Win Susan!

  15. Comment by Andreas | 07.18.2009 | 6:58 am

    Really interesting to hear that everyone else has a similarly haphazard start to the day and its not just me!

    My routine starts a little bit like this:

    # 8.30 Wake up to the sweet melodies of my favourite Bloc Party song that has since been ruined due to setting it as my alarm tone.
    # 8.30 Fall out of bed and onto the hard floor thus waking up my girlfriend
    # 8.31 Wait for my housemate to use the toilet who always seems to get the call of nature at the same time as I do
    # 8.33 Use toilet
    # 8.34 Bump into bike in corridor on my way into kitchen
    # 8.34 Swear at bike
    # 8.35 Prepare food for work that should have been prepared the day before
    # 8.40 Apologise to bike for swearing at it earlier

    If you want to read on I put the rest of it up on my blog.

  16. Comment by Scott G | 07.18.2009 | 8:35 pm

    My wife is compelling me to give MY timeline:

    7:00 Alarm goes off
    7:00 Press Snooze alarm
    7:01 Dog jumps on bed demanding attention
    7:07 Alarm goes off
    7:07 Wife gets up, i stay in bed and press snooze again
    7:14 Alarm goes off again
    7:14 I turn off alarm and sit up in bed
    7:14 Bio break
    7:15 I put on my bike shorts which have “magically” appeared by my side of the bed
    7:16 I walk into the livingroom and announce “pour the milk, Igor” (or sometimes my wife will simply say “Igor?” and wait for a nod)
    7:17 I eat my cereal
    7:20 I put on my jersey and socks that have “magically” appeared clean
    7:25 I put on sunglasses (which “magically” know if they should be tinted or orange) headsweats, and helmet
    7:28 I pick up either my pannier or rack depending on if i am riding Duchess (Rain) or Princess (nice weather) which have “magically” appeared with a homemade lunch and clean clothes for work
    7:29 Pick up “magically” clean and full water bottles
    7:30 Turn on helmet flashies and walk to stairs
    7:31 Put bottles and pack on bike
    7:35 Roll out of the house
    7:38 Promise myself i am going to get out of the house a little earlier tomorrow

    It doesn’t seem that hard to get out in the morning. Perhaps everyone just needs a Tracie

  17. Comment by Jim B | 07.18.2009 | 11:03 pm

    I completely understand what you are saying! Sure, a viable cellulosic ethanol process will completely change the game, but for now we are stuck with dumb corn-based ethanol.

    [ OK, this has nothing to do with cycling, but since Fatty is recycling articles, I figured I could dig out an old comment I made somewhere else and recycle it here. ]

  18. Comment by db | 07.19.2009 | 4:15 pm

    Scott G – You have got to be kidding, newlyweds or Tracie wants you out of there before Jake stops by.

  19. Comment by Beth | 07.19.2009 | 4:58 pm

    been seeing alot of bikers on my vacation here in Northern Michigan; got me to thinking about you and the family……day at a time friend

  20. Comment by Rod | 07.20.2009 | 9:50 am

    9 minutes for bio break 2?

    You need more fiber.

  21. Comment by Kt | 07.20.2009 | 10:27 am

    I’m enjoying everyone’s schedules.

    I think more of you need to get a dog, though, one who has been trained to get up at 6am on weekday mornings for walks.

    My morning:

    6:00am: alarm goes off. Hit snooze, hope dog didn’t hear alarm
    6:04am: wet dog nose to face.
    6:09am: alarm goes off again. Wet dog nose to face, wagging tail creates earthquake city out of the bed.
    6:10am: get up, get dressed in walking clothes. Dog goes nuts, runs around the dining room like crazy while I get my shoes on.
    6:15am: leash dog, grab plastic bags for dog duty (doody) and house key. Leave house for walk.
    7:00AM: get back to house, water outside plants. Dog tries to eat the water coming out of the hose.

    Then it’s eat breakfast while reading newspaper, feed dog, wash breakfast dishes while gazing out the window, rush around getting ready to bike to work, and try to get out the door by 7:35 or so.

    Lucky me, the boss doesn’t get in until after 9:30, and it only takes me half an hour to get to work. :)

  22. Comment by Amy | 07.20.2009 | 12:20 pm

    ScottG….I hope you “magically” treat your Tracie to several spa vacations eveyr year!! She deservces it! I hope my husband never reads your comment on this post! lol

  23. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » I’d Ride, if I Could Just Get Out the Door | 12.12.2011 | 10:27 am

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