Tuesdays with Dirty: Dawn Patrol

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“Dawn Patrol” is a term I picked up a few weeks ago on a surf trip to southern California. It is what my friends used to describe that time first thing in the morning when most people aren’t up yet and we go on “patrol” for good waves and small lineups.  It looked a little something like this:

beacons at dawn

Unfortunately, dawn patrol takes on a little different meaning here in the desert. As I type  this, the mercury is creeping past 110 degrees. In the summer, if you aren’t clipped in before the sun comes up, it’s nearly impossible to get a ride in of any real length. Big Jonny touched on this the other day from the road bike perspective. He hit the nail right on the head, but today I was in the dirt. For most people, in most places, sunrise evokes happiness and humming of corny Beatle’s songs. Today there was no poetry,  it was just a plain old race against the Angel of Death that we call the sun. 

I try to put in my work and get up the hill before the fire ball peeks too high over the horizon. I post up in the shade of a big boulder and try to cool down before my descent. Just then a breeze picks up, and it cools me down instantly as the sweat evaporates from my shirt. Its time to go. With perfect morning light and strangely empty trails I turn off my brain and enjoy the ride. I drop in and the wind generated from my speed cools me down even more.  It makes me push it a little faster. I cruise through the one little technical section fast and smooth and smile knowing that it is pure speed from here on out. I take a left at the fork in the trail and climb up the last little rise.  I shift it into the 11 tooth in the back and wrap all my fingers around the bars. There will be no brakes for a little while. I feel like I’m giving a couple middle fingers to the sun as I come to a stop at the bottom. I win.

I realize its still pretty early so I turn around and ride back up to grab some pictures:

dawn patrol self portrait
dawn patrol self portrait

Do what you gotta do to get that ride in…and always keep it dirty.

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About dirty biker

I am a fan of singletrack, singlespeeds, single women and single malt. Currently in Carbondale, CO Follow on Instagram @dirty_biker

13 Replies to “Tuesdays with Dirty: Dawn Patrol”

  1. you’re just now picking up the term dawn patrol? huh. i thought you were more experienced than that. nice self-p, that ocotillo is looking fat and happy.

  2. Word Dirty. Nice way to shake in on the day. I need me some SoMo fix soon. And on the Marin, wholey balls that’s going to be a good time.

  3. Now wait a darn minute. This post makes no sense at all. At which point did your wet, muddy hands become so numb with cold that you stopped to squeeze muck out of your gloves? Did you use your water bottle to rinse your eyewear, hoping not to scratch the already hopelessly scratched lens coatings? And by “boulder,” you mean some overhang where you shiver and force down a protein bar? Then that would make sense.

  4. rain tonight = DP in the morning!

    and a good opportunity to try out this new lube i’m working with…. shall we start a naming contest for it? tomorrow morning will be it’s first test on a bike chain (you don’t wanna know where it’s been prior…teeheehee).

    damp gritty granite dust makes for a great battle ground!

  5. Just got back from the Night Patrol. 60 degrees and freshly rained upon tacky hero dirt. Yeah, maybe the northeast isn’t so bad =:)

    The ‘Daks are calling you.

  6. Great post, thanks. Makes me thankful I live in a more temperate climate. You do what ya gotta do to get the ride in, that is inspirational.

    Now stay off my lawn.

  7. Hell yeah Dirty. Get some! Awesome pics. The Daks are calling you. Love it. See you fiends on Mt. Marcy.

  8. We deal with that same shit out here in DC with the added bonus of jungle like humidity. It fuckin’ sucks. I can’t wait for my month of September in Bend! I do, however, enjoy the holier than thou feeling I get when returning from a dawn patrol ride passing all of the commuters sitting in traffic, looking miserable. If they rode a bike to work, traffic wouldn’t be an issue, and maybe, just maybe, it could help to ease the hell fire of summer.

  9. A good dawn patrol (surf or bike) is like magic for the day, it just makes everything flow cool the rest of the day. Good post db

    How was the surf?