Back straight, neck neutral, butt out. Sunglasses on (even when it’s not sunny), lest you want bugs in your eyes. Eat a decent amount, not too much where you’re sluggish but not too little where you’ll bonk out. Clips in, arms lax, gaze down.
Avoid potholes, obviously, but large cracks too. Circumvent rocks any larger than your pinky, and DO NOT roll over acorns. Stay away from silt, gravel, and loose dirt. Always cross perpendicularly.
Elbows tucked, fingers flexible. Push down through your heel. Pull up with your toes. Start in your smallest gear, especially if you’re stopped at an incline. DON’T STOP PEDALING. Lunge toward the flattest point of the hill.
Keep your left ear open for passing cars, especially those unfamiliar with shared roads. You’ll be able to tell because they fly by far too close and cut your off far too early. Stay your course. Feel the wind rush past your left ear as you hold your handlebars straight, working hard not to let the car rattle you. “CAR!” if you’re in the back of the pack.
Nod to passerbys across the road and offer a demure, “Mornin’,” if they seem friendly enough. “ON YOUR LEFT!” if you’re passing another rider.
Clips in, arms lax, gaze down. Heart pounding, sweat pouring, legs burning. Breath heavy. Sun rising. Freedom.