These early morning bike rides require me to dance with trust. This morning I left the house around 5:00. Yes, I had my red light flashing to alert cars behind me and I had my high beam cat eye to both light my way and show approaching cars that I was there. Truth be told though, there are very few cars out at that hour (at least not on the roads on which I am riding) and the sun is already rising. Within 20 minutes the lights are not really necessary and they are pointless in a half hour. However, that doesn't mean it is a risk free ride.
Here's the thing. The drivers who are on the road early are often in a hurry. I have to trust that they will not see the rural roads as a speedway. I have to trust that they will graciously concede to me my right hand edge and that they will know that there often is glass on the edge of the road. I have to trust that even when I stray away from my assumed lane the vehicle drivers will make room for me. I also have to trust that when they are coming down their driveway, they will give more than a glance to the road. Sometimes that skinny far right side of a country road can be obscured by trees or brush. If the driver is looking for the glint of metal or the two big headlamps from an approaching car and not seeing that, I have to trust that he or she will also pause for the instant that it takes to know that there isn't an odd pedestrian or bicyclist coming down that hill too. It can be tough to trust people but I do it. It's trusting the universe that really gets to me.
Trusting the universe (or whatever you want to say) is, perhaps, more difficult. On my early morning bike rides it means trusting that those deer that I see along the way won't choose to leap onto the road the instant I go by. So far they either leap away from me or take the plunge while I still have time to brake. A deer/bicycle collision would not be pretty (especially if Lady Luck were still sleeping and a car got involved too). Deer are not the only wildlife on the road at that hour but likely they present the most danger. The other morning something small and furry (a fox?) darted out just ahead of me. I think I could survive a small animal/bicycle collision - that is, IF a car didn't get involved too. I truly am trusting nature when the glare from the rising sun blinds me. There are brief moments here and there (sometimes veritable seconds) when I am riding directly into the sun as she moves into her day. For that instant, I really cannot see where I am going and who or what might be in my path. It also occurs to me that if I am blinded by the sun then so too might be the drivers who are rushing off to work. Heaven help me!
So why bother with riding with the risk? Because the air is invigorating, the colors are brilliant, the lungs and legs love the workout, and I know I am alive. The risk in the ride only confirms that my life is happening. And I suppose that's the thing about trust in life. If you don't let go and trust something or someone other than yourself, you can pretty much curl up and die for all the living you will be doing. Not easy to do and full of possible accidents and heartbreak, but what's the point of life it you aren't living it?