This is sort of a problem if I want to connect with people, because most group activities happen in the morning. But here was the problem: I would sign up for a weekend event, and then all week I would worry about waking up on Saturday or Sunday to get to my sport on time. So on top of waking up super early for work (super hard for me), I was now stressing out about my hobbies. Doesn't that go against the point of having a hobby? So after flaking out on some rides because, dang-it, I was NOT getting out of bed one second earlier than I had to, I finally come to the conclusion that IT DOESN'T MATTER. No matter how temping and awesome those pre-noon rides look, I know they are not for me. Instead, I've got a new plan: ride when I want to. I don't know if this still makes me a "real athlete," but it definitely makes me happy.
My plan seems to be going well so far. This weekend I woke up when I wanted to, read the paper top-to-bottom, drank my coffee, and THEN prepped my bike and got my ride on! Happy happy!!
This routine works for me, now I'm just working to find some others who are on the same schedule. I'm leading my first NOON group ride next weekend. Come join! http://www.meetup.com/MVDMountainBikers/events/218587057/