Check list for early morning bike rideI love my morning practice!

Every day, I wake up early and I take on an empowering morning routine. I meditate, go for a short early morning bike ride, make some french press coffee, and then write.

I first heard of a morning practice from a social media influencer. As I researched this phenomenon, I soon realized that many of the most successful people engage in a morning practice.

I first started by waking up a few minutes early to write. I wrote down 10 ideas every day. Coffee quickly came into the picture. I went back to my favorite method of coffee brewing, french press.

I came across a 30-day biking challenge online. Instead of hoping to bike after work, I made the 30-day biking challenge a part of my morning routine. From there, I was hooked.

Committing to an early morning bike ride outside every morning presents some unique challenges. Typically it is still dark during these early morning rides. Temperatures can range anywhere from 5 to 60 degrees. And that is just in December!

Here are 10 items you will find useful in order to make bike riding part of your morning practice.

1. Headlamp – NiteRider Lumina 900 Boost

Your headlight is your most important piece of gear you will need for early morning bike ride in the dark. It performs two functions; it helps you see and helps you to be seen. You never know what you may encounter even on well-maintained roads. A front light will help you see your way clear to a safe ride. It also helps other vehicles see you. Cars are not looking out for you nor can they see you even if you may have some reflective gear. A headlamp is your first defense for a safe ride.
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2. Taillamp – NITE IZE Red Radiant 50 Bike Light

Again, even if you are wearing reflective gear, cars may not see you. Even if you are riding squarely on the road shoulder. A flashing red tail lamp in addition to your reflective gear can help warn upcoming cars that you are on the road.
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3. Thermal Bike Shorts – Pearl Izumi – Ride Pro Thermal Bib Short

I wear these all year long. Even in the summer if it happens to be a little warmer, I find the need for thermal bike shorts. This is an extremely versatile piece of gear. You can always add to these shorts as the temperature drops. See below…
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4. Long Sleeve Jersey – Pearl Izumi – Ride EliteThermal Long Sleeve Jersey

I use this piece of gear all year long, too. Some mornings require little more than this type of jersey. Other mornings, this is a starting point. Keeping your core at the appropriate temperature is one of the most critical ways to ensure a comfortable ride. The right long sleeve jersey can make or break your early morning ride.
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5. Clear Glasses – Global Vision Eyewear Fast Freddie Safety Glasses

There are so many reasons for wearing sunglasses during the day. And many still apply for early morning bike rides. While UV rays are not an issue, road debris, insects, backsplash, wind, dust and weather can interfere with your vision and become a distraction. These are very inexpensive and provide a great deal of safety for any ride at any time.
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6. Knee Warmers – Pearl Izumi – Ride Elite Thermal Knee Warmer

This is a very versatile piece of gear. When the temperatures drop below 65 degrees or so, your knees can become cold and stiff. Knee warmers are a great addition to your early morning rides even if the temperatures dip into the 40s.
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7. Leg Warmers – Gore Bike Wear Universal Soft Shell Leg Warmer

As the temperatures drop below 40 degrees, knee warmers are not going to be sufficient. Full leg warmers are necessary to block the weather and keep you comfortable on your early morning bike ride. Even that small gap between what would be your knee warmers and your socks can get ice cold. This way, your entire leg will stay warmer longer.
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8. Winter Cycling Cap – Giro Merino Winter Cap

Helmets are designed to let as much air as possible get through to keep you cool on hot summer days. A winter cycling cap will fit neatly under your helmet, keeping your head and ears warm, thereby keeping your entire body warm.
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9. Winter Jacket – GORE BIKE WEAR Power Gore-Tex Active Jacket

While this piece of gear is widely available, it is not too common. A light jacket will do for most three-season rides. If you are going to need leg warmers for your ride, you will most likely need a winter jacket. This top layer of insulation and protection will keep you warm even on the coldest mornings.
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10. Indoor Trainer – CycleOps Magnus Trainer

Even if you are committed to riding outside every day, there may come a condition or circumstance that will not let you ride outdoors. For example, I will not ride outside if there is snow on the ground. I have taken too many unexpected spills on ice. An indoor trainer will allow you to ride in the safety of your home no matter what the weather is like outside.
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Bonus: Rapha Merino Base Layer – Long Sleeve

Merino wool just feels so good next to your skin! It keeps you warm while effectively pulling perspiration away from you. Utilizing a base layer all year long will go a long way towards helping you regulate your body temperature. Making every early morning bike ride comfortable and fun. Merino wool is another great way to take good care of your body.