The day started early as I tried to shrug off the sandman’s sleepy sexual advances. His slumberous nibbles. His tired titillation. It was an early start I couldn’t hack it. I pledged the night before to get up for a sunrise mountain bike ride in the Peak District. It sounded like a great way to kick off the weekend and to get a bit of the bike buzz before the forecast rain came.

The holy golden light of the bicycle christ

Getting up and 5:40am was an unbelievable feat of motivation by my standards. Getting dressed and to the trails by 6:20am was even more outstanding. I had all the swagger of circa 2002 Tim Henman, smashing my expectations to the ground after some superb emotional tennis net play.

As can be seen above, I started with a steady climb guided by a head torch with all the lumens of Florence Nightingales signature candle. It was fresh. The sheep were up, doing whatever sheep do in the morning. Before you know it, I was at the top ready for breakfast and a 6:51 sunrise.




Everything had gone swimmingly so far. It was time to sit down for breakfast and a coffee. Unfortunately, this was the point where the inevitable disappointment set in. My glossy magazine cover sunrise never arrived. It was all a bit Greg Rusedski.

It was still worthwhile though. I got a great bit of Peak District descending in before most people had even got out of bed (no idea if this is true). I also had some alone time with nature and my haunting memories of Tim Henry Henman


Longing for the Wimbledon that never happened