The Sun lay a warm arm across his shoulders. Riding in the morning was his favorite because the world seemed to linger as it woke up. Smells came easier and cleaner. It was as if the gas and oil and diesel were too cold to reach up from the pavement and grab his nostrils. Rotting things hadn’t started to stink and the scent of nature was strong. Grass, corn silk, and seasonal blooms weren’t masked by the odor of boiling radiators and soft tar. Plus, you could smell the bacon near the diners. Small towns were the best for smells. A bakery was a treat only surpassed by the aroma of hot doughnuts.
Starting in the morning passes him through the transition from cold to cool, from cool to warm and then warm to hot. It was a time of metamorphosis or bloom, where shedding layers moved you closer to the real world as you stripped out of your gear. A cold morning called for a rain jacket outer to cut the wind and seal in the heat. Then, once you started to get a little too warm you had an excuse to pull over, shuck the rain gear, start up again a little too cool and then cycle back to warm again. Spring came again and again and again until he was down to long sleeves and a vest. His shoulders gave the first sense of real heat. It took time for the armor in the back of his vest to heat up but the sun on his shoulders was the signal to pull over again, hydrate and (they called him a pussy for this) apply sunscreen to his neck and face.
If things got really hot he’d pull over, soak a buff, put it on under his helmet and let physics cool him down. Do-rags weren’t his thing and the knot was always chaffing his neck. Getting off the road by 3 was his target. Things could get blistering by 5pm. Besides, it was 8 hours in and out of the saddle and that got him far enough.
Closer to wherever it was he was going.