Sunrise Cycle

sunrise cycle, sophie radcliffe, january motivation

It’s 6am and my alarm clock is piercing the silence in my room. I pull back my curtains and have a look at the sky. It’s a clear night and that makes my heart jump a little. It’s exactly what I was hoping for. I pull on the kit* I laid out last night, plait my hair and go downstairs to find my bike. My tyres are pumped, water bottle filled, everything is ready for my sunrise cycle. I planned everything to make leaving the house this morning as easy as possible. In this blog I share my top three tips to help you plan your sunrise cycle.

Sunrise cycle, january motivation, sophie radcliffe

*I’m trying out ASSOS kit for the first time, more info about the bottom about the kit I’m wearing and fitting session I had with them in London.

It’s not easy exercising in the winter. It’s not easy to drag yourself out of a warm, cosy bed and go outside on your bike or on foot. But sometimes, if we are lucky, we can create something truly magical for ourselves with minimal effort. Today was one of those days.

Sunrise cycle, january motivation, sophie radcliffe

Living in London, I don’t have access to rolling hills on my doorstep, so I make the most of the wilderness and the access to nature that I do have. A few miles from my house is Richmond Park, it’s without a shadow of a doubt my favourite park in London. The little slice of wilderness the park offers me first thing in the morning, does absolute wonders to my mind and attitude for the rest of the day.

Sunrise cycle, january motivation, sophie radcliffe

On a day like today it doesn’t feel like I’m in London as I cycle round the park. It’s freezing cold, and my fingers are going numb despite wearing the thickest cycling gloves I own. The rest of my body is toasty warm though! There are deer everywhere, they are waking up and talking to each other. The fog is deep, dense and bitterly cold in patches but as the sun rises, it burns away leaving a stunning early morning glow.

Sunrise cycle, january motivation, sophie radcliffe
I am blown away by the beauty this morning, I want everyone to see it, to experience it, and to know that no matter where you are in the world, this kind of thing is right on your doorstep, accessible to everyone and completely free.
— Sophie Radcliffe

I’ve always been a fan of the view that it’s the small things in life that matter the most. How much did it cost me to create this experience? Nothing. I gave up one hour in bed, but that feels like an honour rather than a sacrifice. My ‘One Life Live It’ philosophy is all about making the most of life and this is a really simple and effective way to do just that.

I am blown away by the beauty this morning, I want everyone to see it, to experience it, and to know that no matter where you are in the world, this kind of thing is right on your doorstep, accessible to everyone and completely free.

I appreciate that you may not be a morning person, or your work/family commitments may make a sunrise cycle a challenge for you, but here are my top three tips for making it happen:

Focus on the reward

Waking up early is not easy especially when it’s not in your routine. I think about what I risk missing out on rather than what I am loosing by the effort required. I know that if I get up and train I will feel amazing afterwards and that is going to have a positive impact on my whole entire day.

Sunrise is different everyday

I know this sounds completely obvious, but sunrise is different every single day. This inspires me to want to get up and see it again and again. I genuinely feel like I’ve created something magical in my life when I cycle and the world looks like it does in these pictures. That’s motivation enough for me. I can’t get enough of it.

Make the most of the time window

We currently have a time window when it’s convenient to cycle at sunrise. Sunrise has been between 7:30 and 8am for a good few weeks and will continue for a while yet. In the summer the sunrise is at 4:30 or 5am, which makes getting up for it harder and less practical. Also, it’s the cold temperature that creates the frost and fog and makes the world look so damn stunning.

Get out there and enjoy it folks!! Do something amazing for yourself and organise a sunrise cycle. I promise you, you won’t regret it. It’s ONE HOUR out of your life, if you don’t enjoy it you never have to do it again. 

TOP TIP: Prepare your kit, bike and nutrition the night before

Share your photos on social media and tag me using #SunriseCycle and @challengesophie so I can like and comment on your awesome pictures. Let’s do this!


In this post I am wearing pretty badass cycling kit from ASSOS. It’s the first time I’ve worn Assos and it definitely gets a big thumbs up from me. I’m wearing the Pompadour bib tights, the Bonka winter jacket and probably my fave item is the Skinfoil thermal baselayer. A friend asked me what it felt like to wear the ASSOS kit and my answer was “like a pro”. Ha! It really did though. It just fit so well, despite two of the items being unisex, the quality feels top notch and I feel like I’m ready for any winter cycling adventures in it. I had a fitting session at their brand new London shop on Regent’s street, I’m wearing a small in these three items and they fit like a glove.

Huge thanks to Tom Shaw Photography for jumping out of bed on a cold winter morning and taking this stunning images for my blog!

Hit me up on your fave social media channel and stay in touch, I love hearing your questions and comments. Click below! 

InstagramTwitter and Facebook