For me bike riding is one of the most therapeutic activities. People wonder how slogging your ass uphill can be therapeutic. Well it's the escape that is offered by being out there on a country road with no one else and the beautiful fresh country air! Yes pushing it uphill is difficult, but you can barely think of anything else while you are doing it - so when you have a lot of worries, or are stressed out, a bike ride is almost like a form of meditation to clear the head for a while.
I like leaving really early, yes it's dark, but there is no one else on the road except for the odd cyclist and very few cars. In a ride from 6am to 8am I would maybe pass one or two cars. The beauty of riding at this time too is that I get to see the sun rise over the Mt Lofty Ranges. It is always so spectacular to see those first rays of sunlight hit the hill sides, or if it is cold, when the first sun hits you and starts warming up your core.
One of the best things about an early ride is the endorphin kick that you get afterwards. I always feel so happy and relaxed. It totally sets me up for an amazingly productive day and I always feel like I've got the most out of it.