It’s 2:10 a.m., and as planned I’m wide alive in the dead of night — and of course it’s now and too late when I figure out an option that would have grabbed me a couple hours or more of shuteye and made this long day’s journey a little less so.

It’s simple really… instead of getting down there at 3 a.m. so as to better stake out my position near/nearer/nearest to the front of the masspack of 17,000 (or so) fellow bike tour participants and then spend the next three hours defending that tiny increasingly cramped piece of real estate just for the all-important purpose of getting out unbogged-down in the gripping midst of the molasses masses, I could have gotten down there at 5 a.m. and said to hell with crossing the start line from any sort of pole position and just mosied on down to, say, Martin Luther King Boulevard and Figueroa and jumped in from there.

Come to think of it I could’ve even gotten rolling say 10-15 minutes prior to the ride’s 5:50 a.m. send-off, giving me that much more of a headstart and allowing me to be that much sooner across the finish line near Exposition and Vermont, not only enabling me to go at a bit of a more leisurely pace, but also giving me a few more precious minutes in my narrow window of opportunity to get from there, back to the truck and my change of clothes and then to the subway for the trip up to Universal City and the marathon’s start.

Hell, I just might still do that last part, and at least from this early hour I can scope out that option rather than have to depend on it.

Well, I’m off and on my way. See you on the other end about 54 combined miles away.