Fighting off the growing darkness with coffee? That almost sounds like Book One or the first movie in a new Lord of the Rings trilogy. You know, when Frodo pushes back the darkness of Mordor as it expands under the penetrating evil eye of Sauron. Instead of throwing the ring into the volcano he instead throws a hot cup of coffee in Sauron's eye ...

While that would or could make for a great movie (at least I think so!) that's not what I'm talking about. Yes, we are truly on a crash course with darkness. No, Mordor's armies are not marching towards us. The only thing marching is the growing darkness. Like an army of orcs descending upon us we see the darkness growing as Daylight Savings will be here in less than a month (sigh).

"Remember when" ... back in those long summer days? The sun would peek through your curtains and wake you up at 5:30 AM? You'd pop out of bed with a smile, make your cup of coffee, and catch up on the latest news on Pinkbike. Now? Darkness lingers. Mornings are getting darker. Our daylight is being swallowed by the slow march of darkness ...

But there's no need for magic rings, sorcerers, or alliances between dwarves, humans, hobbits, and elves ... we have coffee. Yes, coffee. There's something actually soothing about fall and winter. The days grow shorter, the rain comes, and the forest is cast in a dark and brooding hue. But this is why we love the Pacific Northwest and why many of us love winter. We complain about dust and blown out trails in the summer. We complain about the heat. While we may fuss about the rain and fog in the winter it is precisely these conditions which compel us to ride. And before every ride we enjoy drinking coffee to get us going.

Our morning routines become more sacred in our preparation of coffee. Whether you use an aeropress, moka pot, drip brewer, or pourover this is the time to refine and nail down your morning coffee ritual. Along with staying active out on the trail the next best thing to do is to guard your morning coffee routine. Don't skip out. Enjoy the process of making your coffee and when you sit down in front of your computer to scan the latest news on Pinkbike with coffee in hand you'll be fighting off that darkness one sip at a time.

Words by Sean Benesh, Loam Coffee Founder and Brand Manager. Photos by Grant Benesh.