Although I love going out to ride in the early morning, I hate the cold and unless I am dedicated to riding with a group or a friend or two, I tend to delay my rides in the AM until it is a bit warmer. But, when I do get out in the early mornings to ride, I love it a hundred times more. There's something magical about having the roads all to yourself (which happens particularly frequently here in New Zealand). We ride on state highways, one laned, and in the morning we'd have maybe 20-30 cars pass us over a 3-4 hour ride. It is GLORIOUS.
My friend and I did the gnarliest ride: it's only 90k but it is either UP or DOWN, and some sections are absolutely grinding it out 45rpm, in the granny gear, don't even want to stand up b/c you feel you'll fall over. No climbs are long, it's just a long series of bitchy short ones (less than 10 minutes long). It's the hilliest 90k I've ever done without straight up going over a mountain pass, as you can do in, for example, Colorado.
But now I'm in the long-awaited rest week, and there's been a lot more time to take it easy, still eat as if I am training 20 hours/wk, get massages, go jetboating, make supper without eating half of it before it's ready, and best of all: sleep in. The weather is warming up and I think once I'm on the other side of this rest week, it'll be full-blown summer! Time to slap on the sunblock every hour, including on the ears.