Something to think about

When you ride your bike non-stop for hours, sometimes days, what do you think about?

I think of my wife. 
I think of my kids. 
I wonder if this time away from them makes me a better father and husband or a worse one.I think of my family.

I think of strengths and shortcomings, 
mine and others.

I think of the passage of time, sometimes by the second and minute, 
sometimes by the path of the sun and moon across the sky, sometimes by the season, sometimes by the years gone by and, sometimes, 
by the unknown time that remains.

I think about things I have done, things left undone, and things yet to do.

I take pictures, with my camera and my mind’s eye, because my bicycle leaves no tracks and I too often move alone through this world and I want this movement to be real and remembered.

There is a theory, or my memory of a theory, that humans must give names to things for those things to exist. If a nameless tree falls in the nameless forest then nothing real has taken place. It's just a theory, or my memory of a theory, but I think of it.

I name the things around me: road, wind, sun and rain, with names and words that speak to me, to make them real so that this journey is not nameless and forgotten. I name the yellow moon watchful and the warming sun joyous in the sky. I call the road undulating and category 5.
 
I cannot do this forever but I think I can do this today and maybe 
tomorrow.

I think of today and yesterday.

I think of mechanical things. The function of bike parts that work together and apart.
I think of brakes and chains.

I measure the road by sense of touch and watch that distance grow on a small green LCD screen.
 
Music plays for me.
I think I know thousands of songs but seemingly only one at a time as lyrics repeat themselves in my thinking mind.

I think of cue sheets and pacing; TL then BR then R then L. I think of quitting, abandoning and just going home but deny those thoughts the credit they deserve.

I think of mileage and try not to think of mileage.

I think about the land through which I ride and look for the animals that inhabit it.

I think about the comforting presence of discomfort - one measure of a life fully embraced.

I think of jokes to invent and to tell so that I can laugh and make other laugh. Laughter is good. I think of good things. 
I think of my wife. 
I think of my kids.

I think about how I miss them and love them.

I think of physical things and the rhythms bodies require to work: ba-bump ba-bump- ba-bump. The old one-two and repeat.

I think of what I want to eat and drink.

I think of wants and needs.

And each time, 
 
for some time, 
 
I think of nothing at all.

5 comments:

  1. This is so thoughtful and well-written that I don't know what to say. Maybe just "thanks" for somehow defining and articulating many of the thoughts and feelings that I also experience while riding, in my own personal mid-life way, no doubt much shorter distances...!
    Cheers,

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  2. Brevets turn us into children again where time slowly melts pedal stroke by pedal stroke into the horizon and the warmth of tomorrow's sun feels like an eternity away.

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  3. Beautiful writing ... Thanks dear Brother in Cycle

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  4. I love this. I have only started to spend more than just an hour on my bike and I love the thoughts, mine mostly positive, free, and nothing.

    Thanks for sharing your words.

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