Truth be told, if I ride for 1-1/2 to 2 hours each day, I’ll probably think about a lot of things — anything — most everything. I’m at the beck and call of free association.
If it’s a beautiful day, not too hot and not too cold, and if my surroundings are aesthetically pleasing, which they always are, my first thought will probably be about something beautiful that I’m looking at. That will lead into my next thought, which will take me to another thought still, and so-on.
Before I know it, I’m playing connect the dots, thought to thought, and piecing together my entire life — what it was or what it might still be.
Hardly a ride goes by that I don’t think about my childhood; friends I hung out with, the things we did together, and the places where we did them.
Daily while I am riding, and without exception, I think about my time spent in the US Coast Guard. Again, the friends, places and the things we did.
I think about the first time I did an inward 1-1/2 somersault from the 3-meter springboard at Skyline Acres Swim & Tennis Club in Denver when I was 14.
I think about arguments I witnessed between my mother and my father when I was small — of hiding under the bed when their voices got too loud.
I think about jobs I’ve had and jobs I’ve quit. Daily, I think about my first job as a sandwich maker in the deli when I was 15. That remains the best job I’ve ever had. To this date, I’ve had exactly one more job than the number of jobs I’ve ever quit.
I think about mistakes I’ve made and regrets I have. I think a lot about my mistakes and regrets. Someday a form of math will be developed that might actually be able to tabulate all my mistakes and regrets, but until then, I’ll just refer to them as many.
I think about music an awful lot when I ride, and I’m constantly reciting lyrics of songs as my feet push me forward — occasionally even biting my tongue or lip when I hit a dip or an object in the road.
I think about dying honestly, but I think about living more.
I think about Carlton Fisk.
I think about my dog and my cat — and I still think about all of my dogs from the past, but not cats from my past because Mischa is my first cat.
I think about my daughter of course. I think about how lucky she is to have the mother that she has. I think about that a lot also.
Sometimes, for no reason whatsoever, I might think about the Lindbergh baby. I really do. I don’t know why, it’s just a story I’ve always been fascinated with.
I think about Professor Pausch.
I think about movies. Today I thought about the movie, Once Were Warriors. As the kids say, highly recommend…
I think about the men flying the many helicopters I see flying overhead each. Living this close to Camp Pendleton, I see Marine aircraft all day long. Sometimes I think about what they might be thinking about while they’re flying. Hopefully, they’re thinking about flying, and little else.
Of course I think about politics, but probably in a different way than most people. More on that in another essay.
I think about systems a lot, and have a great reference and respect for them — that we are all passengers, beneficiaries, and casualties in the many systems that carry us in different directions all day long. I think most people don’t give much thought to these systems, and most don’t realize that systems, not politicians, are our true leaders, and the systems get elected by the many choices we make each day.
I might think about cartoons some days. The Flintstones was my favorite. I also like to Quickdraw McGraw an awful lot.
I really do think about all of these things each day when I ride, and many more than this.
I’m always thinking when I’m riding. Always thinking. That’s my disease, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but at the end of the day, thinking is what makes me me.
You see, riding a bike isn’t just about escaping, though that’s certainly one aspect of it. It’s about riding towards things, riding back to things, riding around things, and gliding.
Riding a bike is about gliding as much as it is about anything. The body glides, yes, but the mind glides also.
Above all things, for me, riding a bike is about being alive.
This is what I think about when I ride… Jhciacb
15.5 mph avg
Yesterday’s earworm: Ship Of Fools, by Bob Seger
Whether you ride a bike or not, thank you for taking the time to ride along with me today. If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. If you like what you read, give it a like and a share. If not, just keep scrollin’. Oh, and there is this from Bob Seger. Enjoy…!