I Ride, Therefore I Think

September 26, 2013

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Writing a blog is hard work. Especially when blogging is not the only thing you do.

If you've noticed a dearth of posts around here lately, it's not because we're not thinking about what to put up here. We are. My partner, Richard, constantly reminds me that we need new content. But we both agree there's only so much blogging we can do on a new jersey or our current production. You can go to our site pages for that information. On a blog, people want something more - they want something that challenges them in an intellectual manner. So here goes…

One of the most recent viral videos to make the rounds has been of Louis C.K. talking about why he hates cell phones. Although his comments included the dangers of using them while driving, his larger point was that they have taken away our ability to do nothing. To sit someplace and just observe. To truly chill. To just think.

His comments ring very true with me. Perhaps to the detriment of my social life, I've always been a thinker. I probably think too much for my own good as well. And while I find it increasingly difficult to find time to just think and do nothing, I still am pretty good at getting it done.

I used to think when listening to music - put it on and just listen and daydream and focus. But with kids and a wife who do not share my taste in music and an open floor plan house, that has become much more difficult.

Some people think in the shower. This doesn't work for me as a venue. I'm not comfortable with using the equivalent of a month's worth of water for a family of 4 in sub-Saharan Africa while contemplating the meaning of life.

Some people think in the car. Nope - I can't multi-task like that. Driving stresses me out.

I'm on airplanes a lot. Aside from inducing extreme fatigue, most air travel does not provide a calming pro-think environment.

I've tried yoga. Some people say it clears their minds. Not me. I'm just trying to keep up and end up confused.

So where does my best thinking occur these days. You guessed it - on the bike. I'll spare you the usual verbiage about being alone on the open road, getting in the zone, becoming one with the bike. It almost never works out like that for me. Rather, it's more about just getting the blood flowing. Somehow that must affect my brain. I tried listening to music while riding and that killed all thoughts. Group rides also kill the mental activity.

For me, it's the solo rides that get my mind going. The distance does not matter. I come up with all kinds of ideas while riding - business ideas, new song lyrics, activities for the kids, solutions to longstanding problems, designs for our jerseys, what to cook for dinner later that day...

So where do you do your best thinking? What do you think?

- Jonathan

1 Response

Alan Brice
Alan Brice

April 08, 2016

Totally agree. I love Dianne Ackerman’s poem –
When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day’s sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay’s call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else’s heart. ~Diane Ackerman

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