Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Electroencephalography in the saddle.

I must be riding a lot, I can tell by the way my brain works. Maybe it’s simply fatigue, or lack of sugar; it could possibly even be the short moments of time each day that I make my body function without oxygen. Of course it might just be a reaction to repetitiveness, who knows.

Whatever it is, I have officially gone beyond the stage where my day’s ride allows me to concentrate on a problem I have to solve, creatively, industriously or otherwise. Beyond those rides in which I easily compose lengthy emails, letters to old friends, or stumble upon ideas for Thursday night activities (Thursday night is date night).

Now I am at the stage when I think things such as the thoughts I was having today on my way back from Kinglake, when I started to think that most of my time spent on my bike, I am doing the same thing over and over again.

Not simply pedalling, but just looking as far as I can see down the road, to a corner or a crest, and simply willing my way towards it as fast as possible. (The pedalling here you see, is simply an incidental action to help motion). I then simply repeat the process again as soon as a new horizon presents itself. It can feel like going scene to scene in a movie about the Australian countryside while on a hamster wheel. An image flashes up, I ride towards it, it disappears; I start again.

Sometimes it can take ages to get to that point, where the reel ends, and I can start a new scene. Sometimes, in the case of a crest of a hill, it can be a matter of squeezing my body as hard as I can to get to that point as fast as possible (this can hurt).

I like to get things done, and I suppose this is why I hate the long straight roads. I’m not happy until I have finished what is in front of me. If I know it will take a lot of time and focus to finish what I am doing, I can ahem… get myself a bit flustered.

I continued my abstract thoughts by bringing in Andy Warhol to the conversation. Who I remember hearing say ‘that you only really enjoy a box of chocolates when you eat the last one’. I feel the same with every scene I’m presented, I’m only satisfied with the stretch of road in front of me when it is finally all behind me and I can start something new.

And that is exactly the kind of thing I start to think about when I train maybe a bit too much: Pseudophilosophy on the art of riding a bicycle for a living. Maybe I should knock the riding on the head for a while, get my brain back from the paths it’s been sauntering down lately.

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