During a recent conversation with my younger brother, he asked me what I thought about when I was on the bike... when I went on 3-4 hour training rides by myself. I hesitated. At which point he said "Really? It's that empty up there?"
What do I think about? I made a conscious effort during a recent ride to remember some of the thoughts that flashed through my head during the ride. Here's a sampling:
- Wow, it's warm today. One block from the apartment and I'm already starting to sweat.
- I hate it when the delivery guys on the little electric bikes pass me. Hate it.
- Can't wait until I get to the top of Bear Mountain. It's gonna be pretty. Will have to take some pictures.
- Crap, I lent my camera to the Driver. Okay, relegated to cell phone pictures.
- Wow, that girl was cute. And a cyclist. Nice.
- Feeling a little guilty about not working on my manuscript today. But only a little. Much more fun to be out here.
- Sad that this ride is going to be long enough that I won't get a real lunch. Lunch is an energy bar.
- So f*!#$ing hot! Why the hell is that dude wearing a black jersey? Why am I getting angry at him for wearing a black jersey??
- Ah, dammit. I forgot to put on sunscreen. Gonna pay for that later.
- I wish they paid me more at work. I do X times as much work as A but get paid less. Maybe I'll just quit and open up a bike shop. Probably would be more fun.
- How I'm going to get from Geneva to Lyon for the Etape. I don't know any French. This is a problem. I wonder if there are any good iPhone apps that will help me get around in France.
- Hard case? Soft case?
- I really don't get paid enough at work.
- Really want to get that Aqto t-shirt but they don't have it in my size. I should email them and ask when they're going to have it in stock.
Mind you, these thoughts are literally fragments. They occur in spurts at random moments. Most of the time when I'm riding by myself, I just let my mind go blank. I get lost in the whirr of the chain, the clicking of the gears, and the sound of the wind rushing by. (On a strange side note, my ears must be shaped funny because wind noise is always a problem for me while riding... I have a hard time hearing other people. But there's no way for me to compare my "wind noise hearing" with anybody else's.)
But back to some of those thoughts. Surprisingly, I actually followed up on some of those thoughts and accomplished the following:
- I've decided to go with a soft case by Pika Packworks. (Probably one of the most unassuming websites you'll ever see.) The case is supposed to be really great and has been used by multiple pro teams to transport their bikes. I was lucky enough to talk to Mark, who owns the company and he seems to a really nice and friendly guy. Looking forward to using the bag and will review it eventually.
- That Aqto t-shirt I want is out of stock in medium and they're not planning to re-order anymore. Argh.
- Instead of the Aqto t-shirt, now I'm considering getting this (admittedly snobby) Rapha jersey. But if I get it, I'm not allowed to wear it until I actually get over the Galibier. The jersey must be earned.
At least now I've proven to myself that I'm not completely air-headed when I go riding. That's a relief.