It’s 6:03 AM. It’s just light enough that I can see but still dark enough that I wished I had taken the few minutes to slap some blinkies on the back of my bike. I ride with a heightened sense of my surrounding to make up for the lack of visibility to the few coffins whipping around the neighborhood. Other than my cat-like reflexes on high alert due to my inability to properly plan for my ride, I quickly have nothing in my mind as I fall into the all-too-familiar rhythm of pedaling.
Soon enough, we are off the roads and onto the bike path. With pretty much nothing to worry about except turning those cranks around and around and around and around, my mind begins to find things to think about thinking about. Deep things like if freedom is just personal choice how do you account for the fact that as a group we can accomplish so much more than as individuals. And if as a group we are better off than as individuals what the hell is currently going on. Or delving deeper into the recesses of my mental space, it’s August. That’s summer so why is the tan line from my Chacos fading.
Of course, such thoughts were interrupted by, “Oh shit! This fucking bike path is steep as shit. How much farther is it to the trailhead?”
There was a moment of regrouping and a thought that maybe I was getting a little too lost in my thoughts if that is even a thing. It’s not like I’m literally going to get lost in there or could I? Is it possible to dip so deep into the bottomless cave that you can’t come back out? Would it be scary in there? Woah! that rock wasn’t there before. How deep is the cave? Is it really bottomless? Wait what am I doing? Better stop and see if everyone is still coming. I’ll look for a killer spot. You know where my favorite spot is? Yup, you do know at the top of the climb where you can look out and see the mountain bordered by the red rocks especially in the morning when the sun is just hitting it. Yup, it’s a pretty rad spot. Oh shit, I’m there. Yup, this was the spot. I probably should have stopped a minute or two or three or four ago, but I’m here now. Let’s wait.
I put my foot down and my mind immediately goes blank. The riff raff in there disappears. I pull out my phone because that just kind of seems like what we do these days. No important notifications. Camera app is opened and I snap a photo of the exact scene that was in my head only a few minutes prior. Waiting seems to be taking a little longer than I expected to the point that I leave my bike and walk back down the trail to see what is happening. There they are.
Shreddin’ the gnar. Silence. All the voices go quiet as my mental faculties are so few that all of them must be focused on the trail and keeping me from hurling myself off of my two-wheeled love machine. The alphabet whirlwind is shut down as the only thing that begins to matter is the 10 or so feet in front of my wheel. The peripheral is shut down and turns into a blur. Even the part of my brain that keeps me from doing strange things like yelling woot are shut down. If I were to ever reach this point whilst being on a dance floor, you would be in for a hell of a surprise by the moves that are in my head that I want to do and somehow I manage to still be considered an adult.
Kind of like when you are at home alone and your favorite song comes on just as you step in front of a mirror and suddenly you are a 13 year old imagining yourself as a famous rocker and you go full 90’s music video. And we’re not talking about a few seconds, you’re not a quitter. You’ve got the whole song down and man you’re really, I mean really happy no one else is around. Adulthood card would be pulled.
Trail turns upward, again. All those brainy muscles that were being used for one distinct purpose, not dying, are once again available for mental spelunking.
Trump, Sanders, Hillary, Gary, Stein. There’s plenty of things to think about this time of year, this time in human history. I chuckle to myself apparently my caring muscle is still inactive. I’m wholly fascinated by watching people grapple with what to do over something so ridiculous juxtaposed within the context of deciding who the next most powerful person in the world will be. That’s a lot of stuff to think about. That’s a lot passageways within this cave that you could travel down, maybe you should, maybe you shouldn’t. Maybe pedaling is how you will decide, maybe it isn’t. Maybe Monte is right, we should just ride our bikes. At least that would give us the mental space to think about these things and break it down into chunks that at a minimum make sense to us. Yup, that’s it.