After last week’s ride with Tim I needed to step it up a notch if I was going to finish the Land Run 100 in Oklahoma in a few weeks. This weekend I was going to ride on Friday and Sunday and after feeling pathetic on the skinny bike I figured I should just stick to the fat bike. Even if I am pathetic it is more fun and I have a good excuse to be slower. But honestly, sometimes I just ride into a field or ditch on the fatbike because it’s fun. I find myself looking for things to ride over or jump off of. It takes me back to my brother’s hand-me-down BMX bike back in the day.
I headed north into the wind so I would have it at my back for the return trip home. I did my usual 35 mile TT route because I wanted to do some reading and writing into the late morning. I needed a short ride and I wanted to push myself a little. Thirty-five miles is a good distance to push myself. Currently more than that and I get pretty tired. Plus Sunday was supposed to be in the 60’s so that would be the day for a big ride, the biggest since the 80 mile ride I did before surgery (well 77, but we all round up don’t we?).
There was a slight chance of rain as some cold air was moving in from the north. My back patio is guarded from the wind and when I let the dog out it felt pretty warm. I am glad I checked the weather on the computer because in reality it was about 30 outside. When I hit the road the north wind brought tears to my eyes until I got used to it.
Heading north into the wind
I like taking the routes I do backwards every now and again. They become a whole different route. I see things I usually don’t even take an interest in. Plus this route backwards adds some pretty nice hills that are easier going the usual way (although this is a pretty flat route).
Old barn, dead windmill
Some days on the bike are good and some aren’t so good, physically that is. This was a good day. I felt strong. I pushed it, not to the limit but harder than usual. Even in the wind, I was doing pretty well but I need to make a trip to High Gear to look at getting some aero bars or something to help with the wind and give me some more hand positions for longer rides on the Beargrease.
I also am working on being present in the moment. I have lived most of my life in the past or the future when the only thing that is real is this present moment. The past is gone, and is not who we are and the future isn’t here yet so fretting about it makes us miss the beauty of this present moment. The future is simply an extension of the now, so how we treat the present moment determines how the future turns out. And guess what? The future never comes because when it does, it too is the present moment. This attitude has transformed my everyday life, especially my work life because I was so caught up in escaping that I turned the now into an enemy. But would this “being in the moment” help on the bike?
Being in the moment is not easy to do when you’ve spent your whole life future tripping and thinking you are your past. To find and embrace the now is to simply be quiet. That incessant voice in your head that judges everything it sees – that’s not you. You are there when you are quiet, still. You are the awareness that is aware of the voice, but you are not the voice. So to find the now I quiet my head and observe, really observe the present moment. On the bike I watch and control my breath, pay attention to my form as I pedal and correct it, I pay attention to my body and what it is actually doing, I take in the scenes of nature all around me – I basically stop the noise in my head and really pay attention to what I am doing at that very moment and take it all in. It is freeing and refreshing. Freeing in that I am not worried about speed, cadence, HR, etc (although paying this close attention to everything improves all that) and refreshing because I am looking at the moment through the eyes of a quiet mind with no judgement or thought and seeing the wonder of what really is happening. It’s a zen-like state.
I am new at this and have a hard time staying in that state, but when it all clicks into place it is perfection. No past, no future, just the amazing moment of now. Works well on a bike once those endorphins kick in too.
All in all I had a great ride. I did 35 miles with an average speed of 13.4 mph and didn’t completely wear myself out. Now to do a big ride. I was going to take on a 77 mile route on Sunday. It would be my longest post surgery attempt yet.
Oh, and I have hooked up with a site to sell my photography. I like them because they are reasonably priced, give you lots of options and they do not crop into my images. So a panoramic image made from multiple photos will print the way I want it to. I will be loading my library of images there. If you want a signed and numbered print you’ll have to contact me by email. My artist website is http://adventuremonkey.artistwebsites.com or just click the box below.
If you are interested in learning more about the power of now and who you really are (not the voice in your head) you can click onto my Amazon store and then click “Adventure Monkey reads” to the right. A New Earth and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle are some very good reads.