Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thoughts from the saddle

For me, riding is an opportunity to just clear my head. Most of the time I feel like my mind is completely open and I am free to just be in the moment. It's a pretty amazing thing really. An after work ride can pretty much erase the fact that I had worked at all that day and I finish the ride with a renewed sense. 

While riding thoughts do at times flow through. Sometimes it's negative stuff that I can either dismiss (because I'm enjoying myself) or work through - because I'm in a calm and open state. Then you get the "oh shit" moments where your trail focus drifts and you almost bite it - a nice reminder to stay present!

And other times random thoughts flow in from left field. These are the thoughts I can never really seem to remember later to share with others, but nonetheless strike me as odd and funny in the moment. Unfortunately, I do not have one of those today. 

What did catch my attention on my ride this weekend were the leaves. Leaves are certainly nothing new, coming from New England. I've experienced losing the trail due to leaf cover back in Mass, so I'm familiar with our dead little friends. Anyway, this weekend a leaf decided to pin itself against my frame so that it constantly rubbed my rear wheel. 

Annoying. It really started to get to me, but I didn't want to stop to remove it so I started hopping around the trail whenever possible in an attempt to shake it loose, no dice. I cherished the times I could coast as my Hope hubs drowned out the noise of the leaf. 

Why doesn't the sound of my hub bother me, but the leaf does?  I quite like the sound of my hubs. Before I got them, I thought quite hubs were great, because it didn't interrupt the quietness of the forest. But, there is something soothing about the buzz. Maybe it's a subconscious joy that I've "earned" the buzz - I'm riding well, flying through the trail - I don't need to pedal. Or I'm on someone's tail, riding strong, so it tells them to pick it up, or urges me to get moving past them in a race. Either way, I'd be sad without it. A happy byproduct is that I don't need a bell to alert other trail users of my presence, I just let the hub hum for an early warning before greeting them. 

But the leaf. That wasn't pleasant, that wasn't earned. It was a freeloader on for an annoying ride and I did not much appreciate it. I was finally able to reach back (my fingers getting buzzed by the wheel a few times before successfully removing the hobo) and cleared the leaf on a fire road section.  Ahhh. Back to the quiet during efforts and the buzz while cruising. 

Here's a little random tidbit from my dream last night. 

Thom P called me. 

That caught me off gaurd because I certainly don't know him like that, but I was super honored and psyched. That was all quickly washed away as he started campaigning for some right wing religious candidate seeking money from me. Totally broke my heart. 

Thom - don't do that.  


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