What do you think about when you are riding?

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lune ranger
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What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by lune ranger » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:31 pm

This may have been done before but...

What do you think about when you are riding?

For me the honest answer is virtually nothing except the ride. Distance covered, time remaining, next feed stop, how much climbing done or to go, next big direction change or geographic feature etc, etc.
Nothing useful though, no answers to lives problems, no big decisions with one exception. I decided to join the RAF when I was most of the way up the Khunjerab Pass many moons ago.
Mrs Ranger always tasks me to think about stuff when I'm riding but I just can't do it. Nothing invades the brain except the ride - thats a big part of why I love it.
What about you?

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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:42 pm

The actual riding with regard to how far, how long, etc doesn't really ever factor. My brain tends to be filled with ... I wonder how long it took to build that wall up there? Why do people tie gates up with bailing twine? I wonder how many people worked in this mine? Ooh that's a lovely old barn that is, etc, etc.
#corporate shill for hire

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RIP
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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by RIP » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:01 pm

^ ditto
Last edited by RIP on Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"There comes a time in your life Ponsonby, when you think: 'My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ

ssnowman
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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by ssnowman » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:15 pm

Usually I just work my way through my mental jukebox, often basing my choices on themes, names, genres. I know a lot of songs!
May satan walk with you.

Asposium
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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by Asposium » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:41 pm

i generally ride to stop thinking.

thinking is part of my day-to-day problem

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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by voodoo_simon » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:54 pm

Asposium wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:41 pm
i generally ride to stop thinking.

thinking is part of my day-to-day problem
This! If I can ride and stop thinking about things, that generally means that I’ve had a good ride.

If I think about family/work/life etc. then that means I’ll be plodding and not really riding with any enthusiasm.

And then you get the rides where you go to new places and then I’m like Stu, taking it in and looking at the new stuff :-bd

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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by RIP » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:55 pm

RIP wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:01 pm
ditto
Along with frequently thinking "I wonder who this person is, and what have they got to say about life, the universe, and everything? Let's find out...."
"There comes a time in your life Ponsonby, when you think: 'My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ

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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by htrider » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:46 pm

Sometimes a nice tune
Observations on society as we know it (usually talking out loud, I'm a good listener)
Occasional goes at fathoming my personal life (gratifyingly pointless)
Engineering problems that I might solve
the scenery
observations on passers by
Where I'm going next
What the weather is about to do
Until it gets technical..... then its the next rock, and the next one, and whether I'll get up that step, and why I didn't, and could I have gone faster round that corner and being glad I didn't

And lots of nothing as well

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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by Keith74 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:02 pm

Depends on my usual pedal it’s mostly putting life in order. Think through what has happened and where my life is going. Often think about my old man who got me into bikes and who I have to thank for everywhere I have cycled through.

On a longer unusual route then it’s more looking round and thinking about the landscapes I’m passing through.

Sometimes i just think where the next cafe will be.😁

benconnolli
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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by benconnolli » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:16 pm

I had a ridiculously productive commute home by bike in those days gone by. So often I would be stumped at a problem all day only to solve it on the way home. Day rides depend massively how hard I am pushing, with the harder the emptier my mind becomes.

I usually find the first four to six hours of a long ride I am "doing the ironing" solving all those problems flying round my head, finishing conversations properly rather than how they were in reality, planning what needs doing when I have finished the ride. Then I get to a phase I much prefer, which is totally in the moment awareness of my senses. If I am riding too far then my adult responsible brain gets tired and the silly happens. This varies massively and I like that. It can be creating awful jokes, sticking my tongue out while breathing so it sounds like a raspberry, or deep insightful introspection on the meaning of my life in unrivalled clarity. On second then n days I spend most of my brain time in that middle phase, as end phase is not sustainable long term.

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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by Leerowe76 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:52 am

Gernerally having a good look around and a good wonder about stuff, enjoy the views/scenery etc
Living on dreams and custard creams :-bd

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psling
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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by psling » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:37 am

I've never really thought about what I think about! Mostly I'm with Stu, taking in my surroundings. I really only ever loosely plan a (bikepacking) ride and often adjust things as I go along so I must think 'ooh, I wonder where that goes' along the way. I'm also always on the lookout for bivvy spots and new trails that go into the memory bank for future outings.

Having said that, on more than one occasion I can remember thinking to myself 'what the f*#k am I doing' as I battle up the steepest hill bent double into a hurricane force wind and sideways rain.... :cool:
We go out into the hills to lose ourselves, not to get lost. You are only lost if you need to be somewhere else and if you really need to be somewhere else then you're probably in the wrong place to begin with.

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macinblack
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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by macinblack » Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:18 pm

My thoughts are like thunder in the mountains. They come from anywhere, some are like the crack of a whip whilst some rumble around a while in my head. Occasionally I will have a lightning flash of inspiration that I have to mentally file before the resultant sonic assault obliterates it.

Sometimes I just think of Olivia.

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faustus
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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by faustus » Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:28 pm

Can be anything, but often that day's anxieties and neurotic thoughts. Hence they build up if I don't ride enough. Otherwise I can drift off into daydreams on a longer ride with a slower pace, or have a song or bit of music repeating in my mind. Sometimes the thinking is the bit that happens between exciting/anticipated bits of the ride. The more exciting bits the better, as I forget about the stupid white noise and focus on the moment in a way I can't do the rest of the time, and it's ace.

Either way, a ride does good things for my thinking!

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psling
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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by psling » Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:36 pm

macinblack wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:18 pm

Sometimes I just think of Olivia.
I sometimes say "No, Olivia" when I'm riding locally and someone asks if I'm on holiday here... :wink:
We go out into the hills to lose ourselves, not to get lost. You are only lost if you need to be somewhere else and if you really need to be somewhere else then you're probably in the wrong place to begin with.

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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by RIP » Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:54 pm

psling wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:36 pm
macinblack wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:18 pm

Sometimes I just think of Olivia.
I sometimes say "No, Olivia" when I'm riding locally and someone asks if I'm on holiday here... :wink:
I thought he meant the margarine! That would be a particularly eccentric thing to think about when riding, even coming from me.
"There comes a time in your life Ponsonby, when you think: 'My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ

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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by pistonbroke » Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:26 pm

I used to practise German translation when riding along but now it's mainly Spanish words and phrases, the only problem is that when you're doing it in your head, there's no-one correcting your grammar. I sometimes find myself saying phrases out loud to guage if they roll off the tongue correctly, after all if it sounds good it must be right?

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macinblack
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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by macinblack » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:24 pm

psling wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:36 pm
macinblack wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:18 pm

Sometimes I just think of Olivia.
I sometimes say "No, Olivia" when I'm riding locally and someone asks if I'm on holiday here... :wink:
:YMAPPLAUSE:

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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by frogatthefarriers » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:52 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:42 pm
The actual riding with regard to how far, how long, etc doesn't really ever factor. My brain tends to be filled with ... I wonder how long it took to build that wall up there? Why do people tie gates up with bailing twine? I wonder how many people worked in this mine? Ooh that's a lovely old barn that is, etc, etc.
That’s pretty much me. But I also indulge in stealth racing. It goes like this :- I see someone riding ahead. I think, “I wonder if I can pass him”. I step on the gas and sometimes it works and I catch him/her up. Of course, if they’d known what I was up to, they might have put the pedal to the metal and I’d be left in the weeds. Sad, aren’t I.
Konia kują, żaba noge podstawia...

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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by slarge » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:57 pm

frogatthefarriers wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:52 pm
Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:42 pm
The actual riding with regard to how far, how long, etc doesn't really ever factor. My brain tends to be filled with ... I wonder how long it took to build that wall up there? Why do people tie gates up with bailing twine? I wonder how many people worked in this mine? Ooh that's a lovely old barn that is, etc, etc.
That’s pretty much me. But I also indulge in stealth racing. It goes like this :- I see someone riding ahead. I think, “I wonder if I can pass him”. I step on the gas and sometimes it works and I catch him/her up. Of course, if they’d known what I was up to, they might have put the pedal to the metal and I’d be left in the weeds. Sad, aren’t I.
No, anyone ahead is a target. Nothing wrong or weird in that. If they don't know you're there it's their issue - you could be a mugger or something!!

Mostly I think about riding. I think that is what makes riding a bicycle liberating - the pressure of work / home / life all disappears as the only thing to occupy my mind is where I'm going and the here and now. I think it's why I don't listen to music whilst riding - the silence is something to be appreciated.

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ootini
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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by ootini » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:04 pm

A combination of :

Christ im going to die, my lungs!
Singing in my head.
This is ace I should do this more often.
Ooh look at that over there.
Why do people ride / run with headphones in ? Ding ding.... oi, move!

But mostly, I try not to think, I like to use the ride to clear my mind, empty it all out. Reset.

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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by jameso » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:33 am

The same sort of things that drift into mind when my concentration on any task in hand flags, I suppose. Riding is a great time to work through things that I just don't have answers to, things that I want to understand better but can't think through to a conclusion. Podcasts I'm listening to while riding or things I've read or experienced pop up and settle down after some thought. All that, and the ongoing "how do I feel compared to the distance done / to go, how's that ominous weather going to turn out / is that headed in my direction" etc. I love road touring with just a bivi bag as it puts me on a sort of edge all day, not knowing how it'll work out by the time the day's done, exposed to the weather and location. Spend time thinking about what I need that night - food, shelter type, where etc. It's not what I'd call relaxing but I like the uncertainty and winging it, when it works out it's rewarding.

A great aspect of riding is the blank mind stage though. A fast or technical descent or a big effort, zero thought, just reactions or focus.

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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by whitestone » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:42 am

Why are those sheep looking at me?
Am I going to miss that rock in the path?
That's a pretty pattern the sun is making on that hillside.
Why are those sheep still looking at me?
What will I pull out of my stem cell this time?
When did they sanitise this track?
Those cows are looking at me aren't they?

Image

What's that smell?
Is that why those sheep are looking at me?
Are those sheep stalking me? They look very familiar.
Better weight than wisdom, a traveller cannot carry

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RIP
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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by RIP » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:32 am

Bit of an ovis (not Hovis) obsession there Bob..... worrying, very worrying. Bad experience? Best to share it and get it out of your system....
"There comes a time in your life Ponsonby, when you think: 'My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ

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Re: What do you think about when you are riding?

Post by redefined_cycles » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:52 am

I was starting to get to the point that my rides were spent contemplating on what I'd title em on Strava (sad, I know!). Might have been due to being on the road bike of which I've not ridden/got one since wnd of March.

Then 42 rides ago, to make my titles easier as I was running out of ideas/words, I started naming them after the Quran verses of the chapter called Surah Yusuf (the story of Yusuf) and suddenly I not concerned nor thinking about what my rides gonna be called and just a bit curipus as to what title I'm gonna generate on todays ride... is it gonna annoy anyone from my followers list (I don't mean to... but don't intend on trying to tamper with any verse meanings although some have a massive backstory of what was happening at the time of their revelation).

Anyway, so now I'm back to thinking about my rides and whether I can make it up that rocky path; is that a buzzard or is there a kestrel that just flew past, thinking bout training at work; whether I'm giving enough time to the kids over my bike... etc etc. Last few rides have been spent thinking about whether I'll topple someone called Luke and Dave in my Strava list for climbing but before that I've wondered about Andy :-bd

Image
So the answer to getting past Luke and Dave for climbing has been, 'not a chance' which has remained consistent for the month (of last), except for one post ride where I'd miraculously gotten ahead...

Image
This muddy path also keeps my mind occupied as to whether abd how I'll make it up. Doesn't look much but an unvalanced bike just slips straight out as there's lots of mud at the bottom and it tops out at about 12 percent.

Anyway, since being back and dedicated to the mtb for the last few months I've been thinking alot about how much more fun than road riding it is. On the roadie I'm probably spending more time than is healthy thinking about how to keep myself looking big/fat/wide so some of the idiots will give me a wide berth and actually spot my yellow helmet and orange or yellow jersey with the Bonty flashy light up back.

Onw thing I did learn on the 'Learning How to Learn' (short) online MOOC course a few years ago is that during exercise ia a good time to consolidate your learning. But it seems too much trouble for me :smile: and after Surah Yusuf is over I've already been contemplating on starting (The Quran) verses from the start. That'll keep my ride titles sorted for well into my 70s :-bd

As a matter of reference, since we're still on the subject of rides and thinking. So this last ride, what I didn't need to think about and thus enjoy the ride, went here :grin:

Image

Good thread btw Luke. Contender for Thread of the Year/Decade wards maybe (when they eventually come around)... :-bd

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