On different occasions people asked me what do I do or think when I ride without talking to anyone for so many hours in a row, where does the mind go?
Obviously this is not my situation, but once in Zacatecas, Mexico, I went to a nice modern museum that was originally a jail. On some showrooms they left the original walls exposed with the comments the prisoners wrote on them. The most interesting ones were written on the walls from the maximum security jail. They were isolated from any other person and had very little or no light. One in particular describes how the mind acts like a TV in which he is able to ‘see’ shows and ‘listen’ to music.
I understood that back in 2002 when I read it, but it is until now that I experience it. The channel that always come first is the one that tries to bring to life unfinished conversations whether they are important or just funny, and how would I improve them by ‘acting’ or ‘saying’ better or more accurate words. Real words would then come out of my mouth at the right time of the play. After some more uninterrupted kms of riding, other channels come up: I listen to music -from the mind and not the headphones- and I join the music by whistling, I see the daily lives of the imaginary people I find on empty towns -nothing really interesting, just everyday tasks-, or a common one too is seeing the forests or fields like a city of ‘people’ where you can identify different personalities and sense their reactions as they see you passing through. Not all their reactions are nice, there are all kind of feelings in there.
It is not nirvana and is not an enlightening moment, is not something that I look for, it just comes when there is nothing else to do. Everyone can do this. If the show is very repetitive or boring, I just change the channel. When there are opportunities to take good pictures, food or anything else and I stop, the show is interrupted and frequently goes back to channel one to start again.
The ‘ultimate channel’ is the one where you can actually be the producer and not just an spectator. This is where I visualize myself and feel the fact of having a nice dinner that night or a shower in the hostel, in that way the daily obstacles of riding, being tired, getting lost, or having an accident, are overcome by a higher purpose. This has also worked for where do I picture myself in the mid-term future.
I just realized that I had these episodes everyday I cycled. Now that cycling is gone, this secondary effect has disappeared too. One more thing to add to the change of lifestyle after stopping cycling, not the most important one at all, but certainly one that occupied a space.
Here is salsa at the door of the hotel waiting to be ridden for long hours by a good-healthy rider.
Riding down to Ventimiglia train station, an easy, effortless and short journey.
Getting in the market next to the train station.
Went through this place by train. (Originally called Loano, but could not resist some photoshop)
Arrived to Monterosso.