Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What Are You Thinking On That Bike

Here is a daytime view of Philadelphia's famous boathouse row. They are more dramatic at night when they are illuminated artificially, but I think this is prettier.
Wednesday is usually my long ride day, but having just returned from vacation my desk is too cluttered to ignore, so I took a mere 15.5 mile ride into Manayunk and back this morning and will soon get to work. The temperature when I rode off was thirty degrees and a fair number of motorists were scrapping frost off their windows. I had wanted to get some pictures along the Manayunk Canal tow-path but had some problem with my camera. Next time. Meanwhile, I thought about writing a bit about what one thinks about riding along. There is definitely a difference between a 10-12 mile morning ride and a 50 mile half day ride in terms of the range and quality of thinking. Part of what I think about is the bike...that is, how am I doing, what gear should I be in, how much further do I think I should wisely ride before turning back. Part of what I think about is the people on the path. The interesting folks running, walking, riding, skating, roller skiing, walking dogs or sitting along the road. Some of these folks we've come to recognize and call "the regulars." Many say hello as we pass. Some never do, some do sometimes and its hard to know why they do sometimes and not others. On the other hand, thinking about the people on the path raises what I call my pet peeves. People's behavior on the path can be exceedingly irritating. But I'm going to save that discussion for a future post to be entitled Pet Peeves On the Path. Then of course there are the personal thoughts. Thoughts about work, family, life, love, friendship; sometimes positive and sometimes not. I have certainly cleared my head on many a ride. Even this morning I must say I wasn't feeling all that well disposed to the world when I took off...didn't sleep as well as I might have. But by the end of the ride the world looked a lot better. That's a great reason to get on a bike.

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