Coming down the track with crowds roaring and chainsaws howling, I know its a good one. I can feel it. Through the loudspeakers, I hear Warner going ‘Look...At...The.....Time ‘ when I cross the finish line. Cameras flashing and the team running towards me. It´s clearly a run for the history books.
But the fact is that there is no line to cross or time to be had. I have actually never entered a race in my whole life.
Looking around me I´m alone at my local trails on a beautiful fall day. I notice that the rainbow stripes on my jersey are in fact lines of snot from my daughter's runny nose resting on my shoulder on our way do daycare this morning. No crowds or race. It´s all in my mind.
The constant imagination of my youth never really left me, it has been (and still is) my constant companion. It exists in all parts of my life, but it really excels when it comes to riding bikes. I think about it all the time. It´s like a fog rolling in out of nowhere to catch a fisherman unaware. Only the fisherman is me and the ocean is actually the morning meeting at work where I´m supposed to look alive and contribute with clever ideas and insight. Instead, I´m far away at some trail shralping turns, looking at mountain views and generally being a way better version of myself than in real life.
I wish I could say that it only hits me when I´m bored but there is no escape. You will regularly catch me with a frustrated look as you just took a piece of butter from the buttercup and completely ruined the close to perfect step-up feature I´ve shaped in it. It links perfectly with the position of the bread that makes a cool wallride and completes an entire slopestyle course at our breakfast table. How is anyone supposed to complete a perfect run if you people keep destroying the course?
The breakfast situation is obviously a drag for the rest of the family, but not exactly a danger to anyone's health. This, however, is the case when I´m commuting on my road bike. On more than one occasion I’ve found myself gazing to the sides of the road imagining possible trails and features on the side of the road only to be abruptly interrupted by someones tail lights coming up way quicker than what is recommended. After a near-collision is neatly avoided I give myself a mental slap in the face and refocus. Only to see another insane looking tree in a park that could easily be built into this roll in that would then drop off to another tail light...Wait, what? Taillights!
The absent mind takes flight...
...a millisecond before face potentially meets rear window
If this phenomenon seems a little immature and crazy, you are not wrong. Sometimes it´s probably more than a little crazy. But the thing is, I love what it´s doing to me. I wish that my interest in bikes could amount to 100 per cent riding but the reality is quite different. My drifting mind allows me to live my passion even when the next ride is pretty far away.
So maybe it is a bit crazy and immature. This is still a low price to pay in comparison to what this state of mind gives back. To me and many fellow riders, every stone in the woods could be a fun session. A fallen tree in the woods could be an opportunity. Memories of riding are stored close to heart and mind rewarding us long after they have ended. Conversely, our future rides reward us in our daydreams long before they have even started.
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