Today is going to be a day of rest for me. I need to let my body heal a bit from the abuse I have been giving it. There is a pool right next to my tent so maybe I will work on my tan today just to keep my dermatologist employed.
I was talking with some people last night about my ride so far and they wanted to know what I think about for all those hours. Here are some things that roll around like marbles in a fishbowl.
I think about the people that came across this country by calistoga wagons. Those guys must have had pure honey badger blood in their veins. I have gone through some tough terrain that I just can't believe they were able to get through. They did not even know where they were going or what was on the other side of the mountain they were struggling to get up and over, or the soft desert sand. I tried to walk just thirty feet out into the desert and I was covered in stickers and spines and dirt and insects. Blow that crap, they were out cutting trails for months at a time in that stuff. I could go on and on about the things I think about with the pioneers. I would love to see the honey badger guy do a video on them.
I also sometimes try to ride the white line along the edge of the road. I try to see how long I can stay riding on just the white line. It is harder than you might think. I do that for hours sometimes, especially on the 100 mile long straight disappearing in the distance roads. The key is looking ahead at just the right distance. I am still working on this though.
I also scan for wildlife. I have seen coyotes, california quail, jackrabbits, a gopher snake, a pheasant, a badger, raccoons, bats, wild turkeys, birds galore, deer, frogs and more that I can't even think of right now.
I also look for photo ops. Anything different as far as terrain goes, I take a pic of it. I try to get pics of all the cacti and wild flowers. I look for weird signs. Anything weird really and my camera comes out.
I think I have a good representation of the ride so far in pics. You can go to my picasa web album called jimfrogs and see the pics in the order that I shot them. I have not had time to manipulate the pics to improve the color and contrast and crop them but one day I will find some time to do that. Finding wifi is sometimes the problem with posting pics to the blog.
I also sing out loud sometimes while riding. It is better than singing in the shower and nobody can hear me butcher songs. I mostly sing oldies for some reason. If I am not singing because I am huffing and puffing working hard then I am silently listening to songs in my head. This is about half the time I ride I am doing something with music.
When the going gets tough I get into breathing patterns of double pumps in and out or long inhales with short hard exhales or some other variation to keep me breathing hard and to take my mind off the burn and the I want to rest thoughts. Sometimes I get into a real deep trance doing this. I can push myself way past tired by getting into this type of mindset.
I also sometimes get into listening to my heartbeat. When I first start an ascent and my heart starts to increase its speed I pay attention to its beat as it speeds up. If it gets going to hard I sometimes stop and rest. When I feel like I need a rest I usually try to pick a spot about a hundred yards ahead of me and tell myself I will rest there, then as I approach that spot I pick another spot further up the road until I just can't play the mind game anymore and I stop and rest. I have gone many miles past where I wanted to rest by doing this. I would never get all the century rides in without doing this or make it up any of the long grades.
The other thing I think abot sometimes is nothing. I just go blank. especially near the end of a long hard ride. All that my mind is doing is pushing me to the end spot with no room for any other thoughts except get me to point B.
So am I crazy or what? I think about that once in a while. I question my motives for my riding and question just about everything about life in general. I never get bored because my mind is too twisted to not have anything to think about...so on I go.