Monday, August 24, 2009

Sensory Saturation

Yesterday's long road ride gave my mind some time to drift. One thing that bounced around my noggin are the diffrerences between road riding and mountain biking. What makes them so different?

Having time to have wandering thoughts is the main difference. Going down the trail there ton's of things happening that keep the mind filled. Picking a line, reacting to the bike, looking ahead as far as possible. There's so much stimulation flying toward you, you don't even think about them. There is no think on good singletrack -- only do. The senses saturate and all the tensions, stress, problems all fall away. They have no space in the mind crowded by fun.

The road experience is nearly the opposite. It's solitary. Hours in the saddle are lonely. An iPod, my shadow, and a loooong straight line are my only companions. My mind has time to wander. There's time to think: "doG dammit it's hot. Or "is my saddle too high?". "is that brake dragging?". "need to get XYZ done when I get back.". "did I leave the oven on?". "*yawn* how can I yawn while on a training ride?". "what's for dinner?". "how long can I stay on the lane stripe?". The physical act of riding is only a tertiary part of the experience. It's a more cerebral experience.

I suppose I could say that mountain biking is about absorbing stimuli. Road biking is more about how I manage my thoughts, and an unending search for stimuli from the music in my ears, the scenery, or if I'm luck enough a riding partner.

... just some rambling thoughts for a rest day! I need some singletrack!