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Something to think about while riding(37 posts)

Something to think about while ridingpeloton
Oct 23, 2001 12:43 PM
I promise I'm going somewhere with this... Has anyone else here seen the movie Fight Club? Not to ruin it for anyone, but the whole premise of the movie was that the main character was insane. He imagined different people, things, and occurances all the while thinking that his reality was perfectly normal. The whole time he thought everthing was sane in his life, things were really much different and he was quite out of his mind.

Ever wonder if you are out of your mind, and just haven't realized it yet too?

There's something to think about on your next ride. :)
re: Something to think about while ridingJon
Oct 23, 2001 12:55 PM
There's a normative theory about sanity/insanity that states that sanity is the statistical norm for any
given trait or behaviour. So here's the deal: doesn't matter how detached your view is from
"objective" reality, if you can find a few others to agree with you, you're okay! Given some group
concensus, ignorance not only is bliss, it can be the basis for your sanity!! With respect to us
roadies' reality, my wife would quite agree with this definition. Of course, according to her and her
reference group we're all crazy as a bunch of bats!
realityDog
Oct 23, 2001 1:08 PM
*"Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality." Jules de Gaultier

*"Reality is a crutch for people who can't cope with drugs." Lily Tomlin

*"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick

Yup, we have all kinds of time to think about that stuff on the bike. Most of us keep it to ourselves, else someone thinks we're nuts. I never got anywhere in college (a philosphy major) trying to argue my beliefs in solipsism.

Doug
I make up....Len J
Oct 23, 2001 1:12 PM
stories about things I see while riding.

"Imagine if that farmer was really an escaped mental patient, what would he do now while driving that tractor down the road?"

"Imagine if that car that just passed, slowed down and dumped a body out the door & I was the only one who saw it, What would happen next?"

etc.

I get some great story/Poem ideas out of this.

Plus, I forget the pain for a while.

Len
hallucinations, too?Dog
Oct 23, 2001 1:23 PM
Is there a difference between imagination and hallucination?

About 3 a.m., around 300 miles into the 508, while on a 2500 foot climb, I could have sworn there were vans lined up on the side of the road going up the hill with bikes on top. I felt great, thinking I was passing all these riders who had stopped to sleep or recover on the hill. It really did motivate me. However, as I went on, I realized (that old "reality" word again) that the car lights behind me were reflecting off the little 4 foot high poles with reflectors on them on the side of the road, which in my mind looked like vans with bikes on top. It's amazing how many I had to pass before I figured this out.

Lesson: The mind often sees what it wants to.

Dog
you ever done acid Doug?ColnagoFE
Oct 23, 2001 2:02 PM
Not to say it is something everyone should do or anything, but it definately teaches you a lot about what "reality" is.
lactic nmDog
Oct 23, 2001 2:23 PM
dog didn't need acid, he had a 508 mile trip...Js Haiku Shop
Oct 24, 2001 4:52 AM
but, i suspect if he'd had an lsd history, he might have enjoyed a few "burps" between miles 300 and 500.

and, if you'd asked me 10 years ago, i'd have told you that there are two things ALL american teenagers of working age should be required to do:

* LSD once

* work as a waiter/waitress FOR A LIVING for at least 6 months

i'm older and more dull (or droll?) now.
Agree but.....Len J
Oct 24, 2001 5:10 AM
for everyone but my own kids.

Did LSD once & it was a scary ride, never wanted to do that again. Intellectually I agree that everyone should "see & feel" thier fears once at such a base level, however, I would protect my kids from it with everything I've got.

Len
yep, things change when you're not a kid, but have kids...Js Haiku Shop
Oct 24, 2001 5:38 AM
my views on stuff have changed substantially over the last 18 months, since my son was born. however, i still think he needs to hold a service role (waiter, etc.) depending upon the generosity and kindness of others at some point in his early personal growth cycle. you know and i know that waiters make $2/hour, and depend on tips for their good service to pay the rent and eat, but many people either don't know or don't give a crap. being on the receiving end sure makes for a deeper understanding of the cycle of life.

on the acid thing, each to his own. i'd never wish on my son some of the stuff i've done/been through/put myself through, but it's all part of life.

now, if i could just get him on the back of a tandem...
Wait until they get older.....Len J
Oct 24, 2001 5:46 AM
and you are confronted with how little you can protect them from. How good a job you do in shaping thier judgement & ethics becomes a key determiner as to thier survival.

Your thoughts on a service role are good one's, this has helped all my kids.

All this being said, parenting has been the best gift I ever received. I have been forced to choose to be a better me because of my kids.

It's a great ride!

Len
no drugs / life lessons from cyclingDog
Oct 24, 2001 5:48 AM
I don't think anyone needs drugs to fully exerience life. Hell, just go ride a bike or run further than you ever have before. That will mess with your mind good enough for a "trip."

I tried waitering for about 2 weeks when I was in high school. I got so sick of rude people treating me like dirt that I left that job in a flash. It did make me more conscious of being nice to service people, though. If they are nice and do their job well, I'll often go 20-25%. If they "don't give a crap," then low or maybe even nothing. Sad thing is, people pretty much are who they are, and I doubt a low tip is going to send an adequate message.

Getting back to cycling, I think not only riding but competing can teach many life lessons, other than being all wanged out on a long ride. Number one would be humility. There is always a bigger fish. Even the most cocky jerk will be quickly humbled if he can't cut it on a climb. Patience, generosity, communication, determination, courage, hope, all are a part of cycling, and for me, particularly long distance cycling.

Doug
The mind reaches out for what it needs.......Len J
Oct 24, 2001 5:16 AM
and this is a perfect example.

As I said before Dog, I was fascinated with the parts of your 508 narrative that dealt with the mental side of the ride. Particularly interesting were you comments questioning how many people DNF'ed who would have felt better if they only could have pushed through for a little while longer, how transient the bad feelings were. I can tell you point blank that the major difference between high performance & low performance when I was running was purely mental. At a certain level of fitness, the differences in winning & not winning come down to mental strength. This is manifest in training as well as in execution.

This story about the hallucinations is another example of the power of the mind. Thanks

Len
aww, come on, dog! quotes? thought you'd have some...Js Haiku Shop
Oct 23, 2001 1:21 PM
some original insights on "reality" after racing 508 miles through the desert. well??? well???
see above nm :-)Dog
Oct 23, 2001 1:24 PM
realityColnagoFE
Oct 23, 2001 1:58 PM
always liked this one.

If you experience it, it's the truth. The same thing believed is a lie. -Werner Erhard
Speaking of losing one's mind...Elefantino
Oct 23, 2001 12:58 PM
I was forced to have a "brain test" as a result of my accident. It was six hours of psycho-babble and trying to remember insignificant things. Yesterday, the doctor told me I "may have some cognitive deficits" because I scored poorly on ... THE GROCERY LIST TEST!!! I was given 16 things to remember, then a few minutes later I was asked to remember them. I only got 6 right the first time. BUT THAT'S WHY WE HAVE CELL PHONES!!! So we can call home for the grocery list that we always leave on the counter!!!!

(Actually, I was way above average on most tests and only "average" on two. And because there was no baseline test before my accident, and because I feel absolutely wonderful, and because I haven't had any grocery-list problems since (well, one; I forgot to get peanut butter on Sunday), I am moving on and not going to have "brain therapy" (Where, apparently, they give you many grocery lists to remember.)

There. I feel better now.
The tests were written by Betty Crocker! (nm)Jon
Oct 23, 2001 1:03 PM
Another definition of Insanity.Len J
Oct 23, 2001 1:09 PM
Doing the same thing over & over & expecting a different result.

I know I'm "insane" by this definition at times.

Len
Are we madmetty108
Oct 23, 2001 1:13 PM
We shave our legs and wear skin tight lycra !!!
Speaking of losing one's mind...Elefantino
Oct 23, 2001 1:41 PM
I was forced to have a "brain test" as a result of my accident. It was six hours of psycho-babble and trying to remember insignificant things. Yesterday, the doctor told me I "may have some cognitive deficits" because I scored poorly on ... THE GROCERY LIST TEST!!! I was given 16 things to remember, then a few minutes later I was asked to remember them. I only got 6 right the first time. BUT THAT'S WHY WE HAVE CELL PHONES!!! So we can call home for the grocery list that we always leave on the counter!!!!

(Actually, I was way above average on most tests and only "average" on two. And because there was no baseline test before my accident, and because I feel absolutely wonderful, and because I haven't had any grocery-list problems since (well, one; I forgot to get peanut butter on Sunday), I am moving on and not going to have "brain therapy" (Where, apparently, they give you many grocery lists to remember.)

There. I feel better now.
maybe the cell phone caused the drain bamage? :-) nmDog
Oct 23, 2001 1:49 PM
Perhaps, because I can't figure out why I posted twice.Elefantino
Oct 23, 2001 2:08 PM
And an hour apart, too. Must be "cognitive deficit."
maybe the cell phone caused the drain bamage? :-) nmWoof the dog
Oct 23, 2001 3:21 PM
no, they cause cancer. And by the way, that grocery list was written by Bob Smith.

Shwazooglingly yours

Woof the bitch.
Good grief...DINOSAUR
Oct 23, 2001 4:28 PM
You mean this isn't normal? That's half the fun of riding.
My imagination runs wild, especially in the winter. It must have something to do about being locked in, then getting out in the cold and favoring a section of road where the sun is shining through and for an instant my brain cells explode and I come up with little mindless thoughts that I sometimes turn into poems. Often I peer into the woods and imagine that the little people are watching my every move.
Riding is good for the soul. Now I'm all out of whack as I can't ride as I'm waiting for a new rim to be shipped. My sleeping pattern is all messed up. I awake in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep for hours. I'm an exericise junky and I'm badly in need of a fix. Life is about dreams, stop dreaming and it's no fun anymore, regardless how old you are...
I would rather be insane on a bike . . .hms
Oct 23, 2001 5:04 PM
than to spend my weekends being brain dead while watching baseball or football on television.
I would rather be insane on a bike . . .Coluber
Oct 23, 2001 6:10 PM
Wow, you people get creative... when I'm riding I do stuff like try to work out how many permutations a rubik's cube can have, or trying to figure out what percentage of three letter combinations are actual english words by calculating the total number and then trying to count through every combination and remember how many i've counted.... I usually just confuse myself and lose count or something and have to start over....
re: Something to think about while ridingmetonymy3
Oct 23, 2001 6:59 PM
I like to think about that kind of stuff too when riding! The Matrix is like that, as well.
It's a bit tangential but...Tom C
Oct 23, 2001 7:13 PM
I thought Fight Club was a nihilistic fantasy reaction to modern society. Stuff, advertising, yuppie materialism, feminine inspired pacificism are all taken on as the reason for spiritual bankruptcy. Heavy stuff but author Chuck Palahniak also supplies some great black comedy as well. A testicular cancer support group as an emasculation symbol is one of the funnier ones. Of course, I could be crazy.
re: Something to think about while ridingBuzzkill
Oct 23, 2001 8:21 PM
Gee guys, am I the only one who just thinks about sex while riding? Sometimes, when I return to reality I find that I have ridden beyond my origional goal.
Can't remember if I doStarliner
Oct 23, 2001 8:49 PM
I make an effort to stay grounded and in my body so as to not to find myself "out of my mind". Meditation, visualization, etc. Sometimes I think I get into a "zone", but that's about being super-focused, not being somewhere else.

I saw an eerie similarity between the the Brad Pitt character and Charles Manson. Both were control freaks, and both attracted people who turned over their thought processes to them. I'd never do that.
While riding I believe I really might be.128
Oct 24, 2001 4:40 AM
A continuum of ontological instants.

Balance.

I actually like the part where you realize you havn't been thinking as usual...kind of a body/mind fusion. Then of course the seratonin and endorphs come along.(!)

I do think about the bike, the sun glittering of its metal, my cadence, the dog up ahead...

128

RR
I just think about sexRich Clark
Oct 24, 2001 5:38 AM
all the time. Doesn't everybody? Something about the rhythm...

RichC
what saddle are YOU using? :-) nmDog
Oct 24, 2001 6:16 AM
One with a hole, of course! (nm)Rich Clark
Oct 24, 2001 10:16 AM
a final thought?Dog
Oct 24, 2001 3:07 PM
Never?peloton
Oct 24, 2001 5:54 PM
Sometimes it's better not knowing.