"Time falls away." I love the idea of time ceasing to matter. I am so much happier living experience-to-experience than moment-to-moment. I love what it does to the people around me. Whether they know it or not you can almost see the weight of family responsibilities and the ever-present schedule lift off of them. Faces relax. Smiles come easier. The body loses its rigidity and accepts the comfort of a cushion. Silliness and banter arrive in a clown car. As a corollary, people who can't relax make me nervous. I see them as a rubberband twisted in on itself. When will it release, and will it be gentle or violent?
Part of my mind was turning this over while thinking about my ride last night. It extended well beyond dark because I simply did not concern myself with what time it was. Unfortunately, I didn't take any lights, or reflective gear of any kind so that was kind of dumb. Obviously, I became a lot more cautious and turned all of my senses on high to protect myself, but also to protect the gentle soul that might be taking a late night stroll on the bike path (I managed to get off the roads before full dark.). So I made noise, singing into the dark, or calling out "irresponsible mountain biker on your left!" as I cautiously approached a group of moving shapes, only discernable because of the light they blocked. It worked, and I got home safe without so much as a single close call or frightened pedestrian. I did get one terse "yes, you are" from a cyclist using a headlight when I announced my careless presence. Oh well, my apologies. I am thankful, not emboldened, that I am home safe.
Quick tech note: my rides are beginning to routinely exceed the battery capacity of the iPhone + Strava. Either I need to go old school using a map and a clock, get a separate GPS, or get creative.