I spend a lot of time thinking. With the increased time spent riding solo, that time has only increased. I don't know if I had any purpose in mind for that increased time spent thinking, but I'm sure that by default I expected to solve the global problems of peace, hunger, and sustainability. Now it bears mentioning that some ideas in my head sound positively crazy when I try to verbalize them. I simply haven't mastered the vocabulary needed to transform some ideas from thought to statement. This past weekend though I have no problem relating what I was thinking about. Yes, the "intellectual" mind of Sean Brinker was caught on multiple occasions regurgitating the lyrics to the "Humpty Dance." Somewhere around mile 80 I started to get annoyed with myself. I tried to substitute other songs, make up a new song, or just generally think about anything else. None of it worked. Like a wheel rut on a muddy road, at the first moment of inattention my brain would slide right back into "that's all right cuz my body's in motion, it s'posed to look like a fit or a convulsion..." If I had to face that for three weeks on the Tour Divide, I'd probably just ride right off a cliff.
As I try to use each ride as a learning opportunity, Saturday reminded me that the hours I am riding both before and during the event will likely tax my mind as much, if not more, than the body. That's a hard thing to anticipate when so much of the preparation centers around training the body, specifically addressing the known pain points. I now clearly recognize the need to discipline my mind for the task ahead. And it makes perfect sense, no matter how well trained the body is I will fail if the mind makes bad decisions.
For the day though the ride was good. I logged about 8.5 hours on Saturday, 112 miles, and was not overly fatigued after the ride. I found a fair amount of unpaved trail, and a review of the map after the ride revealed that there is much more still to explore. Can't wait.