Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Less Riding = Less Writing Correlation...

If you start to see fewer posts around here, it is not because I have lost interest in doing so, or have less time to more my fingers across the keyboard. No, instead I have come to the conclusion that the lack of frequent posting is a direct result of less time spent in the saddle. Even though we tend to have pretty reasonable weather around here during the winter months I, like so many others, find my mileage totals slipping away this time of year. Just list the usual excuses - inclement weather (there is always at least a little), shorter days, holiday preparation and the holidays themselves, off-season indifferent attitude toward training. All these various reasons accumulate and I may be riding half the distance at the end of the year as I was doing just a couple months previous.

So what does less frequent riding have to do with a lack of writing? Well, for one thing, if I am out on the road or trail less, I have fewer opportunity to accumulate tales of adventure, or even incidental happenings. It is a pretty direct correlation in this case. Of course I have years of those that I could fall back on. What I have decided is even more important is the correlation between physical activity and mental acuity. "Movement and exercise increase breathing and heart rate so that more blood flows to the brain" (the Franklin Institute); riding (as a form of physical activity) is effective in "oxygenating the brain" and one reason fellow cyclists often talk of using riding to clear our heads, or think through problems. 

It was once common belief that people were born with a set and limited number of neurons, or brain cells, but now know that, not only can we produce more neurons, but that physical activity stimulates the regeneration of them. Studies show, time and again, that there exists a very real connection between physical and mental health, that an active lifestyle increases mental acuity. In fact I would suggest that the evidence is so conclusive that researchers might as well move on to another topic, or narrow their focus. There you go; if in fact you do notice a decline in content here over the next couple months, it is not for lack of trying (or more to the point, desire), blame it on lack of riding. That's my excuse and I am sticking to it. If it's good enough for Albert, it's good enough for me:

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