what thoughts are in that noggin now?
I was on one of my long solo rides recently, the kind that are especially good for thinking, largely because there is not much else to do. Group rides are not as amenable to this kind of mental activity because there is too much distraction - planning your attack for the next KOM or Sprint point, concentrating on holding that wheel in front of you, wondering how long it has been since someone up ahead last washed their kit. I know I did a post once (last year) about the brevity of my thought process on training rides, such as Bud's. Stuff like that.
Long solo rides are completely different; other than debating how best to keep the cranks turning, there is plenty of free time. You may remember a recent post in which I mentioned riding for miles thinking only of sweat. It is not uncommon to find myself focused on a single line of thought for a considerable distance and length of time. On the above mentioned recent ride, I had an entire conversation on the merits, the pluses and minuses of spinning versus pushing a big gear. If I had a smart phone with a dictation app I could have composed an entire lecture on the topic. It wasn't just randomness that settled my thoughts on this topic, it was the continuation of a conversation I had with my son at the recent bike marathon at his school.
During that conversation, I commented to him that he was pushing too big a gear, and that he should try spinning in an easier gear for a while. His was response was, to the effect of "that's not the way I ride." I told him that in the long run, over the course of the 24 hour event it would help, but he wasn't buying it. As someone who has always been known for big-gear riding (I wasn't bestowed the nickname 53-12 for nothing) I decided not to push the point too much, and just let him ride his ride. Anyway it did give me a topic for a future post - watch for it here.