For the last few weeks, I unable to ride my bike, not even on the road let alone the mountain bike due to recovering from a small operation. Quite frankly, it has been really getting to me. I’m no longer a racer, more of a bimbler, but riding a bike is what I do and always have done. The bike gives me my regular doses of endorphins and adrenaline and simply put, just makes me feel good.
I like to ride on my own, not that I’m antisocial, just that doing this, I can go where I want and at my own speed. I can stop where I want and most importantly, it gives me time and space to think. No one talking at me, no tv, internet or other distractions, just me, my bike and the world.
Thinking on bikes is not a new thing. Quite famously, Albert Einstein used to escape on his bike and in doing so came up with some quite good ideas. It is understood that he came upon his theory of general relativity whilst riding around the local lanes. Einstein used to refer to these moments as his moments of mindfulness. To him, this didn’t mean the same as it does today, just a place where he was at piece on his bike.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving”– Albert Einstein
I’m not for a moment saying that my ideas are in anyway comparable to Einstein’s, but I can understand how it helped him. The formula he came up with was E=mc2 referring to the relationship between energy, time and matter. All I can say is that time does matter and it all gives you energy, so there…
Today, I stopped to watch the wading birds on the flooded Somerset Levels, even the cows, sheep and rabbits in the fields. I noticed the wind, the smells and the sounds all which would’ve been missed had I been with others, in the car or doing pretty much any other activity.
Stephen Hawking used to refer to this kind of thinking where you can see the larger picture along with the minutia “Cathedral Thinking” and Sherlock Holmes had his special thinking zone he called his “Mind Palace”. My thinking is in no way as big as this, but I have found over the years that my best ideas have come on my bike, be they business or simply inspiration to write ramblings such as these.
I have started again with small rides and small ideas, but hopefully as the rides get longer into the new year and beyond, the ideas will get bigger and better along with them.