If it isn't the competitiveness, fitness, or the family-like sense of community, then the very least that cycling can provide you with is some quality "me-time". There's something very meditative about pedalling through the miles, and taking each stroke in our stride.
However, this me-time sense of self awareness doesn't always come with an off-switch. So the flood gates open and your mind races through all sorts of bizarre, wonderful and paranoid thoughts.
Whether you're out on a group ride, or you're out on a solo session, your brain will churn out some classics. And here's our favourites...
At the start of the ride...
- Is my Garmin recording? If it's not on Strava, it didn't happen. This means you start, pause and start your Garmin just to make sure it's on, and recording every heartbeat and metre cycled.
- Will I be too hot/cold? We live in a country where the weather can change at the snap of your fingers. Will you get caught in a shower, or swelter in your long-sleeve base layer?
- Do I match? If you could pass off as the 6th Power Ranger, you're ready to go.
- Do I have to pee? Probably, now you've thought about it.
- Have I got everything? Probably not, but sod it. Either you aren't going far, or you have a group to mooch off of if something happens.
- Can I really be bothered? As much as you love cycling, getting started is often the hardest part of any ride.
During the ride...
- What soundtrack would be playing now if I was being filmed? We've all thought how cool it would be to have our own cycling movie, so what song would you want to pedal to?
- Being your own commentator as you ride: When you take those corners at speed, or hurtle down a mountain, just think what the race commentators would say...
- Chasing down that cyclist head: They're a couple hundred metres away, but you have to overtake them, and then maintain pace to not let them catch you again.
- When being overtaken by another cyclist: "They can't be going as far" or "They haven't been out for as long as I have"
- I hope no one saw that: For all those stupid mistakes you make
- The invention: We've all invented the latest and greatest something when out on a cycle... but chances are it's already been done.
- Do I need to pee? yes.
- The fantasy: The perfect wedding, the ideal job, or that one thing - or person - you want most.
- Why am I doing this to myself? Just as your reaching your physical limit on that seemingly never ending climb...
- How did I get here? Have you ever been so lost in thought that the last 5 miles have eluded you?
- Do I even like riding bikes? Ask me later...
- I feel awesome: However brief of a moment, you feel like the cool kid at school
- His legs are better shaved than mine - oh, the shame
- What is life? When meditation goes too far perhaps
- What can be my excuse? When you're getting dropped and you need a reason for sucking, when really, you're just unfit.
- What's that noise? Is it you, the bike, or a creepy forest monster... ignore it and just pedal harder
- Is it headwind, or am I just really unfit?
- The justification of new bike parts: "New wheels would definitely make me faster"..."I could do with saving a few grams by going carbon"
- I can't wait for that cuppa
The Post ride...
- I cannot be bothered to clean my bike right now: You know you should, but you want to clean yourself first
- Do I need to pee? yes.
- Mmm hot showery goodness: Wash off the grim and soften those aching muscles.
- Chocolate cake. That's a recovery food, right? You've pedalled hard, you busted your guts and now you want a tasty reward.
- I bloody love riding my bike!
This is a mere list of 30, but that doesn't even scratch the surface of the thoughts that whiz through our minds. We'd love to know what weird and wonderful things cycle through your head as you ride.
One thing we can all agree on though: We love riding our bikes!
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