What do you think about on the bike?

What do you think about on a solo ride?

  • Total voters
Getting out on a bike is largely a solitary exercise, though we might sometimes take part in a group ride; it is usually a fairly extended chunk of time (scarcely worth changing for less than 1 hr ride, for some of us a spin can be several hours); and most of us probably have access to reasonable peaceful routes on which to take a ride. It is not, however, a particularly cerebral activity. So what is going on in your brain while your legs are whirring round?

Any real eureka moments while pedalling?
Is grinding up a hill the time to make an important life decision?
And music on a ride: yes or no?
Reactions: Nick2413 and jmdirt
Traffic... "Is that guy coming from the side road just gonna drive out without looking?" "Can I make that green light, or should I just slow down?"

But yeah... I probably also zone out a little. I lied in my voting! :smilingimp:
Depends on the ride, but to expand on the first option: I like exploring roads I've never been on before navigating by feel alone (and then reconstructing the route on a map when I get home). I never listen to music or radio etc. on a ride, I want to either focus my attention towards traffic, myself or nature.
Reactions: jmdirt
That’s a good question. Most of my cycling ins now in city/suburbs rather than out in the countryside, so yeah, a lot of brain activity is just focusing on obstacles/traffic. Focusing on that stuff and what my body is experiencing is a break from all the mental energy I spend at work. Once I’m out for more than 20 minutes, then I’m “thinking” more, generally about one of the following:

-Why the h&ll did they design the bike lane/path/intersection this way and listen, you imaginary city DOT engineer, here’s why your clueless about what cyclists need.

-Mental blips: what are those leaves . . . that car, wonder if the seats are comfortable . . . Blue flowers! . . . Male gaze on/off . . . That guy’s saddle is too high/low . . .what’s tomorrow’s stage profile —worth getting up early to watch? . . . huskie . . . HILL . . . omg how can my power-to-weight ratio have gone from so-so to minus 37 in just the past x years? . . . Ack, gasp, f$&k I’m going to have to redo my gearing again!
Reactions: jmdirt
In my current life, my daily ride is a way to let my brain escape. Sometimes that includes ironing out the day's sh*t, or thinking about tomorrow's meeting, but mostly its just about enjoying the dirt. Obviously ripping down hills requires some attention, but I will frequently be "oh, wow, how'd I get here already' on a climb. I've even ended up on a loop that I did not intend to ride.

No music! Part of the joy for me, even back when I was training, is the wind in my ears, the sound of my tires, the sound of birds and bugs and animals...
I have to add recurring worries about my seat position, weird knee pains, why does my back hurt etc. Should I place the saddle a bit higher and maybe forward again? Or further back?
And hearing strange sounds from the bike itself that should not be there. And wondering if it's already time now for a new chain. But it was only April I changed it last. Or was it March? Or maybe even buy a new chain ring and cassette? Wouldn't I be able to go faster and more smooth? But they are not really worn out, but still? Oh, the joys of being a DIY bike mechanic.
As I almost always ride on my own, I usually stay in my own head because I ride on routes that I have memorized.

Often, a specific song is stuck in my head and I spent most of the ride pondering about a particular section of the song's lyricism.

I also like to think of bad word puns that I can later annoy friends or colleagues with.

Social group rides are completely different though.
Reactions: jmdirt
I’m usually focussed on each section of road, maintaining my pace or rhythm, next climb etc. When indoors usually focus on maintaining the numbers - watts. Don’t think of much that’s why cycling is a great way to clear your head of life’s stresses.
Reactions: jmdirt
Dec 2, 2020
On longer rides I’m thinking of my next junk food stop which is always a highlight of any 100k+ ride. Other than that it’s a mix of random internal thoughts and sometimes getting into a zen like state at higher efforts. If I listen to anything it’s actually audiobooks for the first 2/3 of the ride then music toward the end, lower volume and more focused on the road etc.
I think the same thing every time I do anything physically strenuous..
" man,somebody needs to do something about how f-cking fat I am ".
I also look at my bike constantly for what feels like a sudden loss of tire pressure..broken glass embedded from Fizik, seized wheel and bottom bracket bearings..
I often look behind me to see if a bag of cement or a fat dead animal is dragging behind my bike..