Spring Leaves and Lonely Buoys

Last night’s ride the long way home (LWH) sent me westward on a coffee-outside reconnaissance mission. If it’s not already obvious, I like to drink my coffee near the water.

The ride wasn’t as long as I would have liked, but the fall scenery more than made up for it–and recon was a definite success.

A New Bridge

On the Long Way Home (LWH) yesterday, I found a new bridge–or new to me at least. I parked for a moment to drink pineapple juice from a tiny can and to look upon a tree.

The bridge is just past a three-way junction in the trail. Since my options were to cross the bridge and go somewhere I didn’t or to poach some trail forbidden to bikes, I ended up backtracking a bit to continue on my usual route.

Time or Miles?

As often as I can, I take the long way home from work. Instead of 6-7 miles in 20-30 minutes, this gets me about 20 miles of riding in roughly 1.5 hours (I’m generally not in a hurry in either case). The short way takes me through central Madison along a route made up partly of bikes paths and partly of neighborhood streets. Most variants of the┬álong way take me along the southern edges of town using bike paths, neighborhood streets, and a country road or two.

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Part of the reason that I take the long way home–besides the fact that I love riding my bike–is that sooner or later my mind will slip into a fluid state in which my thoughts flow and float along. This is not only a highly useful way to think through the problems of the world, but it’s also the single best way to let the work day evaporate.

But I don’t seem able to slip into this flow state right away. It takes some amount of riding. One of the things that bubbled up into the foreground when I was riding home last night is this: is it miles or time that’s required to attain this mental flow state? Or perhaps something else, like a minimum level of exertion or just getting out of the traffic grid and on to a path in the woods?

Clearly more data is required.

(Weekend) Sponsorship

This weekend was brought to you by bikes, coffee, fire, beer, bikes, and bikes.

A long ride home after work, errands and coffeeneuring, and a ride to the New Glarus Brewery, among other things.