Thursday, December 6, 2018

What To Do While Cycling - Without Crashing

It's winter here now, and since I'm a fair-weather pedaler my daily cycling happens on a stationary bike, which, without some distraction can be somewhat boring. I nearly always listen to music that has various instrumental pieces mixed together that are a combination of upbeat and a few that are more relaxing, so that I'm sure to pedal faster at times and to give myself a rest at times. Sometimes I will listen to an audiobook on YouTube. The big problem is to prevent yourself from becoming bored because, let's face it, the scenery isn't going to change much. In addition to the music, I also use hand weights to make the workout a bit more challenging, but you can only lift those for so long before your arms get tired and encourage your legs to quit too.

To keep that 'quitter' attitude from taking root, I had to find different ways to distract myself. Sometimes I use the Kindle and catch up on my reading list, especially of books I wish to review. Other times I just close my eyes and listen to the music. Don't try that on a road bike or you will crash. Today, while whittling away at the morning miles I decided to design something.

I designed a bicycle trailer for long distance trips. In part, it was based on a couple of others I had seen made by Paul Elkins, except it had a lot of creature-comfort features those didn't. As I don't actually know how to build one, I am skeptical that it will ever be constructed, but in my imagination it took less than two miles to have it worked out. The results? It worked perfectly. There were no design or operational flaws when I mentally hooked it up to the road bike. The tires didn't go flat. The solar array perfected charged the mini battery inside for power later, and it rolled smoothly along. It's features deployed without incident, and it was the perfect balance of weight, while still being highly maneuverable. In that alternate reality, the results couldn't be better. In this reality, it might have had issues.

Nevertheless, the activity kept my mind off the miles I had to pedal and  before I knew it, it was time to pull to a stop and put the bike trailer away, mentally anyway. Lord willing, I'll design something new tomorrow, or perhaps I'll just pack the trailer and 'head' off on a journey, envisioning a nice, moderately challenging paved road, perhaps through Utah. As long as the virtual ground is not frozen and icy, it's doable. If it turns out the weather in the alternate reality isn't favorable, I'll outline a new novel or edit one of my works in progress.

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