J. Mitch Hopper
It is very hard to explain what a long bike ride is really like to someone who has never experienced it. I hear joggers talk about being 'in the zone' or readers who 'fall into a book'. Each becomes disconnected with their surroundings on a conscious level. Subconsciously, each is still aware of the world and reacts to it in an appropriate manner, yet they are indeed, somewhere else mentally. My bike and I enter a similar realm. I pay attention to traffic, signal lane changes, and seldom take a wrong turn, yet there is a surreal quality to it. I leave this world and think my way into a parallel universe of my own making. Time speeds up in a slowed down sort of way. Inside my head, all the normal thoughts and processes are re-mapped into a world of Salvador Dali. I left my home less than two hours ago, yet the temporal displacement of the open road has already begun to have its effect. My last work shift seems like a week ago and I swear I've been on the road since the day before. I am suddenly aware of the weight pulling at my wrist and I slip my watch off and shove it into my coat pocket. It offends me and I can't get it out of my sight fast enough. What does it matter anyway? Is knowing the time important? Will I somehow manage a better gas mileage if I can clock the seconds off my day with quartz crystal digital accuracy? I spend what feels like ten minutes pondering what my life would be like if I were allergic to time-pieces. The sun, or lack of it, should be enough reference to exist in this life I would think.