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  1. #1
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Cycling and distortions in time...

    Today I got a bit of news at work that will require some significant changes in the way I'm thinking about and approaching a project. I thought I'd take a quick 30 minute ride during lunch to clear my head before approaching the challenge. Well, two hours later I realize I'm 29 miles away from my office. I've got most of the challenge figured out, but what happened to the time? It seemed as if it were only 20 or 30 minutes. And how did I get from center city Philadelphia to the mid-point of the Perkiomen Trail? I was in what we call the "flow". When left brain is taking care of the immediate business at hand (stop lights, making turns, etc.) And right brain is busy working out the challenge. Ever have anything similar happen to you?

    Oh, and here's a photo of the spot along the trail where I realized I was more than 30 minutes out.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  2. #2
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    The time-distortion thing? Oh, yea.

    The "being able to concentrate on a complex problem while I'm riding my bike" thing? Definitely NOT!

    I dunno what it is, but when I ride my bike, I zone out. It's almost like I enter a meditative state where my mind clears of anything except the road rolling by.

    I get this in the shower, though:

    Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
    www.photo395.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    Sometimes while driving a car long distance I will kind of "awaken", not that I was sleeping, but suddenly become "aware" and wonder what happened to the time after when I last recalled where I was. I look around to see that I am on course / schedule and wonder if there had been any risk during the missed time. This hasn't happened recently but I know this has happened to other people. White Line Fever I think it is called. (not the movie)

    http://www.gadling.com/2012/08/31/hi...w-to-avoid-it/

    exerpt:
    "Highway hypnosis is a trance-like mental state brought on by the monotony of the road. In other words, you're zoning out, and while one part of your brain is still able to operate your car, the other half is in la la land. If you've ever driven a stretch of highway and have no memory of it, you've had white line fever, baby. The important thing to take away from this is that it's nearly as dangerous as nodding off at the wheel."
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  4. #4
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Our brains have two hemispheres and the connection between the two (corpus callosum, for anatomy buffs), is fairly tenuous in males due to hormone related underdevelopment. It's entirely possible to have two independant functions occur, which is what happened to you. Your navigational controls were on autopilot, so to speak.

    I try to avoid doing that, but once about a year ago I was pushing 40 MPH on my bike while I was thinking about something entirely unrelated. For about 4 seconds I was a bit apprehensive of the situation, until I remembered that I was riding my bike down into the Floyd Fork valley. I felt like the guy in On Golden Pond who panicked because he got lost in his own backyard.

  5. #5
    weights are heavy Tober1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
    The time-distortion thing? Oh, yea.

    The "being able to concentrate on a complex problem while I'm riding my bike" thing? Definitely NOT!

    I dunno what it is, but when I ride my bike, I zone out. It's almost like I enter a meditative state where my mind clears of anything except the road rolling by.

    I get this in the shower, though:
    Exactly this. I can't really think of anything while I'm riding. I have tried to think about things, mull them over in my mind. Nuthin'. It's my zen place

  6. #6
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    In my case, it's not really like highway hypnosis (I've had that happen ... scary stuff).

    I'm almost hyper-attuned to what I'm doing ... so much so that I remember virtually all of it. But I'm attuned ONLY to riding the bike. Other thoughts, cares, doubts and the like float away.

    Maybe all those people who called me an airhead in high school were right. Hmmm.
    Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
    www.photo395.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    I have exactly the opposite experience, most of the time. I'll come home from what felt to me like the most pleasurable all-day bike ride of my life, look at the clock, and realize that I've only been gone an hour. Anybody else have THIS experience?
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  8. #8
    Senior Member David Bierbaum's Avatar
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    I have a combo experience, where for the first part, I look at my watch to see if I should turn around, and "What?!? Only 30 minutes?", then I go just a little bit further and "Great Scott!!!! 2 hours!?!?!?!?! Where did the time go????"

    I can only surmise that I suffer from 'cycle-induced chronological nonlinear traversal disorder...

  9. #9
    Senior Member david58's Avatar
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    I find that if I really hammer, I go fast enough that I am younger when I get back than when I left. At least Einstein said so ....
    2011 BMC SR02; 2010 Fuji Cross Comp; n+1 on hold today, due to college tuition and a wedding. Some day, some where, over the rainbow, I will get that 29er....

  10. #10
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    hahaha oh those last two are quite humorous!
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  11. #11
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by david58 View Post
    I find that if I really hammer, I go fast enough that I am younger when I get back than when I left. At least Einstein said so ....
    No, Einstein said that you are younger than your twin who was sitting on the couch.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Frankfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Bierbaum View Post
    I have a combo experience, where for the first part, I look at my watch to see if I should turn around, and "What?!? Only 30 minutes?", then I go just a little bit further and "Great Scott!!!! 2 hours!?!?!?!?! Where did the time go????"

    I can only surmise that I suffer from 'cycle-induced chronological nonlinear traversal disorder...
    This would happen to me if there weren't so many potholes on the route I travel.
    The trick to life is to keep moving.

  13. #13
    Senior Member david58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    No, Einstein said that you are younger than your twin who was sitting on the couch.
    Sorry for my imprecision. But if I ride really fast, I will be younger than you when I get back.
    2011 BMC SR02; 2010 Fuji Cross Comp; n+1 on hold today, due to college tuition and a wedding. Some day, some where, over the rainbow, I will get that 29er....

  14. #14
    Senior Member Tandem427's Avatar
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    Time passes quickly while riding a route that I am familiar with and slows way down when I go someplace new. That is a good thing or else starting almost every ride from home would soon get very boring.

    I underestimate time spent riding out on the high plains and overestimate the time spent on more scenic rides.

  15. #15
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    When I ride I develop tunnel vision and see a white light off in the distance.

    I always thought I was experiencing a near death experience, but it turns out I was just going way faster than I thought I was:


  16. #16
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Dudelsack, stay away from the white light.
    Please support diabetics like myself, a red rider, by supporting the American Diabetes Association.
    If you see a Tour de Cure event, consider participating or supporting a Red Rider or other participant.


    My nephew's and his two friends' blog about their riding the East Coast, Maine to the Keys:
    http://brobreak.wordpress.com/

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    Today I got a bit of news at work that will require some significant changes in the way I'm thinking about and approaching a project. I thought I'd take a quick 30 minute ride during lunch to clear my head before approaching the challenge. Well, two hours later I realize I'm 29 miles away from my office. I've got most of the challenge figured out, but what happened to the time? It seemed as if it were only 20 or 30 minutes. And how did I get from center city Philadelphia to the mid-point of the Perkiomen Trail? I was in what we call the "flow". When left brain is taking care of the immediate business at hand (stop lights, making turns, etc.) And right brain is busy working out the challenge. Ever have anything similar happen to you?

    Oh, and here's a photo of the spot along the trail where I realized I was more than 30 minutes out.
    Hold it, you wante to go for a 30 miute ride, but where out for 2 hours and 9 miles when you realised somethingwas amiss.
    Then you post a pic from wen you were 30 minutes out.
    So, does this mean tht you where going 60 MPH+/- to get back to the office?

    Gonna have to make a day trip to that trail.
    If you don't know the way, you shouldn't be going there.

  18. #18
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
    Hold it, you wante to go for a 30 miute ride, but where out for 2 hours and 9 miles when you realised somethingwas amiss.
    Then you post a pic from wen you were 30 minutes out.
    So, does this mean tht you where going 60 MPH+/- to get back to the office?

    Gonna have to make a day trip to that trail.
    leob1: I think you need to read the post more slowly and carefully.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  19. #19
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
    I'm almost hyper-attuned to what I'm doing ... so much so that I remember virtually all of it. But I'm attuned ONLY to riding the bike. Other thoughts, cares, doubts and the like float away.
    Actually Victor,

    In my experience you're too busy telling stories as you ride along to concentrate on any complex problem. Not that I'm complaining. No, in fact, your stories help keep the miles (and the climbs) rolling along quickly and painlessly.

    Rick / OCRR

  20. #20
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    A protracted senior moment?

  21. #21
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    Had one of those once; it happened when I last had a speedometer on the bike, was going downhill, and got going so fast, I got back before I left.

  22. #22
    Semper Fi, A way of life. qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Did you by any chance hear Rod Serling's voice before you went into the cycling "trance", maybe saying " You are about to enter the Twilight Zone...."?

    Attachment 312942

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

  23. #23
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
    Actually Victor,

    In my experience you're too busy telling stories as you ride along to concentrate on any complex problem. Not that I'm complaining. No, in fact, your stories help keep the miles (and the climbs) rolling along quickly and painlessly.

    Rick / OCRR
    Lol ... the blabbermouth is busted!

    The first time I met Laura S on a ride, she and I blabbermouthed all the way to the top of a big long climb. Vertical Bob caught us and remarked about how he was surprised either one of us got a word in edgewise.
    Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
    www.photo395.com

  24. #24
    Senior Member CrankyFranky's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of Flow theory - I read one of Csikszentmihalyi's books a long time ago and ate it up. Now, when confronted with a problem, I gather as much data about it as quickly as I can, and then I go do something enjoyable - it may even take a delay of hours or a day to do something in flow - and sure enough, the solution pops into your head as if you had actively worked it out.
    You did the smart thing - to avail yourself of one of the beautiful trails around Philly - to have the experience immediately. The nice trails around Philly are what I miss most about the city.

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