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Old 04-23-13, 02:32 PM   #1
NOS88
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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.
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File Type: jpg Perk Trail.jpg (99.3 KB, 52 views)
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Old 04-23-13, 02:41 PM   #2
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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:

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Old 04-23-13, 02:44 PM   #3
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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."
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Old 04-23-13, 03:06 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 04-23-13, 03:24 PM   #5
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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
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Old 04-23-13, 03:25 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 04-23-13, 03:47 PM   #7
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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?
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Old 04-23-13, 04:32 PM   #8
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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...
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Old 04-23-13, 07:44 PM   #9
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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 ....
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Old 04-23-13, 08:08 PM   #10
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hahaha oh those last two are quite humorous!
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Old 04-23-13, 10:11 PM   #11
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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 ....
No, Einstein said that you are younger than your twin who was sitting on the couch.
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Old 04-24-13, 05:19 AM   #12
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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...
This would happen to me if there weren't so many potholes on the route I travel.
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Old 04-24-13, 06:48 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 04-24-13, 09:24 AM   #14
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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.
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Old 04-24-13, 10:11 AM   #15
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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:

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Old 04-24-13, 01:34 PM   #16
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Dudelsack, stay away from the white light.
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Old 04-24-13, 02:23 PM   #17
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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.
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Old 04-24-13, 02:43 PM   #18
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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.
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Old 04-24-13, 03:22 PM   #19
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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.

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Old 04-24-13, 04:09 PM   #20
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A protracted senior moment?
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Old 04-24-13, 10:04 PM   #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.
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Old 04-25-13, 05:17 AM   #22
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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...."?



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Old 04-25-13, 11:47 AM   #23
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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.
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Old 04-26-13, 05:42 AM   #24
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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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