False Assumptions

I held the false assumption that I would embark on this adventure and spend innumerable hours sipping tea, staring at a beautiful mountain, and pontificating on life; maybe even solving some of the world’s problems, or at least my own. First, I have found it odd that my time on the bike is simply that, time spent on a bike pedaling forward, not idle time used to dream up or philosophize about life. With the physical effort occupying most of your attention, you will only occasionally get an interesting thought to pop into your head worth thinking on, only to loose it as soon as you hit the next bump. Secondly, I assumed my camp life would revolve around my camera and my journal; great things would be captured and thoughts cemented on page. Instead, almost all time off the bike is spent in one of five ways: preparing to ride, setting up or taking down camp, cooking or cleaning from cooking, eating, or gathering water. Without the burden of regular life and its distractions, I felt there would be ample time in a day to accomplish all the above, pedal 60 miles, and still find an answer for world hunger. As with everything, there still doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day. It is a comfort to know that our time is not wasted on frivolity, but instead on the needs of survival. Where modern conveniences once would have given me the time in order to dwell, now I am forced to forfeit that time in order to move through the world and simply survive (food, water, shelter). It is ironic that by turning to a simpler life and giving up many of our modern conveniences, like running water, stoves, showers and toilets, I have in fact made my life more complicated. The true pleasure comes in realizing that the added complexity is there to serve my existence. Water, shelter and food have taken the place of time in front of the t.v. or on the internet. This proclaimed “simple” life is actually turning out to be very hard work and very time consuming, which leaves me desperately short on time to essay on weird things such as this.

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