For the past several years, my riding buddy, Professor Fred, has been studying, theorizing, and writing about cognitive evolution (see The Rise of Homo Sapiens
, Cognitive Archaeology and Human Evolution
, and How to Think Like a Neandertal
). One of his theories includes the premise that the appearance of modern human cognition required a subtle genetic change that gave humanoids the ability to engage in "what if" thinking. Well, if that's the case, there is no doubt that I am a modern human, with a "what if" specialization in catastrophic fantasies.
Consider our upcoming Geezer Geyser Tour. Here is a short list of potential catastrophes (er, I mean adventures
) that have come to mind:
- flash floods
- snow, rain, freezing rain, sleet, ice
- unpleasant encounters with wildlife such as bison, moose, bears, packs of hungry wolves
- every possible mechanical failure
- all manner of crashes and nasty bicycle vs motor vehicle mishap
An advantage of such thinking is that I tend to be better prepared than most. For example, I can pretty much guarantee that neither of my companions will have any meaningful bike tools or a first aid kit (not that a few bandaids are likely to be of much use patching anyone up after being mauled by a grizzly or gored by a buffalo). More practically, the clothing I have packed should serve pretty well for most of the likely weather conditions. I couldn't figure out any packable talismans to protect us from sudden floods, unfortunately.
I quite realize that our little trips hardly measure up to REAL adventure cycling, such as that planned by my young friend Dominic (http://onebikeoneworld.com/
). Still, it is a total mystery why someone like me, with my acute awareness of everything that can go wrong, would not just DO trips like this one, but absolutely LOVE doing them! I guess it just comes down to the fact that overcoming the inherent challenges, added to the fun of the thing, is worth the risks.
I leave for Colorado Springs early on Sunday morning, and we start riding on Tuesday. I can't wait!
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