Thursday, May 26, 2011

What, me worry?

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:
  • hypothermia
  • 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 ( 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!