I’m a bicycle rider, and when I raced competitively I used to ride about ten thousand miles a year. Then age started slowly chipping away at my strength and ability to recover from sprains, sore muscles, and fatigue. I finally retired from racing, but kept riding for exercise, but my annual miles diminished rapidly.
Now I ride less than three thousand miles a year, but I do it in one of the nicest and most beautiful places to ride a bicycle — Palos Verdes, California. I have the Pacific Ocean to look at, and hills to climb (which I do less and less each year), with wide bike lanes and few stop lights that always allow for a pleasant and safe ride.
And then I started writing books and everything changed.
My imagination started kicking in when I rode, and I’d come up with countless thoughts and ideas for the book I was working on, and even interesting plot ideas for new books. Then one day I realized I’d stopped looking at the ocean and beautiful scenery and was only creating scenes in my mind. It got to the point that I’d quickly return home to jot down my thoughts on the computer. I told everyone that was the reason why my miles started to decline, trying to avoid the truth about the effect of age on my body. Finally, I got a smartphone and was able to record my thoughts while I rode — which is not the smartest thing to do while riding a bicycle, especially in traffic, which is minimal in Palos Verdes but still there. It’s much wiser to concentrate on the road, but I can’t seem to stop myself.
I still love to ride, and also spend hours each day writing books, which I believe are two admirable traits: exercising my body, and my mind.
Now, if I could only get to the point of doing it at separate times!