Friday, February 6, 2009

How can the blind lead the blind?

So, I'm not blind okay? My perspective may be a little skewed, but that has nothing to do with the biological function of vision. That's all about what's happening inside this little nugget sitting atop my neck. Sometimes I hear voices, they say all kinds of weird things. I might just be a closet advertising exec 'cause most of what I hear in my head is an advertisement for something.....Like I just heard something about..a what???? oh, a local grocery store.......oh shoot, that's the radio after all, not some stupid voices in my head!

So yeah, I can see just fine, sometimes when I'm at work and my office mate or me has to turn on those stupid flourescent bulbs overhead......IT DRIVES ME CRAZY!!!!!!! In 3 minutes and 12 seconds (ok fine, let's leave it at "about" 3 minutes), my eyes feel like they've just run a marathon!

OK! OK! so my eyes really can't run a marathon, although after those 3 minutes and 12 seconds (if you're going to get particular, so am I!), they are leaking, and when your nose does this, you say "my nose is running", so why can't I say my eyes are running?

Where am I?

Oh yeah, the marathon comment....It really doesn't have anything to do with moisture coming from my eyes, it has to do with how my eyes might feel IF THEY COULD run a marathon - you know the feeling - completely wiped out with not one single shred of energy - ready to bend over at the waist and toss your breakfast cause you just left your heart and soul (and what was left of your mind) somewhere in the last 27.2 miles?

You don't know what that is about? Yeah, I've never run a marathon either. But, I have ridden a mile or two on my bikes! So this brings me back to the biological function of vision.

It's funny how your eyes work - you open them and you see stuff, you close them and you don't see stuff. What, you thought I was going to go into some scientific explanation of the physics of light and lenses??? What am I, an engineer? ($#!^ - i have to remember that doesn't work - I AM an Engineer)

Ok, so back to how your eyes work. This vision thing depends, of course, on how much light there is available. If there is lots of light, you probably can't see a thing (unless you have a super cool pair of shades). Conversely, if you have very little light - well, actually it's not converse, cause you probably can't see anything either! So let's just say when light is available, you see things better than when light is not available

There's this thing that mountain bikers like to do, it might be considered a little kinky by most. But mountain bikers are a bit of a kinky lot anyway, so we don't really care what you might think. Of course, it involves the bike, and it usually involves a group of other bikers. In fact, it's absolutely the best with a group. It's great when the lights are out, but most people do it with the lights on.

I'M TALKING ABOUT NITE RIDING!!!!! GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER!!! Sheesh! what did you think I was talking about???

Hello, my name is John and I'm a nite rider....

Yes, it's so fun, that indeed it is addicting! You can spend huge money on a light, but I've actually found a good light that didn't set me back a huge amount. I usually meet a group of guys from work on tuesday nights at Paris Mountain State Park. We start out about 530-545pm and usually finish up about 8pm. By that time, we're pretty much spent, and so are the lights....get your mind out of the gutter....

This week, I arrived at PSMP at the usual time and alas found myself alone at the trailhead. While this might be an issue for some, I have the voices in my head to keep me company.....;)

It was FREAKING (yes, I refrain from using cuss words at times) COLD!!!! (see my other blog to understand how to deal with cold weather biking) I honestly didn't really want to ride it was so cold and I was SO LONELY!!!! Kidding about the lonely part, but IT WAS COLD!!!

Being the masochist (or sadist or whatever the term.....maybe self flagellator?) I am, I pushed through the negative vibes and onward down the trail. Remember, it was 545pm, so the sun was down, but there was light remaining in the sky. I started off without my light - well, because there was enough light to see - you remember the little lesson about light and lenses and physics and stuff! As I rode, wouldn't you know it, the light level was reduced...imagine that....middle of winter and it gets dark around 6pm....

So, here's where the blind part comes in - I decide to leave the light off and keep riding up the hill. Now for those of you that don't ride mountain bikes, this should not be tried at home, Professional (c'mon, stroke my ego a little here) rider on a closed course! Really, by this time, most of the less deranged bikers on the mountain have already turned their lights on full blast. Here's little old me just cruising up firetower trail - riding by brail.

You didn't know I could ride by brail? Well, you should, I just told you! Yep, that's kind of what it is like, the trail is a less dark ribbon in a much darker forest. Details are just non-existent. Like that rock that just about tore the handlebars out of your hands, or the branch that just tried to really make you blind, or the tree trunk that tried to dislocate your shoulder - yep, can't see any of it. It's really fun - you should try it......

So, I pass a few other bikers on the way up, as previously stated, mountain bikers are a good lot (ok, I said kinky, but hey, it's a matter of perspective right?), and most of them asked if everything was ok - that is once they actually saw me when I came into their little beam of light! To avoid any accidents, I would pull off the side of the trail as I saw them approach.

At the top I made the choice to head back down the same way I came up (not only on the same trail, but sans light). By now, the number of riders on the trail has significantly increased. I nearly had a head on collision with another dude riding without lights. Again, everyone is asking me if I'm ok. 'Just having fun' was my reply.

And I was having fun - although I was about as blind as I could be!

1 comment:

  1. very cool! can't believe you're blogging and didn't tell me !!! :) i couldn't find the other blog? it took me to you FB post?


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