Cycling Europe Day 32: Pooping Planes and Transcendentalness

Not much happened today, to tell you the truth. I had flat roads, thankfully, but 120km

Sunset from my camp in Verona last night. I didn't take any pictures (yet) today.

Sunset from my camp in Verona last night. I didn’t take any pictures (yet) today.

of them. In hot weather. Today I was wondering when cycling 100km starts to get easier. When I said that to my husband in a brief Facebook conversation, explaining that the problem wasn’t muscular but that it takes the energy out of me, he said I’m probably eating into my fat reserves more and more everyday. I think he’s right. I really feel like an old car that’s starting to sputter. I eat as much as I can when food is available, but I’m probably just not eating enough to replace all the energy I expend everyday.

One thing I sometimes struggle with while cycling such long distances is finding ways to occupy myself so I don’t get bored.

For instance, I discovered that I still remember the words to “Bah Bah, Black Sheep” but can’t remember the words to “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. I spent part of the ride today singing Bah Bah, Black Sheep to the rhythm of my pedaling. When I pedaled slowly, I sang it slowly. When I pedaled faster, I sang it faster.

I had a small issue with navigation today. It got me thinking how nice it would be if, whenever I found myself off course for any reason, I could teleport myself back to the spot where I made the mistake instead of having to cycle extra kilometers to fix it. That then reminded me of watching Star Trek as a kid with my father. That then got me thinking about the transponder machine they used in Star Trek for teleportation. When the transponder converts all one’s cells into energy, what happens to the soul? A soul isn’t made out of cells and atoms. Is a person considered alive in the moments while he’s being “beamed”? How does the soul know where to go to reunite with the rest of the body? Does this mean there is no such thing as a soul, seeing that people do become people again once they are beamed? Is the soul a concept people made up to explain something we do not understand about ourselves? I got distracted from this line of thought and then three hours later went back to it and suddenly realized teleportation machines did not yet exist. So maybe we really do have souls.

Remember when I wrote about warning signs: the triangular road signs with a red border? Like the one with a deer drawn in the middle that means, “Beware: deer!” Or the one with a cow in the middle: “Beware: cows!” Remember how I told you that I saw a “Beware: frogs!” sign in Spain? Well, today, I saw one of those signs with a plane drawn on it with something that looked like two pieces of poop coming out of its tail. “Beware: pooping planes!” When you’re in an area that’s known to be a deer, cow, or frog crossing, you try to slow down just a tad and keep your eyes open for crossing animals so you don’t hit them. But what are we supposed to do about pooping planes?

As you can see, it was a slow day.

It’s not all weird though. Sometimes, especially after getting a burst of energy from a snack or a sandwich thus giving me a second wind, I find myself able to cycle with my thoughts completely tucked away somewhere deep inside. Me, my bike, and the road become as if one. The legs are moving, breaths come regularly in and out, and the mind is in a trance-like state. I call this transcendental cycling. It is a state that can only be realized by the masters. I am a master, obviously. Come, my students. Flock to me. I shall show you the way.

Today, a hotel in Treviso, Italy gets to make my acquaintance. I’m too tired to go out and take a look at the city. There is evidence, as you have probably noticed, that I may be suffering from brain fry due to too much transcendental cycling. I may need to spend the rest of the afternoon resting.


  1. To avoid these transcendental moment, I need a lot of fluid. But that is a double edged sword. The more I drink, the more I need to pee. And, that is not always possible. Keep riding!

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