Miles of Meditation

While riding your bike you can solve the world's problems. Ask any cyclist that has spent countless hours a week riding. I have spent the last ten years of my life tapping into this euphoric state. 

Repetitive rhythmic motion for long durations is known to change your body's biochemistry. You start to produce more neurotransmitters known as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.  Combining this version of your body's lab experiment with an increased heart rate and an elevated core temperature brings you to a state more commonly known as a "runners high".  

There is much speculation about how this state actually occurs, but I don't really care because I know how to get there without completely understanding it. I am more interested in what you can do once you are there. Can you problem solve in a way you could never imagine while your body is experiencing this high? Can this be a replacement for a therapist's couch and those orange and white pill bottles? 

Now that I don't race anymore the main purpose of this state has faded from getting results at a race and grown more towards this form of problem solving. 

 Ryan working the Tour of California with AMR.

Ryan working the Tour of California with AMR.

I fell back in love with my bike last year. I had a night at work where we performed CPR on three different people. None of them made it, and I put each person into a body bag. I didn't sleep when I got home. I went and rode for three hours as hard as I could. I went back to work the next day with a peaceful mind. I've had countless experiences similar to this since then, and I ride every week which brings me peace. 

Now think about what happens when you get a group of like minded individuals riding together experiencing this feeling of mental clearness? All sharing the ability to climb mountains with ease, while becoming capable of solving their problems that have been rattling around in their minds, until that moment the tires start propelling them spiritually and physically. You can become something deeper than friends with people you share these moments with. 

Many beautiful aspects of life come out of these rides. I'm grateful to have found this passion, and for all the people I have had the privilege to share it with.  

- Ryan Eastman

Chris Stastny