Rich Dillen: Back to reality

By Rich Dillen

Trying to put a finger on the horns of my dilemma without getting pricked

With the completion of my second Trans-Sylvania Epic I have now finished a dozen stage races. After the 2010 edition of TSE I experienced a phenomenon that was abnormal to my normal post stage race experience, and this year turned out to be no different. All I can say is that it’s been hard to step back into the reality of my life as the “normal world” perplexes me. Strange thoughts with no rhyme or reason are sneaking into my conscience stream.

“Why is that man walking a dog in casual clothing with a woman in business attire?”

“Where do I normally put my sunglasses when I’m not wearing them?”

“Why am I singing Lady Gaga songs out loud?”

“Why am I at work when I wish I was somewhere else doing something entirely different?”

At first I thought it was something in the Pennsylvania water that was causing my issues. I drank something close to 1,500 gallons of PA H2O straight out of the tap mixed with various powders and concoctions like Gatorade, Nuun, Recoverite, and Yeungling (it’s like water). With a little more introspective thought processing I have now come up with a new, albeit just as contrived, theory.

Scientists say we only use a portion of our brains’ potential in our everyday lives. In order to cope with the constant stimulation of riding through piles of rocks the size of everything made at a bakery, down boulder-laden creek beds, and over stony amalgamated mosaics called “trails” for seven days straight on a rigid single speed, my brain was forced to kick in an extra 15-20% increase in cognitive powers. Now that I’m back in the real world those brain cells that were recently called into action are now starved for stimulation as I suffer from a rare case of rock absentia syndrome. It is this normally stagnant grey matter in my noggin feeding on nonsensical stimuli and steering my conscience thought patterns into streams of cranial white noise.

“What’s that pink rat-tailed comb doing on the floor in the courthouse?”

“If I get hit by that car turning in front of me will I bounce or simply glide off it’s sheeny wax job?”

Maybe I shouldn’t have gone right back to work riding around in traffic delivering packages so soon after the Trans-Sylvania Epic.

I need to go find some rocks to feed my brain.

Read more: Dillen blogs at Bad Idea Racing.

More from TSE: Read all our racers’ exclusive dispatches from the race.


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