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Life is a Trip

The best of rides

BOLIVIA | Thursday, 29 April 2010 | Views [1020]

The "Death Road" is a very narrow road, unpaved, with a breathtaking cliff next to it. It goes from La Paz to Coroico along stunning landscapes, and it's known as the most dangerous road in the world.
Today, very few vehicules use it, because a new safer road has been built. The death road is now mostly for bikers... and I like mountain biking a lot, so I decided to do a bike tour... and I loved it!... The ride was 90% descending, 65 kilometers going from 4700 meters to 1100 meters high, in three hours, with several stops. The first hour I descended through a beautiful valley, sometimes on very rough terrain. The two remaining two hours we went down the actual death road... not as difficult, but much more dangerous.
After the first two or three turns, I could notice how good my bike was... hidraulic disk breaks, full suspension, and wide tires... it had a lot of grip, and I could pass through bumps at good speed without losing control... but the bike was not programmed to do the ride by itself, you had to keep focus all of the time, in each bump, in each turn... a mistake and you could fly off the cliff... Descending, you are forced to focus on the present moment, you couldn't think how it was yesterday's excursion, neither what you'll do tomorrow, or what you'll have for lunch... you could just feel the road, feel the bike, and feel the riding along the present moment...
I think it's similar for many other hobbies... whether you like motorbiking, going to the gym, or playing an instrument... when you practice, you are just there, feeling the whole experience, focusing on the present moment and not thinking of anything else... and you like it, you get rid of stress... because the rest of the day you were probably worrying about past or future, and not really enjoying the present moment, not really "living"... Even travelling, you can get stressed if you think too much about what you will do and when, and then you don't enjoy what you have in front of your eyes right now!
Can we think while still being in the present moment?... Yes, when thinking, be aware of your thinking... when feeling, aware or your feeling... and that's how you can actually understand what's going on in your mind... When you do so, at first you may realize how "crazy" your mind is... (but don't worry, it's the same for everyone)... then you can develop your mind, become wiser, and be able to be more and more in the present.
Just as I loved riding through a dangerous road, focused in the present moment, enjoying the turns and bumps... everyone has the potential to enjoy riding along the present moment through the road of life... but just as I needed a good bike, we need a well developed mind... one with wide tires, so that we don't lose grip of reality... and with full suspension, so that we can pass through the bumps of life... keeping the control, and enjoying the experience...



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