Find Your Way
July 09, 2002
Saratoga to Lamont

Today's Miles = 76.4
Average Speed = 12.1 mph
Maximum Speed = 39.2 mph
Total Miles = 2925.3

Whatever magic had given me such a tremendous speed advantage yesterday wasn't with me today, but although my body was slow my mind was working tremendously fast. It was a constant struggle for me to keep up with Mark and Emily on their unloaded tandem, but it seemed like every time I caught them I would start a sentence with "I was just thinking about..." and then launch into some random topic ranging from the copyright on early Disney cartoons to the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Internally it was like my mind was giving me a slideshow of random ideas and expecting me to understand how they were all connected. I can't say I quite figured it out, but I did find it amusing.

The terrain of Southern Wyoming, like Kansas, is something that many cyclists find boring but I'm completely entranced with. As I ride into the scrub-covered deserts I feel more and more like I'm in Nevada, and therefore more and more like I'm coming home. The smell of sage fills the air, and I can't imagine how someone could fail to see the beauty of the West. Fortunately, Mark and Emily have the good sense to “ooh” and “ahh” appreciatively at every new vista.

Early June is one of the peak times for eastbound cyclists to begin their journeys out of Oregon, and during our ride today we encountered nine riders heading the opposite way. I still make a point to stop and talk to every touring cyclist I see, but can't help wondering how common these encounters are going to become.

The mothership crew and I are still informally traveling together. They appear to enjoy my company, as I do theirs, and we seem to have a very similar riding speed. For now it remains a day-by-day thing, but until something forces one of us to break our pace I think we will only naturally be picking the same destinations every day.

Our ride today ended in the "town" of Lamont, which really doesn't contain anything beyond Grandma's Cafe. Grandma's is a small ramshackle cluster of sheds and buildings that resembles a cross between a diner and a junkyard. The mothership crew and myself were joined in the evening by a cyclist named Erin who is on his way to Missoula. Erin teaches biology in Oregon and once we learned what he did our conversation for the evening turned naturally to the sciences. After we bounced around Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and the paradox of Schrodinger's Cat, we settled into debating whether or not a shadow moving faster than the speed of light was violating relativity by actually transmitting any information. I think that Erin and I took this question far beyond the patience of the mothership crew, because eventually we were persuaded that sitting down for a few games of Boggle would be a more fruitful way to finish the evening.


If Schroedinger's cat ran under my truck, at say 50 mph, and I didn't feel the bump, and didn't look in the rearview mirror then it would be in both live and dead states until the next car came by to verify.

But would a vulture be able to compress reality back to the way it is and "see" the cat for what state it's in.

Or what about if a tree in the middle of the forest fell on the cat and nobody was around to hear....

Posted by: Paul on July 13, 2002 11:47 AM

Nick, I'll need your opinion on that centrifuge question sooner or later...


Posted by: Rob on July 13, 2002 11:27 PM

Paul, regarding the tree in the forest, isn't that one of the strange things about quantum mechanics? Certain situations just don't resolve themselves until they are observed, but nobody feels comfortable about that.

Rob, refresh my memory. You want to hold the centrifuge still and rotate the universe around it, right? So what was the paradox again?

Posted by: Nick on July 14, 2002 12:13 PM
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