It’s superb how a lot work you are able to do whereas driving your bicycle. For instance, I’m dictating this text on two wheels in Crossville, Tennessee. I’m with a gaggle of 18 cyclists driving 426 miles from Nashville to Knoxville with Pedal for Alzheimer’s. We’re elevating cash for analysis, schooling, assist, and care. 

I’ve taken convention calls whereas driving the Foothills Parkway. I’ve negotiated and signed a contract on Butterfly Hole. I’ve replied to messages on The Dragon. I’ve obtained notifications from Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Dropbox, Slack, Trello, LinkedIn, HubSpot, Salesforce, and extra whereas driving the foothills of East Tennessee. However that’s the exception. 

Brandon Bruce rides bikes with his son Carson on a greenway during a trip on the Ohio to Erie Trail.

© Courtesy of Brandon Bruce
Brandon Bruce rides bikes along with his son Carson on a greenway throughout a visit on the Ohio to Erie Path.

More often than not, I trip to take a break from all that. I trip for many causes. To get train. To remain wholesome. To be exterior. To journey. To alleviate stress. To suppose.

Brandon Bruce poses for a selfie with his son Carson at the end of the Virginia Creeper Trail.

© Courtesy of Brandon Bruce
Brandon Bruce poses for a selfie along with his son Carson on the finish of the Virginia Creeper Path.

Biking offers all of the elements for considering — rhythm, endorphins, surroundings, movement, and a break from routine.


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When he was requested concerning the Concept of Relativity, Albert Einstein mentioned, “I considered that whereas driving my bicycle.”

It’s at all times the precise time to get on the bike and suppose. I can activate my bike lights and go away the home at 5 a.m. for a trip out Keller Bend. Or I can trip within the morning in Blount County and decide up fajitas and horchata for lunch at Chapulines on my method again to Knoxville. Or I can head out late for a midnight full moon loop round Cades Cove.

I virtually at all times trip solo. I can let my thoughts wander or I can give attention to an issue and suppose. My dad advised me after I was little that if I ever had an issue then I ought to go take a run. And if the issue didn’t disappear then I ought to preserve operating.

It’s the identical with biking. The issue might merely fade away as you tamp out a cadence up a steep climb. Or your mind could possibly clear up it when you freewheel on the descent.

I don’t at all times trip solo. There’s a nice group of cyclists in East Tennessee. And over the previous couple years I’ve gotten to exit an increasing number of with my favourite driving associate: my son Carson. Final yr, when he was 8 years outdated, we rode the Virginia Creeper Path from Abingdon to White High and again. It was his first 70-mile trip. We crossed 47 bridges, and most significantly, we stopped for chocolate cake and chocolate ice cream on the well-known Creeper Path Cafe.

For spring break this yr, we took on a much bigger problem. We began in Washington, D.C., and pedaled the C&O Canal Towpath and the Nice Allegheny Passage to the confluence of the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River, which be a part of to kind the Ohio River in Pittsburgh. 

We discovered about locks and dams, tunnels and bridges, mules and trains, coal and iron and metal, the Revolutionary Struggle and Civil Struggle, the Mason & Dixon line (initially a land dispute between the Penn and Calvert households), and the Japanese Continental Divide (water to the east flows to the Chesapeake Bay; water to the west flows to the Gulf of Mexico). 

We pedaled 333 miles within the sunshine, rain, wind, and beneath freezing temps. We noticed deer and turkeys and turtles and golden eagles and a beaver. We met pleasant folks alongside the way in which in Virginia, D.C., Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Most of all, we had a good time collectively.

To begin the summer time, we went as much as Cincinnati and rode the Ohio to Erie Path as much as Cleveland. The 326 miles is sort of all paved rail trails and multi-use greenways. There are just a few sections on rural roads, and a scenic stretch on the crushed limestone Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath Path.

Brandon Bruce poses with his son Carson at the start of the Ohio to Erie Trail in Cincinnati.

© Courtesy of Brandon Bruce
Brandon Bruce poses along with his son Carson firstly of the Ohio to Erie Path in Cincinnati.

We bought to see the cities of Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Akron, and Cleveland, in addition to many small cities together with Mount Vernon, Millersburg, and Fredericksburg. An enormous thanks to the Amish bike mechanic who changed my ripped rear tire.

The subsequent huge journey would be the Erie Canalway from Buffalo to Albany, New York, which is a part of the brand new Empire State Path.

As I submit this from the agricultural roads of East Tennessee, I’m reflecting on the truth that a lot of my considering — together with eager about entrepreneurship, enterprise, and group — occurs on my shiny pink Gunnar highway bike or my shiny yellow Santa Cruz mountain bike. My bicycle helps me clear up each day issues, and it additionally allows huge image considering — the proverbial lightbulb moments. And all whereas adventuring out within the nice large world.

Whether or not it’s pedaling a motorbike or strumming a guitar or sitting quietly on a rock within the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park, all of us want one thing that provides us the area and time to suppose.

I’m trying ahead to sharing tales, photographs, and movies from the rides with my son on the Two Bikes fundraising dinner on Nov. 14. Completely happy trails!

Brandon Bruce is chair of the Knoxville Entrepreneur Middle, co-founder of Startup Knox, and a lead associate within the 100Knoxville initiative.

This text initially appeared on Knoxville Information Sentinel: ‘I considered that whereas driving my bicycle’ | Brandon Bruce

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