I thought of that while riding my bicycle' | Brandon Bruce - sinhala Readers - Sinhala Greeting Cards & Wishes


Monday, October 11, 2021

I thought of that while riding my bicycle' | Brandon Bruce

I thought of that while riding my bicycle'
| Brandon Bruce


It’s amazing how much work you can do while riding your bicycle. For example, I’m dictating this article on two wheels in Crossville, Tennessee. I’m with a group of 18 cyclists riding 426 miles from Nashville to Knoxville with Pedal for Alzheimer’s. We’re raising money for research, education, support, and care. 

I’ve taken conference calls while riding the Foothills Parkway. I’ve negotiated and signed a contract on Butterfly Gap. I’ve replied to messages on The Dragon. I’ve received notifications from Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Dropbox, Slack, Trello, LinkedIn, HubSpot, Salesforce, and more while riding the foothills of East Tennessee. But that’s the exception. 

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

Most of the time, I ride to take a break from all that. I ride for lots of reasons. To get exercise. To stay healthy. To be outside. To travel. To relieve stress. To think.


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

Cycling provides all the ingredients for thinking — rhythm, endorphins, scenery, motion, and a break from routine.

When he was asked about the Theory of Relativity, Albert Einstein said, “I thought of that while riding my bicycle.”

It’s always the right time to get on the bike and think. I can turn on my bike lights and leave the house at 5 a.m. for a ride out Keller Bend. Or I can ride in the morning in Blount County and pick up fajitas and horchata for lunch at Chapulines on my way back to Knoxville. Or I can head out late for a midnight full moon loop around Cades Cove.

I almost always ride solo. I can let my mind wander or I can focus on a problem and think. My dad told me when I was little that if I ever had a problem then I should go take a run. And if the problem didn’t disappear then I should keep running.

It’s the same with cycling. The problem may simply fade away as you tamp out a cadence up a steep climb. Or your brain may be able to solve it while you freewheel on the descent.

I don’t always ride solo. There is a great community of cyclists in East Tennessee. And over the past couple years I’ve gotten to go out more and more with my favorite riding partner: my son Carson. Last year, when he was 8 years old, we rode the Virginia Creeper Trail from Abingdon to White Top and back. It was his first 70-mile ride. We crossed 47 bridges, and most importantly, we stopped for chocolate cake and chocolate ice cream at the famous Creeper Trail Cafe.

For spring break this year, we took on a bigger challenge. We started in Washington, D.C., and pedaled the C&O Canal Towpath and the Great Allegheny Passage to the confluence of the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River, which join to form the Ohio River in Pittsburgh. 

We learned about locks and dams, tunnels and bridges, mules and trains, coal and iron and steel, the Revolutionary War and Civil War, the Mason & Dixon line (originally a land dispute between the Penn and Calvert families), and the Eastern 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 in the sunshine, rain, wind, and below freezing temps. We saw deer and turkeys and turtles and golden eagles and a beaver. We met friendly people along the way in Virginia, D.C., Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Most of all, we had a great time together.

To start the summer, we went up to Cincinnati and rode the Ohio to Erie Trail up to Cleveland. The 326 miles is almost all paved rail trails and multi-use greenways. There are a few sections on rural roads, and a scenic stretch on the crushed limestone Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath Trail.


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

We got to see the cities of Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Akron, and Cleveland, as well as many small towns including Mount Vernon, Millersburg, and Fredericksburg. A big thank you to the Amish bike mechanic who replaced my ripped rear tire.

The next big adventure will be the Erie Canalway from Buffalo to Albany, New York, which is part of the new Empire State Trail.

As I post this from the rural roads of East Tennessee, I’m reflecting on the fact that much of my thinking — including thinking about entrepreneurship, business, and community — happens on my bright red Gunnar road bike or my bright yellow Santa Cruz mountain bike. My bicycle helps me solve daily problems, and it also enables big picture thinking — the proverbial lightbulb moments. And all while adventuring out in the great wide world.

Whether it’s pedaling a bike or strumming a guitar or sitting quietly on a rock in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we all need something that gives us the space and time to think.

I’m looking forward to sharing stories, photos, and videos from the rides with my son at the Two Bikes fundraising dinner on Nov. 14. Happy trails!

Brandon Bruce is chair of the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, co-founder of Startup Knox, and a lead partner in the 100Knoxville initiative.

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: 'I thought of that while riding my bicycle' | Brandon Bruce

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