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  • Writer's pictureRiver Riders

Sensing the Four Dimensions

Updated: Aug 3, 2018

Peter's reflections...

The modern world that we live in has four dimensions. The three physical dimensions that we are all familiar with (up-down, left-right, forward-backward) plus time. There is always the pressure of time pushing us ahead. Having four dimensions is always pulling our minds and our bodies in different directions, and keeping our mental stresses high.

One reason that I like cycle touring is that it reduces the number of dimensions that I have to deal with. The first dimension to disappear is time. When I am cycling towards my destination for the night, it doesn’t really matter if I have my lunch in this town or the next one. And it doesn’t really matter if I arrive to the hotel at 2 PM or at 10 PM. I don’t care, and they don’t care. So the dimension of time almost disappears. I have 3 dimensions remaining.


If I am following a river or a canal, then I know that the route will be almost flat. No big hills. Thus the up-down dimension disappears. Two dimensions are left.

And if I am on a bike route, I just follow it. No need to deviate from it. Thus the left-right dimension disappears too. Only one dimension left.

And finally, because I like riding down rivers, and following the flow there is only going forwards, never a reason to go backwards. Thus my original four dimensions have now reduced down to just half a dimension. Just forward! It lets my mind relax. Not so much to think about. Just focus on rotating the pedals and watching the scenery flow by. One of my favourite things!

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