Had a solo ride today in the Howardian Hills. Whoever told me York was flat hadn't been to Castle Howard and surrounding area. Not riding in a group for a change took away the hyper-awareness you need to have for those around you, so I found myself drifting along listening to the sound of wheels on road, chain running through gears and generally day-dreaming.
It all reminded me what an escape riding can be. You don't actually think about anything yet you are conscious of almost everything. Pain ,and effort in relation to incline, usually occupies a lot of headspace but normally life altering decisions can be made on a decent solo run, without the knowledge of how the decision had been reached.