Ever since my first major bicycle tour 20 years ago, bicycle touring has become a central recurring theme in my dreams. In fact, I find myself bicycle touring in dreams so often that from time to time I’ve wondered whether my dream-self is simply on bicycle tour all the time, and that the places I dream of are places I’ve arrived at by bicycle. The other night, in my dreams, I was in such a place, a stopover on a bicycle tour. In this dream, my dream-self was enjoying incredibly vivid, sensuous memories of previous places passed through on bicycle tour. And as I began to wake, still in that liminal space between dreaming and full waking consciousness, I continued to savor these vivid memories, never doubting their validity, until I realized with a start that I had never actually been to these places that, just a moment before, I had “remembered” with such stunning clarity and realism.
But my dream-self, tracing its own contiguous route through elastic landscapes, recognizes these places, these memories, without doubt.