Three pounds. That’s not much. A pineapple weighs three pounds. So does a jar of Crisco. The human brain weighs three pounds.
That doesn’t seem like much weight, but think about it. Human brains have built modern society, fed starving nations, cured deadly diseases, and given us the U.S. Tax Code.
The human brain came up with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Einstein’s three-pounder proved relativity. And once, in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, two brilliant young men combined their three-pound organs to create Delta Airlines.
I’m thinking a lot about the human brain right now. Because at this moment I am cycling on a busy Pittsburg super highway with a plastic helmet covering my brain.
My wife is pedaling behind me. Vehicles speed by, traveling 120 miles per hour. Drivers honk horns. Motorists flick cigarette butts out windows. A semi-truck blows his whistle.
How did I get here? What led me to this profound life moment? That’s when it hits me. My three-pound brain.
The reason we are in Pittsburgh is because this is where the Great Allegheny Passage
bike trail begins. And our brains thought this trail would be fun.
The Allegheny Passage is a very long trail that starts in Pittsburgh and runs through the Appalachian Mountains. It crosses the Eastern Continental Divide, the Mason-Dixon Line, and the Maryland border.
Then the trail runs into the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal trail which lopes hundreds of miles across historic waterways, forests, rivers, farmland, covered bridges, and small towns. It snakes through Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and finally peters out in Washington D.C.
So that’s why I’m on this busy highway. We are going to ride this trail.
I’ve never been to Pittsburgh before. And to tell the truth, I visualized my first experience going differently.
On the highway, I see a police cruiser parked near the curb. I pull over to ask for directions to our hotel. The policewoman glances at…