I think I stole that from Claude Julian. Or Laird Hamilton. Not sure which. But I have been preaching that to the girls I coach for lacrosse for the past two years. Reset. Reload. Something bad happens. Reset. You make a mistake? Reset. Come to the sideline and reload with your teammates. Put the toxic stuff in a box. For a minute. For an hour. For a week. I do know Laird was a big fan of using a vacation as a mini-camp. Dude I am old AF. I need a reset every day just to keep moving forward. Yoga. Meditation. CBDs. Walking the dog. At some point your life becomes way more chill. Most people who don't know me think I am chill. I am the least chill person I know. I just hide it well. What I do know is I am damn lucky. And my family time is sacred. The Cape is one of those places that just heal me. I have been going there since I was a little kid. In my youth it was all about the Ocean. And shenanigans. Jesus I think back to some of the stuff we did as a kid and I am like how did I live to be this old?
Bikes saved me. Simple fact. Not sure what it is about it. Maybe the community. Or the space it creates for you. When I am on the bike everything just washes away. It is one of those unique things that require an odd focus. It is zen like in so many ways. This year has been brutal. So much going on. This vacation more than any of the past years was a reset. Not like I had a plan. Some of it is the new Stigmata. I am way past bikes having souls. But there is something about this bike. It has taken me a while to get used to it. But now? It is like a second skin. I can drift into it and lose myself after about three to four pedal strokes. This is the first time I have been able to ride it on the Cape. And I have to say I am more in love with this bike now than ever.
For those unfamiliar with the "Cape" It is where this whole party started. Yes the Vikings were here first (on the east coast) Columbus did his thing (south of FLA) but the Pilgrims. Yeah those crazy bastards made this work. Landed in Provincetown. Not Plimouth Rock as the myth goes. God the Bay must have seemed like a godsend after the open ocean. The Cape is some kind of magical place. Not unlike the Redwoods in Norcal. It just has a smell and a vibe. The Forest is soulful. And feeds the soul. Nickerson State Park to me is Valhalla. I have been riding in there for more than a decade. On CX bikes, MTB bikes all of it. But this year on Stiggy it all came together. It is the ultimate over/under bike spot. A MTB is way overbiking. A OG CX bike is underbiking. A modern carbon CX bike with disc brakes and tubeless 40s? hahaha. Sweet spot man.
I rode a bunch. I luckily hooked up with my good friend Finn and his buddy John and got the locals tour. I kept getting lost and finding all the cool shit. I would stop on every ride and just smell the pine and touch the soil. I HATE rocks. And roots. It sucks. I guess if that is what you are into cool. I am not. Life is hard enough. I want my forest bathes to sooth my soul. I did have one rather exciting moment. I don't often flat (especially in this age of tubeless) but when I do I do it big time. I was flying down a sick dirt road. I hear what sounds like a gun go off. Ok. I stop. Rear tire is FUBAR'd. I literally laugh. Ok. Luckily I have friends who love me. And as much as I am a hamfist with very little mechanical ability my friends have always coached me on what to pack. In my saddle bag was a tire boot and duct tape (Thanks Michele) and a small tube (Thanks Scott!) Multiple CO2 chargers. I had this. I double booted that bad boy and rode like Baryshnikov the rest of the way home.
I tried to replicate my ride with the locals one day and it ended a bit lost and found-ish. But I am a Gemini with ADD. I live to get lost amigo. When I get lost that is when the fun begins. I think we all are a bit too obsessed with knowing where we are. I mean you are where are you are even if you don't know where you are. You aren't lost until you can't find your way home. I think I learned this surfing and being on the ocean. The ocean teaches you not to panic. You panic when your surfboard breaks in half in double over head waves you die. You panic when you snap your mast in half on your sailboard when it is blowing 25 knots offshore? You die. Well maybe not die. But shit will get real fast. And maybe then you die. So yeah bikes? Meh. Destroying one of your fave tires off the gridish? Improvise. Figure it out. Again. With a little help from my friends I was back riding in no time. And once again feeling so lucky for this biker life.
If you live near the Cape. Get down and ride. The roads maybe aren't my jam. The rail trail and all the great stuff off of it are life changing. Especially Nickerson. It has been my dream to do a CX camp in there. Get some friends and a few camp sites. Ride and hang for 3 days. It would be sick. Speaking of friends. So yeah my rear tire was done and dusted. And I of course brought zero back up. The Cape is all about tourists and bikes on the path. Tubeless CX tires are like a magic unicorn. But Sea Sports Cyclery had me covered. I drove up and scored a sweet Tracer tire and Stan's sealant. I prayed the tape on my rims would hold for one more set up. It did. I love setting up tubeless tires. If it is the most rewarding thing you can do for a bike.
The new tire was a nice surprise. I assumed it would be horrible but was actually really nice. At this point beggars can't be choosers anyway. The other revelation from my vacation was visiting a new yoga studio. My wife completes me. I know that sounds weird. But she makes me a better person. Everyday. And yoga is one of the things she has gotten me into. The first time I tried Yoga it was in Danville, CA. Pretty sure Christy Turlington went to the same studio. It was super chill. Non-heated. Yoga. Hippie style. When we moved home I resisted for a while and then started going to "hot" yoga with my wife. I mean it is "hot" in India. It makes sense to do yoga in a sauna right? Hahaha. My experience with hot yoga is sort of like how I race CX. Go in hot, wreck myself, curse life, battle back, take no prisoners, outlast the bastards. So when I finally joined my wife for yoga on the Cape I literally had to empty my cup. Check myself. 100%. Yoga is an opportunity. You think you know yourself but do you? We all hold so much baggage. This studio was unlike any I had been in before. Not heated. Average age? 68? But damn. Those yogis could lay it down. So impressed.
The takeaway? This obsession with youth is madness. Yes. We all get old. If we are lucky. Slow down. Smell the flowers. Surf the earth. Reset and reload. You have all the tools you need. I am on the other side of mid-way to a century. How did that happen? Luck. I never thought I would get past 30. What does the next half of my century have in store? No idea. But I am wide open. I know what is important. It is the simple things. Pulling off the beaten path and finding some loamy pine covered single track that leads to a pond. We are lucky to have this biker life. I am blessed to be a part of this beautiful family. Peace my friends.