Rolling down the road, with an undefined route, with the wind at your back, the sun in your face, four liters of water, and a few meals left in the saddlebag, is true, rebellious freedom. While camping in Mexico for three months I learned how to be resourceful, using my hands more, fixing things, fishing, cooking with fires. In Uganda I learned how to be alone in an entirely different world, how to search for solace when there is none in sight. In Bosnia I learned how to be graceful in the face of tragedy, a skill learned deeper in Armenia. In Morocco, well there, I mostly learned what not to do.
I found the bike early, racing most of my life, but I found the road much later. For years I poured my soul into racing, I broke my neck. I lost all feeling in my legs, and the thoughts that began to spin when death was next unraveled the rest of my life.
I gave up racing. I picked up a camera, and I was lucky enough to start traveling. It’s become the thing I love most. No longer racing bikes, I’ve still found excitement in pushing my boundaries, testing limits, seeing new things. No longer digging deeper and deeper into what my body is capable of, I am more interested in what others are capable of, what nature can throw, what the neighbors say, what that village around the corner looks like. I’m proud to have left racing and not left the bicycle, because the bicycle, to me, is the best way to see the world. With nothing to get in the way, and only the bare necessities to keep you going, the bicycle is the most intimate way to be introduced to culture, and all the ugly and beautiful things associated. All of the best days of my life have started groggy, with aching knees, and an unknown destination on a map. So this year, I’m really excited to say I’ll be the President of the Loam and Gravel Society and do some more of that. I can’t wait to go see more parts of this country, on my bicycle, and to share it with you all in the process.