The hardest part of any trip always seems to be coming home. I talk about it every time. But “hard” may not be the right word. There is an idea that when a route is finished, the trip is done, and coming home is the final stamp on the doneness of that specific journey. We have to return to jobs and bills; the more oppressive parts of life. My recent ride around Lake Superior shed some light onto a new perspective of coming home and I have found myself walking away from the idea that the trip ends when you get home.
We never come back the same people, and we continue to change even after we settle back into whatever routines resemble home. The trip breathes and lives itself out in our daily lives. It kindles new perspectives that lead to different choices about where we spend our time, our money, and our energy. In many cases we use these resources towards planning the next trip.
In life, I don’t see much separation. It’s all connected as far down the line as I have ever been able to make out. So for me the trips, journeys, adventures, explorations, whatever name you give them, they all become one. The more trips I take, the more trips I plan. They string themselves together; the one nighter, the afternoon ramble, the weekend, and the multi week. The more often we go, the looser we get. The imaginary chains that let us believe we can’t, or shouldn't, leave, fall away. Food, water and a place to sleep are the needs to be met. All the gear and extras are exactly that. The more often we go, the shorter the distance becomes between us and our access to those basic needs. The more often we go, the less there is to keep the going at bay.
My ride around Lake Superior was incredible. Among many truths it instilled in me is this certitude: I saw the landscape change. Rode close to the weather, lived how I am happiest, down to the bones of life. I have come home determined not to loose those bones or that edge…to wake up with the same sense of awe and discovery that I did with each day of riding…to stay loose and ready to go.
Often times I hear people say, “I want to get away but I don't know where to go, I don't have the right gear, I am not sure how.” In response to this, and to anyone else who might be interested, Salsa Cycles (a huge supporter and partner of my Surrounding Water Tour) has a very special weekend event coming up in September called RideCamp. Salsa RideCamp 2015 is a perfect opportunity to do exactly what we all need to do more of: Take the leap. Get out. Interact with others, and learn more about the stuff that inspires us. RideCamp will take place near Seeley, Wisconsin, and will offer riding, camping, meals, clinics and kids events.
I will be there doing a workshop on touring, and will also perform on Saturday night. Salsa came up with a pretty cool idea of adding the Campfire Band to my performance. The Campfire Band will be made up of anyone who attends RideCamp and wants to bring an instrument (and yes, your voice is an instrument). We will have several rehearsals throughout the weekend and then Saturday evening at the end of my performance the group will join me on stage and help close out the night with a handful of songs we have learned together. Music was always meant to be a way to bring people together, to share the stories and the fire. There is room for any style, or level of player. This is not about blowing minds. It is about shaking off the chains. That’s why bikes and music go together so well. They are both about getting free.
I hope you will join me at Salsa RideCamp 2015.
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