Staying on the bike, and staying sane.
I’m in the final week of my semester and I can almost taste the dirt waiting for me outside the work cave. That said, being on the bike is not optional, even when my deadlines are breathing right down the neck of my jersey. Maybe I can’t quite embody “Max, The Cyclist” as I’d like with month-long bikepacking trips and daily adventures, but I never, ever get off my bike.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve cracked the code of a 70-hour workweek; it’s the two and a half hour mountain bike ride I take right in the middle of it. If I don’t get on the bike, I lose a little piece of my sanity and the capacity I need to produce great work in all the little jobs and side-hustles I’m in each week. By taking time to turn off, I’m much more able to turn on when I need to.
And so, on this perfect Wednesday evening, I hit the trails. Four miles to and from the trailhead, and 8.5 miles of dirt with David, a retired GIS tech that mapped every trail system in Massachusetts over ten years, and Steven, a master mechanic and more-than-semi-famous musician. All three of us have the same mindset; getting out on the bike is not an option. It’s part of life. It’s a daily routine, in the most un-mundane way possible.
I need it. Man, I really need it. And I feel really lucky to have the Holyoke Range out my backdoor, waiting there to recharge my batteries and exhaust my muscles. I’ll be back next week with some reviews and, inevitably, some very excellent dirt, but until then, you can follow my escape routes on my Instagram.
Stay on the bike!