It has been over a week since I’ve arrived at my house in La Ventana Bay in Baja California, Mexico.
I’ve slowly fallen into a routine of adapting waking up in a bed and not having to get up and saddle The Beast to ride. He’s all cleaned up and handsome, and when I took him for a ride on the trails behind the house, it took me some time to get used to having no weight on it. He was all squirmy and jittery under my much-reduced body weight and without all the weight hung up on his handlebars and frame.
When I arrived, I went to the doctor to get checked out for my stomach virus, and I weighed 98 pounds. The trip took the toll on my body and tested my mental state, but both are stronger for it in the end.
I’ve had time to decompress and regroup. It is a luxury to go to the store and buy more than one banana, one avocado, and one lime at the time. It is a luxury to be able to take a shower and sleep in the safety of my own house and my own bed. It’s a luxury to have an extra t-shirt and shorts that are actually clean. These are all reminders how little is actually needed to be happy and content. These are reminders how we forget to appreciate or take for granted things that are readily available every day to us who are fortunate to have it. What we should not ever take for granted are people who matter in our lives. In the end, life is about people who are near and far and touch us every day and not material things we surround ourselves with. None of us stay around forever though. Let’s pause every once in a while to say hello and smile even to a stranger who passes us by. They might become our new friend.
There were many aspects to the trip. It was definitely a test of the will and endurance, and it is astonishing how much one is able to endure. Many of you are asking how much I rode, so here are the stats: 2,356 miles of riding and 142,263 feet of climbing and the trip took a week short of two months. I took three days along the way to rest. Adrenaline was present in my body for pretty much entire duration of the journey. It seems that the Universe was alined for me along the way. I met and was helped by so many kind and beautiful people. It was the people I met along the way, who weaved the beautiful tapestry of my experiences.
I had zero flat tires, I had no technical issues with my Ibis Mojo 3 bike aka The Beast. Just basic maintenance and some minor easy stuff. I am glad I rode a full suspension bike as many parts were rough and lots of dirt roads were washboard. For sure I was tested, I was scared at times but kept the fate that everything is going to be fine and everything will work out in the end. There were some critical times when I was still on the trails in the dark looking for a safe place to set camp, but I never really felt unsafe. That was probably also because I didn’t allow myself to be scared or let the imagination take over, especially at night.
There was plenty of time for imagination to keep me company while I was riding though. I wish I had a better ability to retain and recall my thoughts and ideas. Much of it was lost along the way. Not everything was to be recorded and captured in photos though. It was to be an inner journey through profoundly personal experience that shaped my life only.
I feel I live in a parallel universe right now with a trip existing in a different time and space altogether. It seems so far away and a long time ago. What I think though, is that my body and my mind needed a break and wanted to forget about it for a while. I am slowly starting to piece it all together.
Having my kids Jana and Tilen here with me for a few days was so special. It was fun riding bikes, hanging on the beach and kitesurf together. A welcome change from riding a bike on rough, dusty and remote roads. My daughter Mateja, unfortunately, wasn’t able to join us down here, but she was alongside me the entire trip. I was sending her the notes as I wrote and she edited and posted the blog, so she was the first one to read about each day progress. My experiences will stay with me for the rest of my life. Have they changed me? I don’t think so. They only confirmed more of who I am and who I’ve become over the lifetime of all I’ve done in the past. I’ve seen places I would never have a chance to see and experience from traveling in a car. I got to see a glimpse of life on remote ranches where time moves at a slower pace. It is a hard life, and people don’t have much in a material way, but they have big hearts and share what little they have with a stranger passing through. They love to sing and laugh, and extended families live and work together.
And now Jim and Monty have finally arrived. The circle is complete, and new adventures await.
I am forever grateful by all the love and support by so many of YOU out there that followed along. I felt overwhelming love that kept me going when the going got tough.
I am glad I was able to share and take you along.