Top 5 Places to Ride to Clear Your Mind
5 Places to Ride and Clear Your Mind
Cape May, NJ
We know what you're thinking: just getting into Cape May during the summer is a nightmare. The traffic is bumper to bumper nearly all the way up to New York, and you can forget about finding any place to park. If that's been your experience with Cape May, the problem is you're visiting this lovely place at the wrong time of year.
Cape May in the summer is one giant tourist trap. Cape May, in the autumn, is gorgeous, quiet, and endlessly scenic. Ride Route 9 from Cape May to Toms River, or take in breathtaking ocean views as you ride down Ocean Drive from Ocean City into Cape May. If you make it in time for sunset at Sunset Lake, you'll never regret it.
Lancaster is another place that is a tourist trap much of the year. But once the summer crowds are gone, there are a few more peaceful places to ride. The sights and smells will really clear your mind and warm your heart. This is Americana at its best. The orchards are packed with fruit, the fields are ripe for harvest, and the roads are open and quiet.
For the most beautiful views, start on PA-462 East in Lancaster until you reach PA-340. Stop in at one of America's oldest villages, Bird in Hand, and maybe get a pretzel. Keep on PA-340 until life just feels better.
Iron Mountain, SD
A hematite crystal bracelet is particularly appropriate when you take the stunningly scenic, winding ride that is Iron Mountain Road in Cutler State Park, South Dakota. Today, hematite crystal bracelets are part of riding culture, with some bikers wearing them for a boost to circulation and sense of strength, and others simply appreciating the shared culture of the ornament.
The Native Americans of South Dakota used this crystal as a talisman for their warriors and to offer peace to the recently departed, so they would have understood why you're wearing it. And as for the ride itself, Iron Mountain Road was deliberately built to force drivers to keep to the speed limit, allowing them to fully appreciate the Badlands as new vistas open up around every curve.
Mt. Rainer, WA
If you appreciate matching your chains to your mood and the ride ahead of you, then the perfect combination is a lava stone Buddha bracelet and a ride up the dormant volcano that is Mt. Rainer. Some believe that lava rock is grounding and calming, but you don't have to believe this to appreciate the calming effect of one of the most beautiful rides you'll ever take.
Just don't make the mistake of going up the main road to Paradise, near the top of Mt. Rainer. It's hard to appreciate the view when you're fighting the traffic, and you will the whole way on this road. Instead, take Route 123 until it hits Route 410 and head west. Not long after, you'll reach Sunrise Park Road, which will take you over the White River and up to the stunning vistas in every direction at the top. As the road name suggests, getting up there for sunrise is something special.
For something entirely different and uniquely American, you can't have a more peaceful and grounding ride than the Red Rock Scenic Byway. This road is just 40 miles south of Flagstaff, and if you keep going north, you could even get to the Grand Canyon in just a few hours. The landscape here is like no other, and few rides will do better than this one to help you clear your head and refocus.
The town of Sedona is regionally considered a spiritual mecca, sitting at the center of whirlpools of healing and meditative energy. Whether you believe this or not, your hematite crystal bracelet won't seem out of place, and the whole town gives off vibes of peace and mental clarity.