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Sam Dale with his 2021 Nomad


Sam Dale with his 2021 Nomad


Home Is Where You Send It

December 14 — 2020 | Santa Cruz, California

Chuck the bike in the back, make sure there’s gas in the stove and enough biscuits for the journey. The destination? All points between here and wherever.

Sam Dale watching another mountain biker ride on a grassy wall-ride

This is about that thrashed white van you bought off some bricklayer for a few hundred quid. The one that looks like it was driven through Aleppo (and went through a few walls on the way) and smells like Butterball’s post-fight thong.

This is a few sheets of plywood built into a bed, enough room to throw your bike and a bag of dirty riding gear in the back, and a list of must-hit trails slapped to the dash.

The 2021 Nomad inside a sprinter van

The riding? Anything. Lap the chairlift in the morning, hit up some local secrets in the evening. The next day, session some big gaps and tickle some jibs. The day after that? A big old hike-a-bike to a faraway alpine ridge followed by an enormous descent down an ancient piece of singletrack. Really there’s no limits to where or what, the only decision is when.

A man watching Sam Dale nap

It’s about getting in the rhythm of evenings spent in a parking lot behind the supermarket—warming some beans and skulling a case of the cheapest lager before hitting the discotheque to make friends with the locals and the rest of the itinerants. Then it’s mornings spent looking for an unlocked bathroom, moving on before the parking inspector comes by, and shaking the hangover off with a splash in a nearby lake (or water fountain) before kitting up for another full day riding.

the 2021 Nomad resting against a garage door