Open Road, Clear Mind

We all need an outlet. An escape that allows us to clear our minds on a daily basis. When I was racing my bicycle, my training filled that need. Just about every day of the week, I’d know that I’d be getting in the saddle and pedaling out anger, frustration, and just clearing my head of everything. This was particularly true on the weekends during the fall and winter months—the off-season from racing—when I was doing high-volume and long base-building rides that would be four or five hours a pop. This video I made for the Rapha Festive 500 a couple years ago, captures that amazing feeling of freedom and calmness perfectly.

Moto - He Spoke Style

| WEARING | Levi’s denim jacket and jeans, 7 For All Mankind sweatshirt (old, similar HERE), Fossil belt, Ray-Ban sunglasses, Timberland boots | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo

It’s been two years since I retired from bicycle racing, but I still yearn for the feeling that I used to get on the bike. While nothing can replace the act of becoming one with a machine—bike racers refer to their bicycles as machines—and propelling yourself with only your energy and power, I’ve been able to capture some of the spirit of that freedom by riding a different kind of bike: my motorcycle.

I don’t get to ride every day, though I try to as often as I can. Sometimes only for 30 minutes to an hour. It’s the four or five hour rides I used to do on the bicycle, but it’s just enough for me to forget about everything for a moment. It is extremely therapeutic. And necessary. My absolute favorite season to ride is the fall and I’m so glad it’s about to return. I love the crisp air and the color of the changing leaves. It’s one of the most beautiful times of the year, don’t you think? When I see the cyclists out riding, especially in the fall, I get very nostalgic. Maybe I’ll start riding again. Or maybe I won’t. It’s hard for me to go back to something as an amateur, that I did at such a high level for so long. Maybe though.

Moto - He Spoke Style

Moto - He Spoke Style

Moto - He Spoke Style

How do you clear your head on a daily basis?

Share your stories in the comments.

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

He Spoke Style


Chime In

  • Igee Okafor

    This theme for the shoot is amazing. Denim jacket, motorcycle. Just brilliant. Very badass.

    Igee Okafor
    Style Enthusiast/Blogger

    • Brian Sacawa

      Thanks so much, Igee. Appreciate the support.

  • Aweda

    Seeing bike riders make you want to jump on an imaginary bike of your own and feel like a bird sifting through the air … that is the vibe i get when i see them but sadly i haven’t tried it till date. My own therapy for clearing my head is pretty much going to places that i’ve never been. I live in a city (Lagos, Nigeria) where the place next to you always has a foreign touch to it but when viewed together exist in unison with a unique rivalry. I particularly like to wander around Old Lagos which is the business district of the state and just bask in the rush, i get preoccupied by the various flavours that space exudes and before i know it, i’m taking pictures of fascinating things in place of dwelling on my anger. Going out to clear your mind also requires a certain kind of style choice, if you want to come off as beat up its up to the individual. For me, i always have on a jacket or double up shirts with jeans, boots and aviators . Your look here is quite relatable to mine only that in my case its less edgy – since im not out for the biker look although i yearn for it- . This is my therapy, who knows, my day to try out on a bike might just be around the corner. I’d stay alert for that.



    • Brian Sacawa

      I used to do something similar on longer rides–just taking a new turn and “getting lost” so there was something new to explore.

      As far as the biker look, there’s no way I could pull off that either. It’s as much a lifestyle as it is a style!

  • Alex Gray

    From now on it’s my favorite photos and text on all HSS!
    Thank you, Brian.

    • Brian Sacawa

      Cheers, Alex! Have a great weekend.

  • Tom


    Great look, as always! Edgy, fun, but composed. And beautiful Triumph, I’m jealous.. especially because my bike if in the shop this week :(.

    How do I clear my head? All kinds of fun and diversions, but on a DAILY basis there is one simple thing that took so many years to learn… just counting my blessings. Yeah, sounds like something that your grandmother would say, but there is so much wisdom there. No matter how down, angry, or depressed I may feel, I stop and concentrate on all the reasons why I am happy today. Today, right now – I can see leaves just starting to turn, I have a beautiful wife who loves me, I was complimented on how I am dressed today, I gifted a bottle of wine to a co-worker and we had a great conversation about Italy, and of course, it’s Friday! There you go, five things and my head is cleared up already. Sometime I really have to force my self to remember why I’m HAPPY, but it works, no matter what.

    On that note, happy Friday!


    • Brian Sacawa

      It’s always a good idea to stop for a second every day and remember something positive. If you’re familiar with any kind of resiliency training or methods, that’s called “hunting the good stuff.” Never a bad idea.

  • Matthew St. Marie

    It’s funny how closely your story mirrors mine. I was a competitive cyclist at a high level, retired 2 years ago (knee injury), and have taken up riding motorcycles to help fill the void of freedom left by cycling. Getting out and going for a ride (bike or moto) is such an incredible way to put the rest of the world behind you just for a while. Like you said, though, it’s very hard to go out for a bicycle ride and not have the same fitness that you once did…

    Keep up what you’re doing on here! I don’t read a lot of blogs, but yours is by far my favorite. I look forward to every post.

    • Brian Sacawa

      Yes, that’s definitely an amazing parallel. Once I gave up competitive cycling, I tried to ride recreationally, but I just couldn’t do it. I’m an all-in or nothing at all kind of person.

      Appreciate the compliments and the support, Matthew. Great stuff coming up!

  • TimL

    Great story.
    I have many things I enjoy doing to put me in a great mood and get away.
    I road a motorcycle on and off for like 15 years and loved it.
    I collect and read books and love the art since I studied art in school.
    I tought/lived martial arts for over 15yrs which gave me such a high whenever I was done.
    I now love to get out and drive my convertible while the weather is nice.

    • Brian Sacawa

      Thanks for sharing, Tim!

  • Klaudia

    I follow a lot of fashion and lifestyle blogs, mostly written by women but I have to admit that yours is definitely one of my all time favourites! Your style is just amazing, I hope more men have such a good fashion sense!
    I just had to share my thoughts!

    • Brian Sacawa

      Thank you, Klaudia! What are some of your favorite female fashion and/or lifestyle blogs?

  • Andres Poiche
  • Nick

    I think you should really start again with your bike, just as an amateur. Most of the days I clear my mind by reading stuff on the internet. But my favorite is defenitely a few hours in the gym, these hours are so relaxing and great. Besides these hours I like to ride my bike, I have a mountainbike and a regular race bike, but I’m still struggling to find the best position. Do you have any tips?
    Kind regards