The Right Approach

[ Day 9 – June 21, 2012 ] The climb into Lassen was strenuous but manageable, involving approximately 4,000 feet of climbing spread out over 44 miles. I was surprised by the park’s beauty as well as its distinct visual character, a product of geology altogether different from that of the Sierras to the south. […]

Luck and Double Bib Shorts

Luck and Double Bib Shorts

[ Day 8 – June 20, 2012 ] I was up shortly after six, and though the sun was already out, I could scarcely tell by the air temperature. The cold made for a hasty morning: I ate breakfast, broke down camp, and readied my bicycle in short order, wondering whether the connection between brisk […]

Yes

Yes

[ Day 7, Part 2 – June 19, 2012 ] I changed into my cycling clothes at a nearby town park and rode counterclockwise around the lake towards Tahoe City. Dean’s generosity had saved me an entire day of hard riding and I rode with great levity of spirit. The fifteen miles around the lake […]

Serendipity and a Silver Tacoma

[ Day 7, Part 1 – June 19, 2012 ] By 8am, I had strategically positioned myself at the edge of town. I stood on the northbound shoulder of SR 395, across the street from a gas station. My bike leaned against a billboard post nearby. I’d made a sign the night before using a […]

Waylaid

[ Day 6 – June 18, 2012 ] My pre-dawn alarm came and went with little more than a rustle of bed sheets. I slept until eight, waking only to concede to an unscheduled rest day. I donned enough clothes to walk down to the lobby, bought another night’s stay, and hastily returned to my […]

Along the Range of Light

Along the Range of Light

[ Day 5, Part 2 – June 17, 2012 ] A town of two hundred passes quickly, and quicker still in a midday, midsummer heat. High temperatures have a way of sapping both my curiosity and general awareness; I rolled through Lee Vining with a foggy disinterest that would become commonplace on hotter days, a […]

The High Sierra

[ Day 5, Part 1 – June 17, 2012 ] I slept until almost nine, which for those unfamiliar with backcountry days and ways is far beyond normal waking hours. When I finally crawled out of my tent, the campground was almost deserted and the sun peered down from its mid-morning perch. Mindful of both […]

Heaven (With Mosquitos)

[ Day 4 – June 16, 2012 ]  I woke up before five and packed my things in the dark, determined to be on the road by sunrise. I was far from fully rested, but I had no interest in sharing the tunnels of Big Oak Flat with motor vehicles, nor did I wish to […]

The Devil Saddle

The Devil Saddle

[ Day 3 – June 15, 2012 ] Though I’d anticipated a tough climb into Yosemite, I soon found myself dealing with an altogether different challenge. My firm, unforgiving racing saddle and lack of pre-trip training dealt me an unexpected handicap: sitting on the saddle hurt! This unforeseen discomfort soon colored every mile, dampening the […]

Once More a Traveler

Once More a Traveler

[ Day 2 – June 14, 2012 ] I woke up early, hoping to beat the midday high temperatures across the Central Valley. Back on the road, I continued my descent through Del Puerto Canyon. The narrow roadway dropped about 1,000 feet over 20 miles, through ranch land that suggested a way of life far […]

Raising Anchor

[ Day 1 – June 13, 2012 ] Late morning sunlight poured into my living room, highlighting a mess of touring items. From spare bike parts to flip flops and dental floss, I had everything I needed and then some; there was nothing holding me back except my own sense of time and place. I […]

Crystallization

Crystallization

[ Day 0 – June 12, 2012 ] In 2008, I rode my bicycle from Seattle to Boston with four friends from college. I have many fond memories of that trip, but one in particular stands out: It was a garden-variety afternoon in a small and unassuming North Dakota town. I was chatting with an […]