For three weeks in June, I rode my bicycle down the coast of California through Big Sur, turned left to cross the mountains, rode across the Mojave and Sonoran deserts, then northeast through Navajo, Hopi, and Ute lands, finally crossing southern Colorado and the Continental Divide at Wolf Creek Pass, ending up in Walsenburg, CO. I rode the first 60% or so by myself, then met my friend Dave in Flagstaff for the last 40% or so of the ride.
This ride connects with a ride Dave and I did last summer across southern Colorado and Kansas. Our hope is to extend the ride next year on to the east coast, completing a coast-to-coast journey over 3 years. Here’s a link to a summary of that Colorado and Kansas ride last summer.
A coast-to-coast ride is a nice thing to check off “the list” for sure, but I’m learning the checkmark on the list is something that gets the ride started, but the ride always turns into something much bigger than the checkmark. The goal of the checkmark is a good motivator to get me into the saddle, and get me planning and executing the trip, but it’s never the “why”.
The trip begins, and with each pedal stroke, the checkmark fades into the background as a small and almost insignificant afterthought. Overshadowing and overwhelming the checkmark is the journey the ride immerses me into.
There’s lesson and wisdom in this little observation for me. The whole “live in the moment” and “it’s about the journey and not the destination” sort of thing. In the coming weeks (well, maybe months depending on how wrapped up I get in it…), I’ll blog about the ride, and the individual pieces of the ride. Below, I’ll list each day, then enable each of these as a link as I get that day completed.
Something I learned on this ride that surprises me is how much I enjoy riding by myself. Of course, Dave’s a great friend, and I truly enjoy spending time with him as we ride together. However, I expected to find a bit of loneliness on the road by myself for those long miles, and maybe a bit of uneasiness. None of that ever appeared though.
I guess this shouldn’t surprise me. I do, after all, enjoy hunting by myself. As I’ve made my way through this wonderful journey of life, I’ve become ever more comfortable with who I am. I’m as far from perfect as anyone I know, but I’m comfortable with who I am, and comfortable spending time with me.
Day 1 – Monterey to Carmel – Sunset Glory Starts The Ride
Day 2 – Carmel to Lucia – Big Sur Country
Day 3 – Lucia to Paso Robles – Serious Climbing, Giant Oaks, and Some Headwinds
Day 4 – Paso Robles to Frazier Park – Wine Country and Wind
Day 5 – Frazier Park to Victorville – Mad Dogs In The Desert
Day 6 – Victorville to Twentynine Palms – More Wind and Idiots With A Driver’s License
Day 7 – Resting at Twentynine Palms
Day 8 – Twentynine Palms to Parker – Deep in the Mojave and Tailwind Ecstasy
Day 9 – Parker to Congress – Baking in the Sonoran Desert
Day 10 – Congress to Sedona – The Longest Day
Day 11 – Resting in Sedona
Day 12 – Sedona to Tuba City – Ponderosa Homecoming
Day 13 – Tuba City to Kayenta – The Res
Day 14 – Kayenta to Towaoc – The Res, v2
Day 15 – Towaoc to Durango – Ahhh, Colorado
Day 16 – Durango to Pagosa Springs – Doddling
Day 17 – Pagosa Springs to Alamosa – The Divide at Wolf Creek Pass
Day 18 – Alamosa to Walsenburg – The Most Glorious Tailwind Finish