On March 1, 2016 I pointed my bicycle westward and pedaled into the setting sun. Out of Texas and into the desert, eventually reaching California and turning north. Through the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges, past Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, and Crater Lake. I skirted Mount Shasta and bicycled into Portland, Seattle, and the San Juan Islands. Around Vancouver and into the heart of the Canadian Rockies.
After my friend David was forced to cancel on riding the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route back to Mexico I decided to cross the Great Basin (by car, for various reasons) to Lake Superior and Michigan.
I am now five months on the road. Living by the sun and the moon and wandering from place to place. Barely a day goes by that I don’t meet extraordinary and generous people from all walks of life. I’ve dealt with an unusual amount of hardship but enjoyed many simple pleasures as well. The only constant out here is unpredictability.
What is adventure?
At it’s core, I believe, adventure is embodied in doing something unusual. It can be mental, emotional, or physical. It can be as simple as taking up a new hobby or as far flung and dangerous as rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. The only requirement is that you’ve stepped outside the norm and done a thing you find invigorating. It reminds you that you are alive and that your time here is limited and precious. If you do something unusual for long enough, however, it becomes usual. Adventure demands change and a certain amount of imbalance.
After so many days living on my bicycle, life on the road has just become life. It is now the norm. The sense of awe seems to be waning and I must ask myself how I can reinvigorate my days. Despite being in the most beautiful surroundings and having the most authentic experiences, ticking off kilometers on a bicycle just isn’t providing a sense of adventure for me any more. It has become usual.
So what now?
After 159 days, two countries, eight US states, five Canadian provinces, two mountain ranges, 81,645 meters of climbing, 8,632 km of pedaling, and 5,574 photographs I have decided that it’s time for a change. As I told a friend recently, I am not tired of riding my bicycle every day. In fact, I love it and identify with it more than I ever have. I simply feel like this particular adventure is finished. It has run it’s natural course and it is time for me to move on to something different. At least for a while. The bicycle is home for me and I know I’ll be back before long.
I am calling this particular tour completed, in it’s own fashion, and returning to Texas where I can prepare for my next Great Adventure which is already taking form. Stay tuned!
- Tanya Connor @ Kicking Horse Hostel, Golden, BC, Canada
- Alyson Peel @ Bisbee, AZ, USA
- Carl Matthews @ Lake Louise, AB, Canada
- Mars Mitchell and Alex Blackman-Mitchell @ Calgary, AB, Canada
- Jan & Gary Barrett @ McMillan, MI, USA
- Jim & Marlys Manthei @ Petosky, MI, USA
- Sarah Felder & Sophie Manoukian @ Port Townsend, WA, USA
- Janet @ Rambadt Park, Reed City, MI, USA
- Leslie Lott @ Cannonsburg, MI, USA
- Eric & Renelle Hansen @ Kalamazoo, MI, USA
- Michael Watters @ Leslie, MI, USA
- Kelly Ozanich @ Okemos, MI, USA