LEAPING INTO AN AWAKENING
waves of an endless summer, swimming in mountain lakes, camping in the woods or bike-touring the California coastline. Though my chosen medium may be different, the curiosity to reach beyond life’s prescribed lines is most certainly a characteristic handed down through a direct genetic path.
This realization, and the anguish of knowing we will never again share so many mutual joys, has given me new purpose for pedaling—understanding that it’s no longer about just about being out there, but that my time in the saddle is now a tribute to someone who gifted me a lifelong appreciation for the outdoors, and a desire to explore nature’s nooks and crannies, be it on two wheels or two feet.
As spring dawns a new riding season, and many of us emerge from a cold, dark winter to take the first tentative pedal strokes outside the gym or garage in months, it’s an awakening; a time to think about how we will spend the months ahead on the bike. Perhaps this is the year to finally pin on a number plate at a stage race, or pack your bike for the first time and travel outside the border of the country to ride, or the state, or just your backyard.
We hope the pages of this issue serve as inspiration for whatever those goals may be—whether it’s embarking on a far-flung journey to bikepack ancient trails that have seen few, if any, tire tracks like the crew in “The Kora” (page 52) or discovering a place that’s closer to home in distance, but takes a sharp cultural departure (“Self-Inflicted Exile,” page 72).
For us mountain bikers, springtime is about renewal in both fitness and in mental state, and affords a moment to pause and reflect on our reasons for dedicating so much of our lives to a single pursuit. I now know mine.