LEAP­ING INTO AN AWAK­EN­ING

Bike (USA) - - Start -

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.

PHOTO: ALE DI LULLO

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