I’m getting closer to pulling the trigger on my first bike trip in a while. I’m hoping to make it happen in April or May. It’s not through Patagonia, across the United States, or along the coastal boundaries of Vietnam — though each of those is a bucket list bikepacking trip.
This trip will be a short tour — a figurative stone’s throw from my front yard. By bicycle, it’s roughly 150 miles to the town of Fillmore California. That’s one long day of riding, or more likely, two comfortable days in the saddle, with a few stops and some good people watching along the way. Perhaps twenty-four to forty-eight hours at my destination, and then two more days to return home. A five to six day trip in all.
Though I haven’t invited them yet, I’m hoping my friends Tim and Ashley from Steamboat Springs can fly out with one of their tandem bikes and join me. It’s also notable that my potential host for this trip, Bill, a Fillmore resident who I’ve never met, hasn’t been notified of my intentions either. However, since Tim and Bill will both read this, I’m inviting them to declare their respective thumbs-up or thumbs-down on this idea, and relate any questions or concerns in the comment fields.
There are essentially three draws in making this trip.
1. The first draw of any bicycle trip is the trip itself. Honestly, a bike trip from Newark New Jersey to Breezewood Pennsylvania would be just as compelling as a trip along coastal British Columbia. In cycling, it’s about being on the road and all the little rituals that go with it, as well as the people you meet along the way. Fillmore will be a great destination.
2. Bill himself. Bill, a Fillmore resident, was a college classmate of my brother at Whitman College in the late 1970s. Though Bill and I have never met, we connected on social media years ago and have had daily interactions ever since. I have no problem saying that those interactions have enhanced my life and helped make me a more positive and better living person. I consider Bill a true friend.
3. That tin shed. Each morning, while so many people are quick to demonstrate the ugly side of social media by misrepresenting themselves, by using hateful language, spreading fear by using lies, and by acting like children in a world that needs adults now more than ever, Bill is one who strives to keep it positive. Like me and a small portion of others, Bill uses a mixture of descriptive language and photographs to express positivity each day. Also like me, Bill takes photographs of the same objects and the same scenes on a regular basis, often from different angles, during different times of the year, and under different skies. It’s a daily reminder that nothing is static, and that even seemingly fixed things and predictable places are ever-changing.
There’s one object though, that Bill takes photographs and shares regularly, that has compelled me since the first time I saw it. It’s a shed on or near what I believe is Bill’s property. It’s a shed — a beautiful metal shed, resting in the foreground of the local foothills. I have no idea what the shed houses or is used for. Whether it’s tools, old trucks and farm equipment, or covers a pumping station for a well, I have no idea. I just know that I’ve wanted to ride my bike to, and to photograph that shed for years now. So this spring I’m going to do it — so long as Bill allows me on his property, and Tim and Ashley ride along with me to keep me company.
When I ride my bike each day, along the coast, through the local vineyards, beside the farms that grow tomatoes, peppers, spinach, and cilantro, taking in that beauty is such an important part of the experience. But everyday, for years now, I’ve envisioned myself riding down that unkempt road, on a bike fully loaded with gear, and approaching that tin shed for the first time. Oh, what a sight that will be. Also, I’m not really sure it’s made out of tin, but that gives it a good name.
This is what I think about when I ride… Jhciacb
This Week By The Numbers…
Bikes Ridden: 6
6,600′ feet climbing
16.0 mph avg
10 hours 37 minutes in the saddle
Whether you ride a bike or not, thank you for taking the time to ride along with me today. If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. If you like what you read, give it a like and a share. If not, just keep scrollin’. Oh, and there is this worthy cover from The greatest rock band on earth, Los Lobos. Enjoy…!