Written by: Kian Ellis
I believe in magic. Real magic. No, I don’t carry a wand or an amulet or a bag of pixie dust. I live in the real world. Magic, in its infinite complexity and mystery, could never be reduced to the blunt and simple blasts of heat and light that movies love to associate with it. Fire is weak, measurable, limited. Magic has no limitations. This means that magic can only exist in one place: our own minds.
At this point I should probably clarify. I believe in magic within people. To me, magic is the mysterious energy behind the powers people display everyday that defy all logic and somehow captivate us in the most profound ways. To love without cause, to give without want, to see the best in someone or in a situation, to trust without hesitation, to confide in strangers, or even to turn an everyday event into a captivating story. We all experience magic in different ways and at different times but it always has the potential to transform how we see others and even ourselves.
On this Bike Adventure, I have seen some incredible things: flowers so bright they almost glow in the dark, a plethora of beautiful plants and animals, colossal mountains that cut through the clouds like ocean-liners cut through the surf, crystal-clear mountain water flowing through massive boulders before falling into Lake Tahoe, a massive wall of stone preserving the memory of ancient giants, a double rainbow over a half-dozen different types of mountains with corresponding cloud formations above them, and calm nights full of shooting stars just to name a few. None of this, however, compares to the indescribable feeling of seeing magic in the eyes of a complete stranger.
I’ve gotten to know a man so in-tune with his emotions that he can be brought to tears in a crowd of his peers simply by thinking about the beauty of nature. I’ve gotten to know a woman with a spirit so adventurous that, to her, every trail is worth taking, every hill is worth climbing, and any distance is worth closing—all for its own sake. To me these qualities are nothing short of magical. The more time I’ve spent with this group the more I’ve come to realize what a transformative effect this magic has on me.
Never before have I realized so much about life and about myself than on this Bike Adventure. The strangers from all across the country who I have come to know and love have had a permanent effect on me, and the magic I’ve seen in them will continue to change me for the rest of my life. When this is all over I hope they realize that I’ll always be down for another adventure whether they’re states away or an ocean away.