By Dan Zassick
Everyday I get on my bike saddle, and everyday I am reminded of the previous 1000 some odd miles my legs have slugged me though to get from Portland, OR all the way on down here to Las Vegas. It hurts. My butt hurts. My shoulders ache. And usually somewhere between 35 and 40 miles my knee reminds me that it didn’t want to be left out of the party and starts to hurt too. And yet we persist. Every day we get right back on that bike and we press on.
I do not say this begrudgingly. Everyday, in spite of the aches and pains, we get to adventure on to a new town. I’ve had the great pleasure of biking down the Oregon coast several times before, however I have never been to Yosemite before, and have only driven through Las Vegas once upon a two years ago on the way home from another FCBA expedition. But its not just the new towns and excitement for seeing new National Parks that I have never been able to explore before. This is my fourth FCBA that I have been able to ride on. It would be more if I had any real say in the matter, but as most riders can attest, real life gets in the way. Each trip builds a new family. Each with its own quirks and personalities. No trip has been like another. And even though I sometimes see landscapes that I have seen before, It’s like seeing it through a new shade of glasses. A fresh perspective and frame of mind that highlights different things every time. I don’t know that I’ll ever be sick of it.
I think about these things as I ride. I have a lot of time to think usually with hours on the road between towns. I think about all kinds of things. It’s like meditation for me in a way. I’ve made major life decisions while riding a bike. Thought about plot holes in movies. The endless vibration of old roadways. How I’m 33 years old and I still am unsure of how to properly use a semicolon. The ride is like a whole different world outside of my own. Separate from my normal world and at the same time deeply a part of who I am as a person. It can be anything I suppose. Sometimes I just stare off into the distance and try to take in the beauty of the landscape. Sometimes I cant help but think about how I wish I was done for the day or how I wish my knee would stop hurting. But once I’m done, and I walk in the door and the evening routine begins, all the pain, and aches, and thoughts wash away. And in the morning begin again. Fresh thoughts for fresh adventures.