I am being called to a bike-about. A soul searching wander in the wilderness.
I first conceived this route in a naive spirit of adventure, amidst summer fieldwork in Los Padres and Angeles National Forests. Albeit bordering major metropolitan areas, these public lands remain remote and wild. I imagined a route linking the Amtrak Depot in Santa Barbara to my childhood home in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.
Little did I know, my few days in these mountains became the first of many spent in deep self-reflection. I remember rediscovering solitude — not only physical isolation, but as a psychic consequence of upheaval in my closest personal relationships. The empty, undeveloped landscape became a symbol, a songline.
Six months later, this ride calls me, cavernously droning questions. What are my limits and my strengths? How deep do I dare look into myself?
Southern California Bike-about: 257 miles, 23,000 ft of elevation
It will be a feat to attempt. To prepare, I’ve mapped out several lesser feats:
Wander Ride 1 — Morgan Territories and Palomares Mountain. 87 miles, 5400 ft of elevation
Wander Ride 2 — Morgan Territories, Mt. Hamilton, Calaveras, Palomares 163 miles, 12,500 ft of elevation